Thursday, December 17, 2009

OK, so I suck...but you know you love me

I haven't been posting to this blog much of late. Been busy, and once school ended, I kind of shut things down for a week or so. But I will do my best to get some new posts up over the holidays, because after all, if we can't make fun of our friends and families on holidays, what good are we?

So Friday is another milestone -- i.e., another slow step in the long marathon march toward death -- in terms of keeping score of years I have been alive. For the record, it will be 45, which sounds really freaking old.

Val always says age is just a number, you are only as old as you feel...blah blah blah. She is smart, cute, funny, and wrong.

I am old.

Last year, I did some kind of 44 things bit for each year. This year, I prefer to let is pass quietly into the night.

I only have a few observations/thoughts as I hurl ever closer to infinity:

1 -- What is the protocal on getting text messages from numbers you don't recognize and the people act like they know you? Respond with a simple "lol, bud?" Or, "that's funny, dude?" Do you ask who it is? Young people should be able to tell me this.

2 -- For the record, Valerie is not 20 years younger than me, despite what people keep saying. If she gets carded again in front of me, I am going to throw up.

3 -- ABBA in the rock and roll Hall of Fame over Kiss and the Chili Peppers is the greatest crime of this century. If you happen to own a stealth bomber and want to "accidently" let a missle go on the place, be my guest. Mama Mia is NOT cause for the Hall of Fame. This is an embarrassment to God and everybody.

4 -- I inherited a cat in the Val deal. If he chews through one more electronic cord of mine, he will be microwaved.

5 -- The holidays can be a depressing time for a lot of people and for a lot of reasons. If you get down or depressed, take a minute to laugh. I highly recommend this old Sam Kinison bit (warning -- the language is rated R):

Hope everyone has a great holiday stretch, no matter what you celebrate, and I promise to post more in the coming months.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

An ode to the bird/Bud Adams

Subtitle: What rough beast slouches toward Houston, waiting to be born again?

OK, so we dropped a Bud Adams poem on the show this week in honor of his Sunday performance. Here is the video:

I feel compelled to share the poem as well:

Bud, oh Bud

How could you be so bold?

Dancing in your suite, looking frail and old

Yes, VY is your guy, and he did the job

Made people forget you dress like a slob

In Houston we remember your exit act

You were a jerk – that’s a well-know fact

After your big win on Sunday, you bounced so odd

And shot the Bills a pair of rods

Yes, we know you are old – 86

But that’s no reason to act like a ….Richard

There you were, so happy, so gay

Now you are out 250k

Bud, old Bud, so defiant

You better not pull that act at Reliant

(Yes, I am still a little bitter over losing the Oilers).

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

An experimental entry...and ode to the monkey man

This is a test. This is only a test. If it had been a real emergency, you would already be dead.

Actually, this is more of a social experiment for use in my Mass Communications class. Feel free to follow along in your books.

What is the real purpose of this blog? Self expression? A writing outlet? A place where spider monkeys and evil clowns can feel welcome? Where freaks can be forever analyzed? Where the elephant woman, carjacker and wheelchair prostitute can find piece of...well, something?

The answer, quite simply, is all of the above.

What would this world be without freaks and misfits? People -- or creatures -- who entertain us? And what would the world be without vehicles like this to highlight their exploits?

Hence the return of the Monkey Man.

My first encounter with the Monkey Man came over a year ago. He was near the station at Gessner and Westheimer. He was a homeless man who looked exactly like the Monkey Man from the Golden Child, a relatively terrible Eddie Murphy movie.

I felt badly for the Monkey Man. Was there no job for a character actor who looked like a monkey? Was he typecast in Golden Child?

He was back the other day, standing outside of Hooters, of all places. He seemed more beaten down than ever. He wasn't even lustily eyeing the orange shorts. He seemed more interested in the wings.


As I gave him a dollar for cleaning off my windshield, I wanted to tell him how much I had missed him. How Golden Child II might still happen. How Eddie Murphy's career had gone to hell, too.

(Check out the video above. He has a brief appearance standing next to the bad guy, 8-11 second mark).

I did my best to give him a pep talk. I implored him not to give up. Maybe a bath, a new agent...something might break for him yet.

Hey, it worked for Meredith Vieira. There is hope.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Cell phones, texting, and no -------- while driving? No way...

OK, I promise to get back to updating this thing at least once a week if not a little more often.

I haven't had my usual freak encounters (well, I have, but since they all involved co-workers...Just kidding folks).

We had an exercise in our journalism class where the students wrote columns on cell phone use while driving. They did a nice job, made good points.

Oddly enough, driving to work this morning, I saw something much more dangerous. And much stranger.

A car was weaving on the beltway, in the right lane, slipping into the left, back to the right, all over the place. It was about 7:20 a.m., so I didn't think the person was drunk.

My first thought was texting, but then I wondered if maybe he/she was ill or perhaps even having a heart attack.

I tried to get close enough to see what was up. I instantly regretted it.

HE was not on the phone. Or sick. Well, not physically sick. Our driver was quite clearly pleasuring himself as he was driving.

I was left to wonder what would inspire that? Was he practicing his shifting? Working on his multitasking? Then again, the car was a hybrid. Maybe it needed some weird lube job.

It gives a new meaning to the term "Carjacking."

Maybe he needed a hands free device.

Needless to say, I got away as quickly as possible. But if you see a smarmy looking dude with black glasses in a blue Prius, swerving from lane to lane, just make sure you have protection.

Hey, maybe he could get on the cell phone, have phone sex and combine the two while driving!

Can't wait to read what they find when they pull that body out of the wreckage...


The official countdown will be a week on Friday. Can't wait to get The Val in town. We will need a new nickname for her, however, since Virtual Val won't be Virtual anymore...


And happy birthday No. 8 for Katie Faour, who just for old time's sake had to throw a visit to the emergency room in last week. (She's fine). Here is what I wrote last year about her...

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Sorry...been a little busy...

My apologies for not posting lately. Essentially doing three jobs now, and still learning how to multitask again.

The first San Jac Times will be out in a few days. It will be my first foray in the newspaper business in three years.

It isn't perfect. But I feel like Dick Vermeil when he took the Rams job.

(And yes, there is a Super Bowl victory in our future).

I promise to have something funny for you soon. But today, I am simply here to apologize for not being prolific.

The good news? The Canadian Countdown has begun. The hottie will be here in less than a month.

Even when I don't blog, she will. So F World will endure. At least, as long as you guys want it...

Friday, August 21, 2009

Blogging at 33,000 feet....

Just musing about how amazing it is that I am writing this blog from 33,000 feet in an airplane. What an incredible world we live in.

The down side is decided to give AirTran another try.

Someone should tell Brenda the flight attendant it is OK to smile. That her face won't freeze that way, all joker like. I mean, she has enough makeup on to BE the joker, but still. I know you work for a crappy, low paying airline, but if that is the last face I see in this lifetime, at least put a fake smile on it.

And I am playing online poker. Nice to know your aces can still get cracked while you are somewhere over Louisiana.

I admit, there are things that still amaze me. The childlike wonder is still deep within me; something as silly as having wireless on an airplane makes me reflect just how far our society has come. How many wonderful things are coming down the road. How communication will continue to grow and evolve.

It makes me wonder how much more I will see in my lifetime!!!

ACK! Turbulence! Bad! Logging off! AAAARRGGGGHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!

(OK, that was bad, even for me).

Thursday, August 13, 2009

I wanna rock and roll all night...changing careers again

In case you haven't noticed, we've been in a rock and roll kind of mindset of late. Maybe it is all these photos that have been showing up on Facebook:

Geoff Fish (left), Johnny Pineda (seated) and a very dazed looking Freddy. Geoff is an awesome musician who has a band that plays all around Galveston County called the Motor Cycos. Johnny was one of the most talented musicians I've ever met. The other guy in the picture...well, he sucks. This would have been circa 82 or 83.

(Yeah, I know. The hair is brutal. I have that Beatles/George Harrison/drug era look).

But our failed attempts at reliving youth are not why are here today. We are here to talk about a success story.

We had a rough day with guests on Sunday's show. It almost forced us to retire on the spot.

Fortunately, Dane and Ben from the Galactic Cowboys saved the day by coming in studio.

If you aren't familiar with the Cowboys, check them out. They put on a great live show, and they are doing a reunion tour the next three nights. Tonight they are in Dallas; Friday is Austin Saturday night they will be at Warehouse Live in Houston. (Tickets are available by clicking here).

We highly recommend you catch the show if you like music with energy and passion.

If you don't know their music, you might know them from their appearance in the movie "Airheads."

That was a fun part of the interview, which you can listen to here.

(The story about Adam Sandler alone is worth it).

Anyway, do yourself a favor and check out the shows. You won't regret it.


Starting next week, I will be embarking on a new career as a communications professor at San Jacinto Junior College. I will be teaching two classes and helping produce the school newspaper.

Maybe we can make it the best college newspaper in the history of the known universe. It will also be a chance to get back to doing what I do best -- help people develop. Then they can all act like they are better off without me when I'm gone, just like real journalists...

(I'm kidding, gang. Really).

Besides, corrupting young minds is what I do best. There might be a full class on how to take a journalistic approach to mimes and spider monkeys.

I plan to continue to have a relationship with the radio station and will still be doing shows. More details on that as we get them.

Freddys World should endure; I am uncertain about I will try to keep it for a while, but the college and radio will be priorities 1 and 2. My poker career is probably over at this point, too. It takes a lot of time and effort to play at a high level, and I won't have the time to do that anymore, at least not for a while.

As for the classes, they will focus on traditional journalism, but I plan to teach a lot of social media and emerging forms of gathering news and disseminating it. Twitter as a news engine, etc.

Hopefully, it will be fun and entertaining.

If you live in the Pasadena/Clear Lake area, consider signing up. I promise you will learn a lot. At the risk of sounding cocky (what? me? really?) they are very lucky to have me.

It's an excellent opportunity one my end, too. It wouldn't have happened without a lot of nudging and help from Dr. Bernie Smiley (a.k.a "Jesus") and my brother Patrick.

And, of course, lots of encouragement and support from The Val.

Anyway, it's an exciting new opportunity. And I hope to finally get a new band together.

Maybe I can go all Rogaine and bring back that hair...

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Say hello to my little friend...

My apologies for the lack of posts here recently. No real excuses, other than I just haven't had anything funny. That and a bit of writer's block. And a lot of effort going in to pissing off all the college football fans on my examiner column.

That, plus Twitter, Facebook updates, updating the Web life has been pretty boring lately. (Although hopefully there will be a major announcement any day now that will reinvigorate my freak encounters).

However, my new neighbor qualifies as a freak encounter, even though I have not met him/her/them yet.

No one has lived near me for almost a year; Ike wiped out most of my building, so I have gotten used to peace and quiet.

The past few nights, the familiar "thump, thump, thump" of a stereo returned, so I knew I finally had a new neighbor below me.

The thumping got steadily louder each night. One night, I fired back with some tunes on the computer. This went back and forth for a couple nights.

Finally, however, the war escalated. I could hear Kanye's voice over my TV.

First, I responded with conventional weapons. The speakers on the computer are pretty salty, and Cowboys From Hell generally is enough to discourage any further exchanges.

It didn't work.

Kanye was even louder.

Perhaps it was the Evan Williams. Maybe it was the disappointment that conventional weapons failed.

But I did what most Americans do in this situation -- overreact. Out came the tactical nukes -- a.k.a. the Les Paul.

My real amp is still in La Marque, but I have a little practice amp. It doesn't look like much, but it packs a wallop, especially turned up to 10.

A few rapid riffs, some distorted power chords, and then a few bars of God of Thunder ensued.

I screamed my best Scarface: "Say hello to my little friend!" (Of course, I couldn't hear myself saying that. It was old school, feel the chords in your guy stuff. I think I re-damaged the roof at Reliant Stadium).

Typically when nukes are involved, everything was destroyed.

When I stopped playing, there was no sound. No thump at all. The tactical nukes had done their dirty job.

It has been quiet ever since. Too quiet. I kind of miss the dull thump of music from below. Were the nukes really necessary? Could we not have solved things in a diplomatic fashion?

It was a sad statement on our society. Reason, diplomacy -- all out the window. You fired on me, I fired back. You fired again, I nuked you.

Isn't this how the Terminator series began? With machines deciding we were too violent to live?

What does that say about us that we don't even consider solving our issues without musical violence?

The moral of the story? I am victorious, but I do not feel like a winner.

Then again...damn, I still play a mean guitar....

Monday, July 20, 2009

Naked mimes and other assorted weirdness...

First, check out the sports takes at I try to update it every day, so please give it a read.


OK, it's a Monday. After watching the same movies over and over again this past weekend, I am frustrated. I need something new. Something fun. Something weird.

Maybe some new movies. Maybe a new sport. Maybe just something disturbing.

Maybe all of the above:

1) Scarface, the Musical. Think of the song list: Say Hello to My Little Friend, Every Day Above Ground is a Good Day, Say Goodnight to the Bad Guy, I Got Ears, ya know.

Tony Montana pulls out his machine gun, then breaks into song.

(To the tune of the Beatle's Love Me Do)

"Say, say hello

Say, say hello

Say, say hello myyyyyyyyy

Little friend."

Of course, Pacino doesn't have the greatest singing voice, but that is part of the charm of the movie.

2) Mosquito Fights. This could have saved Michel Vick his job. After all, people get furious over dogfighting. Would they care if we bred, raised, and trained mosquitoes to fight to the death?

Would the, um, bloodletting really offend anyone?

3) Joe Pesci as the Mafia Monk. "You know, Euphalias, you are a f---ing mumbling, stuttering little f---. You know that?"

"You made me put your head in a vise for that f---ing monk?"

"Et cum spirite, de spiritus sanctum, amen, you stupid motherf---er."

4) Samuel L. Jackson as Hamlet.

"Does Horatio Look like a bitch?"

"Gimme my skull. It's the one that says bad motherf----er."

"To die, to sleep, perchance to dream. Hey! Wake your ass up! I ain't got time for this."

"I am the foot, f----ing master, Portia."

5) Naked Mimes. I don't know why, but I want to see feeling the invisible barrier in the nude. Fake ice skating in the raw.

According to Wikipedia, Traiānus banished pantomimists; Caligula favored them; Aurelius made them priests of Apollōn. Nero himself acted as a mime.

What does that mean? Not a damned thing. But they would be funnier naked. Maybe it's already been done. Maybe that's why Caligula was so into them.

Yes, you would paint all the parts, in case you were curious.

OK, I am officially weirded out by myself now. What did you expect? It's Monday.

I wanted weird. Mission accomplished.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Breaking up is hard to do...

This is a sad day in Freddy's World. Breakups are always tough, even when you know it is time.

You put your life into a relationship; you give everything you can. You follow them everywhere. You write blogs about them. You praise them to anyone who will listen on the air.

But then they get to be too important for you. Too big. Too popular.

And you are left alone at night, wondering what went wrong.

You love someone so much it hurts sometimes. And they don't love you back. So finally, as painful as it is, you have to let go. You have to say goodbye.

It has happened many times before, and it will happen again.

This weekend, it happened to me, and I am letting go. There are other fish in the sea. I will try some new experiences and work hard to get this one off my mind.

I said goodbye.

No, not to Val. Are you people crazy?

To one of my other loves.

Shinedown, at one point the most underrated band in the world, is being put in the wind. Kicked to the curb. Dead to me.

I have seen them at least seven times in concert. From the first time I heard Fly From the Inside, I knew they were the band for me. Energy, passion, power; everything I had ever wanted in a band.

When Us and Them came out, our relationship got stronger. Save Me, Some Day, Heroes...powerful stuff.

When Sound of Madness was released, things were at their best. I even wrote a review of the concert for this blog. I bought the album the first day it was available on Itunes. It was over a year ago.

I thought we would be happy forever.

But we started drifting apart. Other, more attractive bands started becoming a part of my life. The magic started to disappear.

Then, it happened.

Shinedown showed up on our sister pop station, a top 40 station with a very young listenership.

"Second Chance" was the song. A nice little ballad.

And then they played it more. And more. And more.

This week, they played it more than that idiotic Lady Ga Ga Poker Face song.

Now, I just can't stand it anymore. Shinedown is too popular. Teens everywhere now sing their songs -- well, song. They have become a huge pop band.

And so it is time for it to end. While Shinedown left me for someone younger, I have started trying new people, too. The Offspring became my new favorite band after we had them in studio. I spent some time with Linkin Park. Green Day. I went back some old loves, like the Chili Peppers.

I'm putting my life back together.

Who knows if I will ever love another like that? Who knows if I will find happiness elsewhere on Itunes? But it is time to move on. Time to let go.

I will always love you, Shinedown. And not to throw your own words at you, but...

Sometimes goodbye is a second chance.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Birthday wishes and a eulogy

The birthday boy is the one on the left.

OK, so this is a day late, but I was out of pocket all day for reasons that will hopefully soon be apparent. First, make sure you check out the sports commentary here. Click early and often.

Anyway, Will Faour had his 11th birthday yesterday. He is well on his way to being the smartest person in the family.

The kid has a great sense of humor, is a pretty good poker player and is an absolute beast on Roblox.

He's also a pretty good indication I am officially old.

Regardless, happy birthday little man. I wanted to say something nice before you become a teen-ager and start hating me. But you are a great little dude and I have the best son in the world.

(And the best daughter, in case you are reading, Katie).


I have decided that I should fake my own death. Besides getting a Wikipedia page, I will be a much bigger star in death. After all, Michael Jackson is bigger than ever. Steve McNair is being hailed from all corners. Forget one's penchant for (censored) and the circumstances around the other's death; look at all the nice -- if fictitious --- things that were said about both in their respective eulogies.

I mean, really; think about all the exaggerations people could use on my behalf:

-- Fred redefined journalism and was at the forefront of the multimedia explosion.

-- Fred helped launch the careers of many of the biggest stars in sports journalism.

-- He took the blog concept to a new level.

-- He invented anti-twittering.

-- He dressed up like Batgirl. (Who doesn't?)

-- He was a kind, warm, loving person who went out of his way to take care of others.

(Hey, do you really buy all that BS about Michael Jackson? If that stuff is true, I can be kind, warm and loving)

-- Thanks to Fred, the career of Sparkles the Evil Clown was rejuvenated, and he went on to be an international superstar.

-- Fred was personally responsible for improving international relations, befriending many Canadians.

See how death makes you look like a superstar?

My blog postings will suddenly be popular. People will scramble to find old short stories. Like Michael, they will forget my screwups.

I will become a legend, forever remembered and praised for being better than I was.

Elvis Presley. Michael Jackson. Uncle Freddy?

Meanwhile, I will be hiding out in Guam under the name Fareed Hadid. Raking in royalties. Enjoying my fame.

Playing golf with Michael and Elvis.

Then again, they don't have football in Guam. Probably no poker. Likely no Canadians.

Guess I will have to settle for being unsuccessful, boring and alive after all.

And still no Wikipedia page.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

A special guest host...

In honor of Canada Day, and, well, my general laziness...I decided to have a guest blogger. Not shockingly, she is Canadian.

Before you jump into this, please click on the ads. And check out my sports commentary at

Anyway, as you probably know by now, Virtual Val is the conscious of this blog. (Not to mention a consensus No. 1 in the Faour BCS rankings). Most of my ideas usually come from goofing off with her anyway. Since I have been a little busy of late and haven't posted an entry, I am handing her the reins for this one. She is funnier than me, better looking than me and in general, much better than me.

And while it might be Freddy's World, that world would be pretty lame without Val.

So here....she...goes:


So, Fred and I cooked up a scheme that I would do a guest blog. I’m not sure how exactly this came about, but I am guessing alcohol and my usual lack of good judgement were factors. Basically, sucks to be you, reading this (if you still are, now that you know it’s not Uncle Freddy), because Fred is the writer in this particular family.

Initially, I was thinking of doing a bit on how Canada is superior to the US. Fortunately, I remembered that I am moving to the US in the not too distant future, and should wait until then to make enemies. Hey, guys, I apologize in advance. Your national sport may be the NFL. Ours is American bashing. And we are very good at it. There’s a lot of material. You do it to yourselves (the best bits are at 3:18 regarding the 24 hour clock, and 6:49 about the $5 coin):

Um, oops. I can’t help it.

So what am I going to write about? Well, not spider monkeys, evil clowns, or naked mimes. Those are all Fred’s. I have been told to write about what I know, and I know nothing about any of those things. Really. So, I have decided to write about some pranks to pull on your significant other that I have heard about. *Disclaimer – I have not, nor ever would, pull these on Freddy. I will think up whole new ones.

Change the language on their cell phone. Nothing beats getting a text “What is the French word for menu?” in the middle of the day. Why not text back entirely in the chosen language to really increase the frustration level? “Je refuse de répondre pour les raisons qu'il peut m'incriminer.” Babelfish has been my friend for a long time.

Lemon Jell-O or plain pectin in toilet water. I have never tried this one, I ran across it surfing the ‘net, but it sounds hilarious. Mindy just explained to me how to do this – make the Jell-O with half the normal amount of boiling water, then pour it into the toilet bowl and give it some time to set. Imagine. Him peeing into the toilet bowl, and the water isn’t moving. The only drawback? Darned sure it won’t be him cleaning it up.

Tape over the infrared remote control thingy (I am not a tech geek, leave me alone) with black electrician’s tape. Imagine the fun you could have, because you KNOW men will never actually walk up to the TV to turn it on. And most devices (my stupid cable box, for example) cannot be operated without a remote control. Better yet, do it to all the remote controls in the house.

Admit what you have done before he goes out to the nearest electronics store and spends WAY too much for a new one that does everything but something truly useful, like the cleaning the toilet after pulling the Jell-O prank.

Put pillows in bed; make it look like you are asleep under the covers. When they start to crawl into bed, grab their ankles from your hiding place under the bed. Move it up a notch by taping him screaming like a girly man.

OK, four is enough for today. Anyone got any good pranks out there? Please note, nothing that would cause a separation of assets. I kinda like this guy. Even if I am fairly sure he will never let me blog again!


Addendum from Fred....she DID pull the French thing on my phone. AND my email. Grrrr. I will be watching the toilet diligently from now on.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

I have a confession: I have been streaking

OK, we all have secret pleasures. (And no, I don't mean fantasies. Those are different. Most of mine involve a hot tub and a certain hot Canadian chick. But that's none of your business).

A secret pleasure is much different. Stuff like ice cream. Chocolate-covered termites. Dressing up like Bea Arthur and performing in burlesque shows. (Wait a minute, maybe that's a fantasy).

Regardless, I have a new pleasure. Actually, it's not really a pleasure, so much as an addiction.

It is ESPN's Streak For The Cash.

It is a simple game, and best of all, it's free.

Pick 27 in a row and you win a million bucks. Nothing to it, right?

Except my longest streak is five.

The beauty of streak for the cash is that it involves every sport known to mankind. You simply pick one way or the other.

In cricket, I blew a streak on Sri Lanka vs. Pakistan.

I also made a terrible error in lacrosse, when I took Virginia over Cornell.

Today's picks include stuff like who will record more aces at Wimbledon? Sam Querrey of the U.S. or Marin Cilic of Croatia? For the record, 69.9 percent of the world has selected Querrey.

Oh yes, soccer. Spain wins by two goals or more vs. the U.S., or U.S. wins, or loses by one goal. 54.8 percent of the world is on Spain's side there.

I can't wait for tonight, when I can pick who will be ahead after five innings -- the Phillies or Rays.

There was even one where you could pick the over/under on number of letters in the freaking spelling bee.

I am addicted. Rugby. College softball. Badminton. Name your sport, I am streaking it.

Maybe we could create a streak for the cash involving entertainers.

Who is the next actor to have a meltdown that shows up on Youtube?

Alec Baldwin

Christian Bale

Which actor's next movie will be the bigger bomb?

Adam Sandler

Mike Myers

What has been actor will jump start his or her career with an animated voice role first?

George Clooney

Sean Penn

Who will be killed first by an angry, Gargoyle-disguised person?

Flo the Progressive Insurance Girl

The Most Interesting Man in the world

Which country will Obama bomb first?


North Korea

So I am taking Bale, Myer, Clooney, Flo and none of the above.

Back to my real game. There is golf tomorrow. I'm liking Hunter Mahan to have a lower front nine score than Paul Goydos.

I think I need help.

Monday, June 15, 2009

So that's what I am to you, AirTran? Luggage? I have had it with these (expletive) dogs, on this (expletive) plane...

So I hadn't been to Canada since 1996 for the Breeders' Cup. I really didn't remember much about it, except the old Maple Leaf Gardens was awesome, and I never could get the hang of that kilometers instead of mph thing.

I still can't. I see "100" on a speed limit sign, and I am going all Jeff Gordon. Besides, those little numbers on the speedometer are little for a reason, right?

I have encountered as significant number of freaks, because that's what I do. However, I have been overwhelmed by how cool all the people are. Not just the folks we've been hanging with -- shout out to Theresa and Dave for being awesome! -- but the people in general, especially around the border towns. Fred represents H town at Woodbine with the hottie. Photo take by Norm the Awesome Canadian handicapper.

Everything has been awesome so far, especially getting to meet Norm and Michelle and Danny and his family. We also met Doug and Helena, Gary and Alex, and Jim and Diane, all of whom make great drinking amigos.

And, of course, the Canadian hottie has been awesome as always.

I'll have more later on Niagara Falls and my trips to Woodbine, my new favorite racetrack. And the goofiest rental car ever.
Fred represents the Ticket and UH at the Falls
, from the Canadian side. I saw an Aggie.

But for now, I would be remiss not to share my freak show trip getting here.

I've always liked Southwest Airlines. No frills, but flies everywhere I want to go and I have never had any real issues with them, except the time I almost died landing in New Orleans. But I forgave them for that.

Continental is my favorite, but they don't fly out of Hobby, which is very close to where I live. So we are essentially divorced.

So I decided to try AirTran for the first time because it was an incredibly cheap fare -- even cheaper than Southwest. The plan was to fly into Buffalo, and drive to Toronto. Arrive about 11 that night and have an easy time, right?

First, the "really cheap fare" did not include the $15 for checking my bag. So my round trip went from $120 to $150. Since it was still less than Southwest, I could live with that.

Everything was fine until right before take-off, when were put on ground stop for the trip to Atlanta and plane change. Two hours we sat there because of alleged storms in Atlanta. OK, that's common travel fare. No worries.

We arrived in Atlanta two minutes after my next flight was scheduled to take off. I sprinted to the gate, where they were rushing everyone on board. (That flight was delayed, too).

We loaded.

And we waited.

And waited.

And waited.

Finally, someone from the airline came on and said the flight crew had been delayed in Chicago.

They would be here in about an hour.

An hour on top of the hour we had already sat there.

What airline puts people on the plane when its flight crew is still two hours away?

The flight attendants were rude, obnoxious , and told no one anything. They snapped when people asked questions. The would not respond to simple requests for water.

But that wasn't the weird part.

I tried to doze off, and suddenly I was snapped out of my semi-slumber by a noise.

Did somebody's kid just cough? Did somebody step on an infant?

"Tebow! Stop it!."

I admit, I was cranky, tired and confused, but a bark? Tebow?

"Tebow! Stop it!"

At that point it hit me.
There is a dog on the plane.

And she was talking to something that was barking.

Well, OK, so I couldn't really see the young lady, because she was in front of me.

But she had a dog in a small carrier. Barking. On a plane.

When did this start? What's wrong with the cage in the belly of the plane? What kind of airlines allows dogs?

Look, I love dogs. I get it when people really love dogs. But I would never bring a dog on an airplane.

Worse, the people next to the young lady got irritated, so she moved. To the seat behind me. Where "Tebow" was under my seat.

Tim Tebow would not like his namesake. He is small. He yaps like crazy, especially on takeoffs and landings. And he has a penchant for waking me up.

I can live with dirty airplanes that haven't been cleaned since the 1960s. I can live with long delays and not telling us what is going on. I can deal with being put on a plane for two hours before my flight crew arrives. I can even live with rude flight attendants who are pissed off they got turned down by Southwest.

But DOGS? On a plane?


At one point, I almost got up and went all Samuel L. on the dog.

"I have HAD IT with these m--------king Dogs, on this m--------king plane!"

Two can play at this game. I am bringing a tarantula on the way back. Lets see how long the pet policy lasts.

Southwest, I apologize for straying. It was a cheap, sordid affair. After Thursday, it won't happen again.

Unless you go dogs on me. Then I am riding in the belly with the luggage.

Just like I am doing now with AirTran.

Monday, June 8, 2009

I want my own Wikipedia page, dammit

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Will Faour read the post before this one and complained that he and Katie were not mentioned. You guys get run all the time. We interrupt your playing of Roblox or being on Youtube to say you just got your own paragraph. Happy?


I want to know how famous I need to be to get my own Wikipedia page. That is my new standard for success in life.

Clearly, I am a complete failure. Apparently, radio host/blogger/online columnist/former editor/degenerate is not enough to get me on Wiki.

What will it take?

Apparently, every Pope is on there, including this guy.

Pope Vigilius? Really? A dude who has been dead since 555?

Richard Justice
has a wiki page. He used to yell at me all the time when I was his boss. Is that fair?

Matt Dean has a wiki page. No, not THAT Matt Dean. Some Minnesota politician. He has a page. He is an architect. Great.

We brought this up on the show, and Rob Mungle called in. He, of course, has a wiki page. Yes, his bio is just one sentence: Robert Louis Mungle (Born 1968 in Houston, Texas) is an anime voice actor for ADV Films, he is also a stand-up comedian.

Rob said it was "no big deal. Anybody can be on there."

Anyone but me, apparently.

There are eight dudes named Bob Jones on there. EIGHT. One is a Christian Evangelist who founded Bob Jones University. Thanks to him, Bob Jr. and Bob III got wiki pages too, in the line of succession as President of Bob Jones U.

The other Bob Joneses include two baseball players, a New Zealand tycoon, a Texas businessman and a member of the U.S. House of Representatives.

But no Fred Faour. In fact, no Faours at all.

We do, however, have a wiki page for ESPN 97.5 The Ticket. It mentions Put Up Your Dukes with Carl Dukes. It mentions Calvin Murphy. It even mentions Julie Takahashi.

No Front Page. No Fred Faour or Matt Dean (the radio star, not the architect).

Will offered to create one for me after I die. So great. I won't be able to enjoy my moderate fame if I am dead.

The are nine Jim Smiths. There are 28 Mike Joneses, including a canoeist, new age pianist and a personal trainer who allegedly had an affair with evangelical preacher Ted Arthur Haggard.

So, apparently, if you are an Evangelist, you not only get a page, but anyone you do gets a page as well.

There are nine Valerie pages, even one about the name itself. There are 27 Fred pages, but apparently the name is not interesting enough to get its own page.

One Fred was a Vermont farmer who simply ran for senate. Another Fred was "one of Joe's two best friends in the animated series Time Warp Trio." Just one of two best friends? Apparently, Fred is not worthy of being a best friend on his own.

The biggest insult? There are 27 Barts. Even my haters are all over Wiki.

I am going to make it to Wiki one day. If I have to run for senate, become an Evangelist or let it be rumored that I had an affair with an Evangelist.

Or I could just die. Then Will could make a page for me, and Bart would be happy.

Until then, I will just have to settle for this. Or maybe this.

Sorry, it's not enough. I want my own Wiki page, dammit.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

A thank you, and a birthday gift

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And follow me on twitter as Gargoyle409. (If you have to ask why I am Gargoyle409, you don't read this anyway).

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So many of you know Virtual Val, the Canadian hottie. Many of you have actually met her. Some of you know her as the funny, sarcastic voice on the other end of the computer.

What you probably don't know is that she might be the coolest person ever. Funny? Yes. Sarcastic as hell? Check. Mischievous? Yep. Downright evil in a good way? Probably.

Well, V V turns 40 today. As I recall from that RECENT milestone, that is when you become officially old.

Well, Val is anything but old. She has the energy and outlook of a teen-ager; the appearance of a 26-year-old; and the wisdom of...well, a 40-year-old.

Anyway, I am very lucky to have her in my life. Those of you who actually know her also know how lucky I am.

I have been extremely fortunate the last two years. Even with everything that went wrong, I made so many new and incredible friends...working with Matt the Superstar, the 1560 guys...Dana B...Dwain C..Plus all my friends who were there all along: C squared, Curtis, Rocket...And my mom, my grandmother, my brothers...all of whom kept me going when things were the most bleak.

Maybe I am not as rich or powerful as I used to be, but I found what I was looking for -- happiness.

Val has had a lot to do with that, as you all have.

Thanks to all of you for being there. I promise to post something funny tomorrow, but for today, I just wanted to thank everybody.

And say happy birthday, young lady. Thanks for being part of my life.

(But you aren't a better poker player than me. Yet).

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Sex ed? Really? And meet the Globo Gym Purple Cobras...

First, as always, please click on the ads on this page. And please check out my sports takes on the Examiner site. Tell your friends about that. The more hits, the more I can afford to live without going back to the real world. How could you live without my lame takes on Houston sports, spider monkey takes and bad radio shows? Really? Please click often. The life you save may be mine.


Recently Will Faour, age 10, went through sex ed. In the fifth grade. They had a night where the parents were to join their children and see what their kids had learned.

Will, of course, told me they had been discussing puberty.


Maybe I am an old prude. Maybe I am naive. I was expecting something like Sammy the Sperm meeting Elaine the Egg. Together, they created Ed (Eddie or Edna) the embryo, who became Fran the fetus. Hey, just need to drop this off and get back to my Roman orgy

Or maybe I was expecting Spanky the Stork. I don't know.

Instead we got diagrams. Very descriptive pictures. Discussions that included the words anal, oral and vaginal. Masturbation. Wet dreams.

Yes, kids know more at a younger age, but now I have visions of a little group of fifth graders having a Roman orgy, dressing as Spartans and discussing whether or not to go oral, anal or vaginal.

Even I was rendered speechless. All I know is if you see a serious looking little woman with a dvd wanting to talk frankly about sex, run like hell.

Or join the orgy. Your call.


Whenever I visit a new gym, new stories often follow. Tuesday was no exception.

We are filling in from 3-5 this week for Carl Dukes, which gives me a nice two-hour window to hit the gym nearby. I belong to a gym that has locations all over Houston and stays open all night.

(You want more than that, advertise with me, gym owners).

So the one closest to the station does not have a basketball court. That's usually enough to send me further up the road. But since time was limited, the plan was a quick weight rotation, a little treadmill time and back to the station.

However, as soon as I walked into this place, I knew something was wrong.

I had stumbled into Globo Gym.

The plastic surgery-supported supermodel behind the front desk glared at me with that, "who invited you to this club?" look. She ran my card twice to make sure I really belonged.

When the machine actually accepted it, she tossed it back at me, not even looking at me.

I had walked into the world of the beautiful people on their lunch break. Needless to say, everyone else in the gym gave me that same, "what the hell are you doing here?" look -- at least the ones who could spare a half second to look down their noses at me.

Other than occasionally amorous old ladies, I like the other two gyms I usually go to. I play basketball with some good guys, and I don't ever feel self conscious. There are a lot of policemen, firemen, shift workers...just good hardworking folks who like to work out and talk sports. My kind of guys.

Average Joe's Gym kind of guys.

At this place, the people were clearly in a rush. No one was even remotely friendly. I kept expecting to see White Goodman show up on a giant screen and say, "Amber, work those abs! Tiffany, feel the burn!!!"

"Who is that old dude over there? Go back to the Meyerland gym, loser."

"Fred, you don't look like this guy. You should hate yourself." -- White Goodman.

As an aside: Do all women try to look exactly like each other in the gym? At the other two places, every woman (except Estelle) is blond, wears a baseball hat with a pony tail, light blue leotards, white shoes and usually a pink and white top. There are dozens of them. At this place, they were all brunette, black leotards, black shoes and a gray top. No hat. Is there a Female Law I don't know where everybody who looks like has to congregate at a certain gym? There were at least 20.

Meanwhile, as if I weren't feeling out of place enough, the locker room had a V.I.P locker room.

Nicer lockers? Really? That's it? You feel the need to pay for nicer lockers? The beautiful people truly have to separate themselves from other beautiful people?

Not only that, the VIP room had a glass door so the second-class beautiful people could see inside and long for the days they, too, could get in the V.I.P. locker room.

I pressed my nose against the glass, whimpering. The best of the best ignored me. I think one actually called security. We are the Globo Gym Purple Cobras. And we will, we will rock you!

I quickly left, fearing Lazer, Blazer and the other Purple Cobras would come and take me away.

I was, frankly, afeared.

But I am no longer.

You are not afeared of me???

I have news for you, beautiful people. I am here all week. I will be there every day. Get used to it. Quit looking down your nose. There are more of me than there are of you, and I will start bringing friends.

Go watch the end of Revenge of the Nerds. Go watch the end of Dodgeball.

We win, hot people. You should be afeared.

Um, how much is that V.I.P. locker room?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Just Tweet me, baby...Let's get random

Please click on the ads. You will help support a degenerate. And please check out my sports takes on the Examiner site. Tell your friends about that. I get paid per click, so help me out. I promise to make you laugh here at some point.

I apologize for not posting much lately. Between the Examiner blog, updating the 975 Web site every day, working on some writing projects and this Twitter thing, I have fallen behind. Or maybe the clown bit just scared everybody. Either way, sorry.

Every now and then, it's fun to go totally random. No planned takes. No ideas that evolved from being drunk and watching movies. Just go with some generic thoughts as they pop into my head...

1) Am I the only one who doesn't quite get Twitter? Yes, I am on there, and it is helpful for touting the blogs and what's happening on the radio. But I am not real prolific. What all am I supposed to write?

I am simply not that interesting.

Fred is sitting in the studio at work playing online poker? Fred is going to the gym? Fred is mixing Jack Daniels with Jager shots, which is a colossally bad idea? Fred is sick of that freaking poker face song? Fred is probably glad he didn't go to New Orleans because he would have gotten Dana and Mindy arrested? Fred is considering putting up a Twitter update but doesn't know what to say?
Tweet me, baby.

2) I like Bart. Bart stalks me and wants me to die. I appreciate his honesty, whoever he/she is. Maybe if I send Bart some naked pictures he/she will leave me alone. Or just laugh so hard that he/she will cease to hate me. Regardless, it's nice to be hated.

3) I like Canadians. (*-One in particular I like quite a bit). Nice folks. Very friendly. Our little pets to the North. But why do you guys have such American Envy? We're not mean. We're not arrogant. We don't start wars with other countries just for the hell of it. We leave that to our government. The rest of us are pretty cool.

*-gratuitous reference to Virtual Val.

4) Did you see they are re-making Footloose? Really? We can't do my version of Road Warrior, but they can remake Footloose? Why not Flashdance? Why not Dirty Dancing? Please, Hollywood, enough already.

5) Speaking of movies, Rip Torn has apparently really become Patches O'Houlihan. All that's missing is the hookers in the room.

6) Does it seem like Michael Vick got out of prison awful fast?

7) It's about time C-squared got on Facebook.

8) Brandy is blogging again! All is right with the world!

9) Poker really is life. Been in a life funk for a year and my poker suffered. Suddenly I'm happy, and hands hold up. Weird.

10) Finally, a joke on the difference between men and women...
A man is driving up a steep, narrow mountain road. A woman is driving down the same road. As they pass each other, the woman leans out the window and yells, "PIG!"
The man immediately leans out his window and replies, "Stupid!"
They each continue on their way, and as the man rounds the next corner he slams into a pig in the middle of the road.

Monday, May 11, 2009

It's time for a movie remake...check out this cast

OK, so no one liked the clown killers. You are no longer allowed to complain about clowns to me. You had your chance, and you blew it.

Please click on the ads, and for sports takes check out my examiner commentary.

I love really clever cover versions of old songs. I prefer bands that take a soft song and just rock the hell out of it. The Ataris' version of Don Henley's Boys of Summer, for instance. Seether's new version of Wham's Careless Whisper is a Freddy-type remake.

Oddly, I hate movie remakes. There are too many, they aren't clever, and in fact they are often just weak attempts to capitalize on an old movie's success. It shows how little creativity there is in moviemaking these days. The Longest Yard remake was an absolute disaster. Planet of the Apes. Poseidon.

Bad ideas, all.

But thanks to a little Evan Williams and AMC on a Sunday night, there are some movies I would actually like to see remade. No. 1 on that list? Road Warrior. Don't ask me why, but the entire cast popped into my head while I was watching it. After that, I had a few other ideas...

Movie No. 1: The Road Warrior.

It was light years better than Mad Max, which was pretty good, too. I mean, who can forget the Toecutter? But I am thinking big budget, blow-up-a-lot-of-stuff, high-dollar, super special effects. My cast:

Max -- Christian Bale. He would need to be kind of a scruffy, John Connor-type in the role. He doesn't have to talk much, but his character needs to dance on the edge of sanity, much like his Batman.

The gyro captain: Steve Buscemi. Who could be better? Goofy, slightly dangerous, kind of like his character in Fargo.

Toadie: You remember Toadie: "YOU! You can run -- but you can't hide!" Vin Diesel would be perfect. You need bald, you need mean, you need an anti-hero. I'm thinking a Riddick-type character.

The Lord Humongous: John Cena. Originally, I was thinking Diesel for this role, but Humongous wears a mask, and you need Diesel's face in the movie. Cena will be a towering, menacing presence.

Papagallo: Ed Norton. Norton could play any role anywhere. But I am thinking a combo Worm in Rounders and American History X after he gave up on being a skinhead. Papagallo is a leader, but he is tricky and deceitful at times. Norton could handle this beautifully.

Diretor: Michael Bay. I want a Transformers/big screen/military feel to the last run to freedom. Lots of stuff blowing up, lots of bodies and arms and legs.

Rewritten screenplay: Me. I would stay loyal to the original, but I would have a longer stretch at the beginning when Max is on his own, with a few more kills and explosions.


FLESH GORDON: Remember the rapist robots? Yeah, we need better special effects. Mark Walhberg as Flesh Gordon. (Well, his Boogie Nights character).

IT: I get to play the clown.

TRON: Imagine what we could do with special effects. And how about this for an updated cast:

Kevin Flynn/Clu (originally played by Jeff Bridges) -- Tom Cruise. Yes, he has gone completely weird, which is why he is a perfect fit.

Tron/Alan Bradley -- Jason Statham. He is more of the badass in the film, so Statham is a good fit.

Yori/Dr. Lora Baines -- Halle Berry. Just because I can.

Ram: Ashton Kutcher. It is time for him to get past "Dude, where's my car?" Plus, his Twitter hits alone will get people to pack the house.

Sark/Ed Dillinger/Master Control program: John Malkovich. Just be Cyrus the Virus from Con Air in a sci fi setting, and it will be perfect.

KRULL: Liam Neeson could reprise his role as Kegan.

Wait a minute....Why do I get the sense you people haven't see any of these movies? Check out IMDB and get back to me. ..

Friday, May 8, 2009

It's time for you and the clowns to make up...(OK, that was bad...)

First, please remember to click on the ads. They pay for this drivel. Also, check out my sports commentary at

OK, almost every one of you has an irrational fear of clowns. I don't get it, understand it or support it.

Clowns need love, too. Especially evil ones. Think about it: what would Poltergeist be without the clown? What would It be? What would Uncle Freddy be without this wonderful alter ego?

Yes, even Sparkles needs love.

However, since you all hate clowns, we have found the place for you. You can thank those French Canadian folks for this:

This is part of a series of clown hatred. Click here and you will see even more.

Folks, it is time for this irrational fear and hatred of clowns to stop. They are people, too. (Well, some of them). They are important contributors to society. Without them, there would be no small cars with 30 clowns shoved inside. No balloon animals. No giant red shoes or bulbous noses.

No Sparkles.

Maybe we should educate you.

Did you know that all forms of clowns are descendants of the white-faced clown, who used white makeup?

Did you know that many clowns take two hours just to get ready for a performance?

Didn't know that, did you? See how much trouble they go to for you to hate them?

Don't worry. I am not angry with you. You are all sick. You have something called coulrophobia -- the irrational fear of clowns.

We are going to work past this.

Let's try something... How could you fear this guy?

Without him, there would be no Oscar for The Dark Knight. There would be no reason to live.

So I am asking nicely, please, get over your fears. Embrace your inner clown. Accept Sparkles as one of your own. Let me make him my permanent Facebook profile.

Only then can we stop the madness. Stop the hatred. It's time to stop the abuse of clowns in our time.

If not, we are going to fight back. We're not going to allow you to continue to treat us like second-class performers.

Auguste clowns, unite. Circus clowns, sign up. Hobo clowns, join us. Rodeo clowns, we need you.

The Day of the Clown is coming. When it does, there will not be a safe balloon animal anywhere.

Be afraid, haters.

Here's another blog for those of you who like horse racing. It's all about MC Gelding.

And drop by Brandy's place and say hi and give her some ideas.

And click on the ads!

Monday, May 4, 2009

One way to cure road rage; in Calvin we trust...maybe not this time

If you read the last post, you know how bad Houston traffic is when it rains. When it doesn't rain, drivers are just as bad.

So there was a road rage incident on the way to Sam Houston Race Park on Saturday, but it had a happy ending.

Sort of.

Saturday was a long day -- early seminar at Gulf Greyhound, followed by a long drive north to be at Sam Houston. It was roughly 2 p.m. on 290, not too far from SHRP, when a red Ford truck (you never see THOSE in Texas) swung over in front of me, almost putting me in the concrete wall.

Once I recovered, the road rage inspired anger began to rise. The ears turned red. The low growl came up in the throat.

But since it was Derby Day, a religious holiday, we let it go.

Until he almost hit the car again, this time swinging over a full lane without looking. He sped up, heading for the exit toward Sam Houston.

This time, the anger took over, and the Honda was roused into action. As we drew alongside and I was about to drop an F-bomb, I saw why the guy was struggling with his driving.

He had the Racing Form spread out across his steering wheel. He was handicapping while driving on the way to the track.

Instantly, the rage was gone.

Whoever you are, red truck dude, you are my kind of guy. Yes, you were irresponsible. Yes, you almost killed me.

But it was a good cause. I mean, who can really hate a true degenerate like that?

Hope you had the winner, pal.


Props to three people who had the winner of the Derby:

1) My mom, who loves jockey Calvin Borel. She talked about the horse all week. Thank God she didn't listen to her idiot son.

2) Virtual Val, who liked the horse for some other inexplicable handicapping theory that I refuse to listen to until Preakness week since I am still steaming. But my guess is Val is Canadian. The horse was 2-year-old Canadian champ. Good things rarely come out of Canada, but this time, one plus one equals 50-1.

(Don't get mad, Canadians. Until you do something about Celine Dion...sorry, that's our image of you).

3) Scotty the Genius. Not sure if it was Scotty or me who coined the phrase "In Calvin We Trust." I will take credit for it. Scotty will have to settle for being greatest handicapper in the history of the known universe.

Calvin Borel has been on almost every long shot winner I've ever had. He has been one of my favorite riders for almost 20 years now. Delta Downs. Fair Grounds. Sam Houston. Oaklawn. Churchill. The defunct Ellis Park. Louisiana Downs. Turfway. Calvin has won huge races for me at all of those tracks. He even won a big race for me once at Jefferson Downs.*

(If you don't know Jefferson Downs, you are either under the age of 30 or not a true horse racing degenerate).

Regardless, we've been saying "In Calvin we Trust" for years.

When he got away at 50-1 -- the second longest shot in Derby history -- I didn't. Growl. Snarl. Grumble.

It was an incredible ride, typical Calvin rail-skimming brilliance. He was also aboard Oaks winner Rachel Alexandra, who won by about six miles, so it was a big weekend for the young man.

In the last three Derbies, Calvin has a first on Mine That Bird, a third on long shot Denis of Cork, and a win on Street Sense. That record stacks up with anybody. (Yeah, I had Street Sense. Hoo boy. He wasn't 50-1).

From now on, we blindly trust no matter what.

Congrats to everybody who won. You guys are much smarter than me.

Except for one guy.

Sam Houston track announcer Michael Chamberlain is the most underrated announcer in the country. Other than an affinity for Jerry Baily, bad handicapping and weird yellow corduroy pants, he is a good guy.

At our seminar, he didn't even mention the winner. Then he spent five minutes saying how much he hated Pioneer of the Nile, who finished second.

Walking out, he showed me an 8-16 exacta ticket he had bet.

Because that is his birthday.

Buy some new pants with it, pal.

So I have learned my lesson if I want to be successful...In the Preakness, I am betting a 12-18. Even if there are only three horses. And betting Calvin.

And I plan to handicap the race while driving. Maybe then I will get it right.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Yes, it's wet and wild, F World style...Psycho Dwarf!

Houston is actually a pretty cool place to live. Year-round golf, Jennifer Reyna, mediocre sports teams, strip bars across the street from churches. You just can't beat it.

For the most part, we have terrific weather, too. Sure, in August it's usually so insufferably hot and humid that small children have been known to spontaneously combust while walking to the neighborhood 7-11. Old people sometimes melt in in their Buicks, and simply become part of the seats.

But other than that and the occasional Hurricane every 25 years or so, the weather is terrific.

Except when it floods.

We have a lot of bayous in Houston. (Or, as Virtual Val called them on one visit, "concrete ditches.")

Occasionally, during the monsoon season (which is about once a month or so), we get serious rain dumps that cause flooding. The bayous come out of their banks, and the idiots come out in their cars.

That happened this week, and the worst of it was right around 5 in the morning when I was trying to drive to work. (I never made it. You will be spared the details, because every other word would have to be expletive deleted. But ESPN listeners were spared the "It's 9:09, I'm Fred Faour with your Houston Sports Update" annoyance.)

The good news is that while I was stranded, I was able to witness several freaks and morons, which of course, leads to a Freddy's World posting.

Genius No. 1: I ain't slowing down guy -- This is my favorite dude. Even if the water is four feet deep, he is going to blast through it as fast as possible. He usually has a Hyundai with about 2 inches of space between the bottom of the car and the ground.

He's also the guy you see two minutes later with his hazard lights on, stranded in the middle of the street, cursing his luck as he wades through waste deep water in search of a tow truck to get him out. And whoops! He dropped his cell phone in the water!

God must hate him. That's it.

Genius No. 2: I ain't tailgating, I'm drafting -- You have to love the guy who gets three inches behind you on your bumper as you go 5 miles per hour through 3-feet deep water on the road.

Am I supposed to speed up? Really? Are you gaining four seconds of time by going all NASCAR on me? Do we need to add a bumper accident to getting stalled in the middle of the road?

When we get stalled together, forget it: I will not let you borrow my cell phone when you drop yours.

Genius No. 3: I have a truck; I can go anywhere -- Yes, you can go a lot of places. Your F350 will get you through 2-3 feet of water. It won't get you through 5.

A not-so-distant cousin of Genius No. 1, he will be a little farther down the road than his cousin. He might even pick up No. 1's cell phone as it floats by.

Genius No. 4: Somebody Save Me guy -- This guy rarely lives to tell the story. Here's a big hint; we have several underpasses with measurement gauges so you know how deep the water is. That should be a pretty good indication that if the city is flooding, you might avoid even considering going that direction. If the water is over the 6-foot mark, do you really think you will get through? I mean, maybe you are the Waterboy and have an air boat and you are fine. But if you are driving a Mustang...well, you will be climbing on the roof of your car, hoping someone will happen by and rescue you.

The good news? A solid number of these float away and are never heard from again, so at least there isn't a lot of repeat business for the rescuers.

Genius No. 5: Feeder Road guy -- When it floods in Houston, the feeder roads to our numerous freeways are nightmares. Some are low-lying underpasses near concrete ditches and result in a lot of Genius No. 4 incidents. It's a simple rule when it floods: stay off the feeders.

But No. 5 is different, because even though cars are coming back at him the wrong way on the road...even though no other cars are exiting...he will exit to get on the feeder road. Even when he is the last guy going that direction, he won't stop. "I"m only a half mile from home," he thinks.

He winds up swimming it. Or being washed away with the tide, never to be found.

I was fortunate enough -- or unfortunate enough -- to witness all five in one day. I also picked up four water-logged cell phones.

Hopefully, we are done with monsoon season for a couple weeks, and we can now look forward to our summer heat deaths or -- gasp -- another hurricane.

If we get any more floods, the herd will be thinned around here.

No wonder Noah was the only one to survive. He was surrounded by Houstonians.

Please click on the ads. They support this blog. And please check out a couple of my fave blogs: Brandy, of course. And this one, too. It's hilarious.

Also, after months of trying, we will have an interview with Puppet the Psycho Dwarf coming on the Front Page very soon. Just go here and you will see why this is something we felt the need to do.

And if it rains where you are, out for the freaks.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A public service for all my married friends...

OK, I recently had a conversation with a friend who was later than he should have been in getting home one night. He needed an excuse for why he was late.

No, he hadn't done anything wrong; he had just had a few beers with friends. But the "beers with friends, whoops time-got-away-from-me excuse" screams something far more sinister, and people are loathe to use it.

So as a public service, we're going to offer some perfectly plausible excuses to use on your spouse when you stayed a little late to drink with your friends.

No, you should not use these as excuses for when you are doing something you shouldn't. (In that case, you should simply keep the "beers with friends, whoops time-got-away-from-me" excuse).

But for those times when you really ARE out with friends and time gets way from you, give these a try. (Keep in mind I have never actually USED these. They are collected from others over years of research. Really).

1) FLAT TIRE. Done correctly, you can use this one several times over, especially if you have a slow leak that has to be plugged occasionally. A flat tire will buy you an extra hour to an hour and a half. (Memo to the other spouse: Ask for a receipt after the first time you hear this excuse. Then he/she will have to come up with something else).

2) LEFT THE CELL PHONE AT THE BAR. This is dicey, because it can happen for real, so using it as an excuse once will get you in trouble when it really happens. But it works like this -- "I was almost home, then realized my cell phone wasn't here. So I had to rush back and get it. Obviously, I couldn't call..." You can buy as much time as a near-round trip home, so your lateness quotient varies.

3) I WAS PLAYING POKER, TOOK A NAP ON THE COUCH AND DIDN'T WAKE UP UNTIL 6 a.m. This is pretty much self-explanatory. Don't expect it to work more than once, but it explains more than a couple hours.

4) I WITNESSED A CAR ACCIDENT. "Yeah, it was a bad one, too. Had to speak with the police. A cherry red Camaro t-boned a Miller Lite truck. The camaro ran a red light. Brutal."
Detail is important -- you have to give as much as possible. Even use "Officer Johnson," if you like. This is another one shot deal, but it's easy to sell. You didn't call because you were freaked out by how bad the lady driving the car was hurt and wasn't thinking properly.

5) I RAN INTO...(INSERT FAMOUS PERSON HERE). Now, the key to this is it has to be somebody believable. If you say Justin Timberlake, they won't buy it. But Dusty Hill? Sure. Ben Stiller? No way. Jerry Stiller? Possibly. But hey, they were really cool to meet in person and bought the beers. Sorry I didn't call but I was starstruck...

Sure, there are others you can use. Saved a baby from a burning building. Rescued a drowning elderly woman from a swimming pool. But those require proof.

I prefer more straightforward stuff: They were showing Zoolander at the bar and I couldn't leave until it was over. (Cool people will get that).

The game ran late.

I met two very hot twins and...oh, never mind.

Hey, you could just tell the truth. But if not, please feel free to try any of the above. Just don't use the same excuse on each other the same night...

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

You're gonna go far, kid

I have interviewed Hall of Famers in pretty much every sport. It's no big deal at all. Athletes just aren't intimidating.

Musicians? Completely different. I'm like a google-eyed kid. So when Noodles and Dexter from Offspring were making the rounds at our sister station, 104 KRBE, we put in a request to interview them. KRBE is a pop station, so it's pretty rare when they have a band come through we would want. (No disrespect, but Lisa Loeb doesn't do it for me).

Regardless, they were cool as hell and happy to oblige. The KRBE folks were awesome about it as well (special thanks to Leslie for making it happen. She is the coolest breeze in radio).

So on Sunday's show, we will air a taped interview. Needless to say, it was a blast. Tune in and check it out.

I am officially a groupie now. Shinedown is still No. 1 on my "Must Stalk" list, but these guys made a huge jump.

Those of you who have known me for decades know all I wanted to be growing up was a rock star. Well, first I wanted to play quarterback for the Oilers. Then I wanted to be a point guard. Then a pitcher. Then a rock star. Then a Dungeons & Dragons world champion. Then a novelist. Then a rock star again. Then a journalist. Then a freedom fighter named Ali Akbar Faour.

Then a super-criminal named The Gargoyle.

Then, finally, a radio host/degenerate/poker player/freelance writer/goofball.

And, oh yeah -- a rock star.

So that didn't work out so well. Now I settle for occasionally shredding the Les Paul and rocking the mike at karaoke like every other failed wannabe. (Yes, I am talking to you. Just admit it like I have. It will be much easier on you in the long run. Join our group. Hi, I'm Fred and I have been a wannabe for 26 years...).

Sigh. I would have been a great rock star. Just wish I had Noodles' hair.


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Thanks, and a big DFD to everybody...

Friday, April 10, 2009

In the interest of fairness....

OK, so for those of you who hated the five most overrated bands/singers of all time, I will give you a better target. Here are the five most underrated bands in Freddy's World. (Those of you who knew me in high school...well, my tastes haven't changed much over the years).

Readers of F World will know I think Shinedown is the most amazing current band. But since I heard Second Chance on our sister pop station yesterday, they can't be considered underrated and are eliminated from this conversation. (If they have any more hits, I am going to have to drop them from Most Favored Band status). Tom Petty would have made the list, but since he played at halftime of the Super Bowl, it's hard to call him underrated.

Anyway, make fun of me as much as you like...

5) Thin Lizzy. For some reason, they just never got big before the death of Phil Lynott. They didn't take off after, either. "Jailbreak," "The Boys are back in Town..." Their songs were energetic and exciting. Another band that inspired a lot of successful bands.

4) Albert Collins. No knock on Robert Cray or the great B.B. King, but Collins was an incredible blues guitarist, the bets of the genre. (Yes, his career started in Houston. If you don't like the provincialism, bite me). He inspired many great artists, including Cray. He died of cancer in 1993. You might know him from his cameo in Adventures in Babysitting. You should know him for "Frosty," "Cold Snap" or "Iceman."

3) King's X. Score another one for the local team. (Well, they were originally from Missouri, but the Houston music scene doesn't have a lot of stars. We claim them). They are brilliant song writers, but they just never quite took off. "Over My Head" from "Faith, Hope, Love" gave them some commercial success, but their library is deep and versatile. (Also check out Doug Pinnick's solo albums under the name Poundhound, by the way). They are awesome in concert and are another band that has multiple influences on other bands. If you haven't heard them, you are missing out.

2) Blue Oyster Cult. (If you are one of my high school friends, you guessed this without looking).
I pretty much have stalker status with these guys, since I have now seen them 14 times. They have been making music for almost 50 years. They inspired many of the rock bands of the 80s and 90s. You probably know Don't Fear the Reaper and Burnin' for You, but those songs aren't even among their best. They are weird, versatile, clever. They wrote songs about soul-eating demonic swords (Black Blade), Astronomy (Astronomy), Tattoo Vampires (Tattoo Vampire) and dead Joan Crawford (Joan Crawford).

From Joan Crawford: "Catholic schoolgirls throw away their mascara...they chain themselves to the axles of big Mack trucks...the sky is filled with herds of shivering angels...the fat lady laughs: "gentlemen, start your trucks!"

How can you not love that?

"Then Came the Last Days of May" is simply the best song I've ever seen performed live.

1) Eric Johnson. Simply the most talented musician you've never heard a word about unless you live in Texas. His live shows are magic; his guitar work is legendary. There is not another guitarist in the world who combines his skill and feel. He's also got a very melodic voice, and his music is versatile. I've seen him four times, twice in small clubs in Austin. Don't know who he is? Just download Cliffs of Dover and feel free to thank me later.

Many years ago I went to see him at the old Rockefeller's in Houston. He was playing two shows. I went to buy tickets for the second show while he was on stage for the first one. You could hear the muffled guitar riffs outside. They were so brilliant, I stood outside and listened through the wall. That's magic, gang.

OK, poke all the fun you want...