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....