I Divulge The Time I Screamed Like A Little Girl

Have you ever been scared by a video game?

I was once.

I used to play Quake all of the time.

It's a zombie theamed shootin game.

It was the follow up to Doom from ID games back in the 90s.

I was still single and living alone in my little apartment while in grad school.

Stayed up too late. Because nothing go on otherwise.

3 am.

Walking through a level that I had played 100000000000 times already.

In the water.

Underground stream.

Up comes a zombie.

I fell out of my chair screaming like a little girl.

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A Cowboy Hat Tip From A Bona Fide Cowboy

Would you take advice on how to buy a cowboy hat from a computer geek?

I wouldn't either.

So I consulted with my father in law Freddie.

Aka Pappa Freddie.

Aka Mr. Freddie.

Aka retired cowboy.

He's the one who told me - he would wear a felt cowboy hat all year long. Not just winter.

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A Devastating BBQ Story

If you like BBQ then you should go to Texas.

And in most cases you would be right.

However, there is one place. I hate.

I just don't think it tastes very good.

I refuse to go back.

I won't name it.

But I will share my favorite - Hutchins. They have 2 locations - one in McKinney and one in Frisco.

Oh and my wife teases me every time we pass my least favorite place. Saying that's where she wants to eat.

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Astounding Land People

I am not a land commissioner.

For a while - I was the most popular Mark Wilcox on Internet searching. That had to do with the fact that I was prolific in writing about LDAP (a computer technology I'm an expert in).

But it didn't last long - not too surprising. My name is common. It's almost like "John Smith" for people of English descent.

In particular once a politician started to come online. Apparently there is a guy who is (was?) a land comissioner.

And he held top spot for a long time.

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Awesome Is What Goethe Would Say

If you like action movies then you should watch Drive Angry.

This is a small forgotten Nicholas Cage movie.

And because it is about a son of the devil played by Nic Cage - people sometimes think it is a 3rd movie in Cage's Ghostrider series.

I enjoy the movie better than Ghostrider. And I like the first Ghostrider. I never saw the 2nd one.

What I enjoy is the humor. And the gnarly violence.

It's not much depth but you know - it's fun.

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Awkward Beach Wear

Survivors Ready?

Go.

I love watching Survivor.

It's amazing it's been on for so long. And still fun to watch.

There is always a surprise. And a blindside. And some player you will want to root for.

Plus I can't imagine how they still keep coming up with challenges that are different.

And interesting and fun.

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Blender Thief Exposed

Let me tell you a story of a stolen blender.

My sister lived across the street from me when I was in grad school.

And she was still in undergrad.

We barely talked to each other - long story.

And she was the one who threw parties.

And had a key to my apartment.

Which she used to come in and to take my blender.

And my VCR.

When I had a stack of movies to watch.

Still not over that.

Do people even know what a VCR is anymore ? :)

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Charming Sitcom

If you like a good sitcom then you should be watching The Middle.

I know Modern Family gets more attention for prime time sitcoms.

And there is probably something even more hip streaming somewhere.

But we love to watch it every week. It's most consistently funny and sweet show.

Plus I think Sue Heck deserves a comedy Emmy. She's absolutely brilliant in the show.

Also I wonder if Patricia Heaton is going to be better known for Raymond or The Middle when all is said and done.

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I Divulge The Secrets To Choosing A Pair of Cowboy Boots

If you want to buy a pair of cowboy boots then you should consult with a cowboy.

So I finally bought a cowboy hat.

My first real one as an adult.

And to go with it, the wife bought me a nice coat.

Now I feel a little silly wearing Sketchers.

I would just grab an random pair of boots from Walmart if I didn't spend half of my time in an airport.

So I told my father in law this. I didn't want the hassle of taking boots on and off.

He grew up on a farm. Though most people from outside of Texas would call it a ranch.

And he used to ride bulls for fun.

So yes he is a retired cowboy.

And he told me a pair of boots should fit like a glove.

And if it's a tight fit that you can't easily slide on or off - toss them aside.

And to get them from a real boot store. Not a discount store.

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Jaw Dropping Greeting Cards

Do you remember when you wrote your own greeting card messages?

Were you a kid writing to your mom?

Or a grade school crush?

I honestly can't remember the last time.

But if you want to write your own then you should check out my shop.

Because Fine Art America offer greeting cards as a print option.

Pick one out today at:

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Lifetime With The Earps

You're My Huckleberry.

I keep switching what my favorite movie is.

But one of them is Tombstone.

Which for Generation X it is often considered the best western.

I'm not sure of that - I think choosing a best western movie is like choosing who is the best QB in NFL history.

It's a generational thing. You could make a case for Fort Apache. Or Outlaw Josey Wales. Or The Searchers.

But I have a longer history with Wyatt Earp.

In 8th Grade I had to do a biographical speech. My dad suggested Wyatt Earp because he liked the TV show growing up.

And me mentioned Earp was real. And once shot a guy in the back.

Which is true, but it was an ambush of ambush that is covered in Tombstone.

A decade or so later, I watched Tombstone for the first time.

I LOVED it.

When I needed to do a southern accent for a play - I just did Val Kilmer Doc Holliday.

My cowboy hat I picked because it looks like Wyatt wore.

But as I get older. I realize, I'm probably more like Virgil.

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Mediocre Art

Not for you.

Art for your walls I mean.

I mean do you require photosgraphs?

Or must it be a painting from a master?

Or are you cool with quirky and fun?

Need inspiration:
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Minimilist Hot Dogs

PAPAYA!!!!!! said in Minion voice.

I love Minions.

And hot dogs.

I hate papaya. Actually I hate most fruit.

But I love Tony Bourdain.

One episode of No Reservations or whatever his CNN shows is called, he was in NYC.

And ended up at his favorite hot dog place. In Greenwich Village.

Papaya Dog.

I had to meet sales guys before we met the customer. I walked from Time Square down to near the 9/11 memorial. Where they were going to meet lunch.

I was planning to skip eating - since I try to fast at least once or twice a week. Not because I'm religious but healthy reasons. I like carbs. My body just turns them into a keg around my belly.

On Google maps it said go to Greenwich steet and hang a left.

That was where Papaya dog was.

I thought it was a sign. A sign to have a hot dog.

So I had 2 dogs and a Coke. A Diet Coke. Which I only mention because in Texas - as with much of the South - "Coke" is also a generic term of soft drink. Other lesser areas call it soda. Or UGH pop.

2 dogs and a drink. $5. I almost fainted - I couldn't believe how cheap. Ate them. Enjoyed them and went on my way.

Met the guys at the restaraunt. As they were finishing. Sitting next to my friend AB who asked where I ate.

I said had to check another item off the restaraunt bucket list - a list I had explained to him in a trip to Memphis.

His reply - "You have the best food bucket list."

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Mouth-Watering French Fries

Hot French Fries.

A while back I spent a night bar hopping in New York City.

We ended up at a bar named Johnny Utah (I didn't pick up the Point Break reference until back home).

It's a country western bar behind Radio City Music Hall.

And on the way back my friend C was all hungry. It was 12:30 AM.

And I had a 5 AM wakeup call.

So I said "where"?

We ended up at McDonald's at Time Square.

Big Mac.

Royal with Cheese.

Nuggets.

And most unbelievably - HOT french fries.

Ate them out on the little red tables they have in the middle of Time Square.

It was great.

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My Favorite Glamorous Tag Line

What would be your tagline?

Each housewife in the Real Housewives franchise gets a tagline for each new season.

"I'm a enigma wrapped in a riddle and cash."

That's my favorite tag line from 2015 Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.

And it's for new housewife Erika Giardi.

Also has anyone ever looked more glamorous than Lis Vanderpump in a Dodgers T?

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Obvious Angry Candy

Flipping.

That's what has happend with video games in my life.

I used to play video games for hours and hours.

Heck in my first days as a consultnat for a startup - I got paid to play.

Because I was SO fast at programming, the fear was the customer would complain about the rate.

So instead I would go play Madden football for a few hours. Luckily I was home.

Now I rarely play games.

But my wife, in-laws and my own mom play lots of them.

In another post I will share the games I miss.

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Practical Parting Gift

Let me tell you a story about my favorite painting at home.

When I was a little kid almost every summer we would visit my mother's childhood home.

This is where my maternal grandfather lived.

And over the couch in his living room hung this painting of a boy looking out over a river on a bridge.

When he passed away, I became scared I would never see this painting again.

So it's what I chose to keep from the house.

And hangs in my own living room.

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Studies Confirm SJP Is Cute

Do you remember when Sarah Jessica Parker was the cute girl?

I had forgotten.

Really.

I'm not saying she's ugly today. But I don't think she's particularly attractive now. At least not when she's doing the Sex and the City stuff.

I like the show. It's not something I would turn on probably myself but when the wife watches I watched. And I've seen both movies.

But I had forgotten she was actually the cute girl.

Which is stupid on my part - I had alot of fantasies about her performance in LA Story. Her movie breakout.

But that was long time ago.

Anyway - I was flipping around the TV waiting for football to come on a Sunday and caught Honeymoon in Vegas half-way through.

And thought - wow. I forgot. She was a damn good looking dame.

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Sublime Miss Julia

Do you remember when Julia Roberts was on Law & Order?

Ok if you are now saying "What is Law & ORder" - your next mission after buying one of my prints to make up for this transgression is.

To go on Hulu and watch it. The ones with Jerry Orbach as Detective Lenny.

They also play regularly on TNT and WE.TV. I have no clucking clue what We.TV is but I'm watching Law & ORder with Julia on it while I write this.

I never knew.

Well more likely forgot.

She was on it.

Not going to tell you how it ends because I'm going to go finish watching it instead.

Oh yea - before I forget.

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Surprising Truth About My Hat

Do you know that most people in Dallas don't wear cowboy hats?

I've always worn a baseball hat.

I wear them so much that I would forget to comb my hair in high school. Because I thought I was wearing one in school.

Yet when I go on the road for work or date night - I can't wear my hat.

And been hunting for one.

Ended up at a store while killing time with the wife.

Bingo.

Got me a nice felt Stetson.

It's a subtle fedora style cowboy hat.

Black of course.

Makes feel even more like Wyatt Earp.

Though personality wise I'm much more like Virgil.

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Terrifying First Job Interview

If you were nearly killed on your way for your first job interview would you still go?

I have mixed feelings on Kevin Costner as an actor.

I love The Untouchables.

I love him in Silverado.

I saw Robin Hoode 3 times in the theater.

And who doesn't get all choked up watching Field of Dreams.

But then he has had a string of movies, that just bored me.

Including Draft Day. Which I wanted to like because I'm a huge NFL fan. But it was just a boring movie.

However, I was listening to him on Tim Ferriss podcast. And he talked about how on his first audition.

He was driving his old pickup truck. And because his gas pedal got stuck - he nearly killed himself on the freeway.

Instead he managed to stop.

Hopped out.

Hitchhiked to the audition.

Alas he didn't get it.

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The Coffee Girl Made Me Feel Like An Idiot

Do you remember when ordering a coffee didn't require undergoing the Spanish Inquisition?

The wife wanted a drink from the coffee shop in the supermarket.

We both wanted capacino.

Simple enough.

Except it was like "What flavor?"

"Wet or dry?"

"With fries?"

"Who are you voting for president?"

"Does this dress make my butt look fat?"

Ok - some of those were made up.

I think.

All I wanted was a simple drink - nothing fancy.

Sigh.

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The Ridiculous Reason We Binge Watch TV

Do you know when you say "I don't want to be a bum around the house. I want to go do something."?

We were out wondering around downtown Fort Worth before seeing the Book of Mormon.

My wife Jessica said she really enjoyed this. As we poked around in different shops.

Which included me ending up with a new cowboy hat and overcoat.

And enjoying the pleasant weather. The brief time in the late fall where we can have gorgeous days as opposed to being too hot or nasty weather.

Then I reminded her we really like binge watching Real Housewives. Or her taking naps while I watch football.

Then she said "Oh Yeah. I do love my lounging clothes".

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The Sins Of Dorm Room Walls

Blank.

That is what dorm room walls look like.

And while it's tempting to just put up the poster of Ryan Gosling, Taylor Swift, or whomever who is hot when you were in college.

PS I believe we covered my walls with about 100000 posters of Guns n' Roses.

And maybe you should dress it up a bit with art prints.

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The Struggle At The Steakhouse

When you visit a new city do you eat at a known chain or do you try something new?

My wife and I were in Fort Worth. At Sundance Square which is the heart of downtown.

Now to be candid, Fort Worth isn't "new" - we go there about once a year. But we live on the north side of the Dallas metroplex so you have to have reason to go.

However, in Sundance Square there are lots of restaraunts.

Including a Pizza Uno. Which is the famous pizza chain from Chicago.

And my wife hadn't eaten at since she was in Chicago many years ago.

But one of our favorite Mexican chains was there too.

What to do?

We went to see the play we had come downtown to see. And came out.

In between, we decided to try the nice steak place.

But even at 4:30 about 300 other people thought that steak place was good idea too. Including filling up the bar.

And I don't think they liked my new cowboy hat. The one everyone else complimented me on.

Which point I said why don't we just do pizza. You liked it. And we can get Mexican anytime but it's an hour drive here.

So we had Pizza Uno. And we loved it.

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Unbelievable Swans

If you are wealthy in Beverly Hills then you guard your house with swans.

I love watching the Real Housewives franchise with my wife.

My favorite show is Real Housewives of Atlanta.

But I also enjoy the heck out of watching RHOBH.

In particular Lisa Vanderpump. And her fabulous house.

Guarded by attack swans.

Ok the swans are pets. And there because it looks amazing.

I just like to think they are attack swans.

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Undercover Pit Fiter

Let me tell you the story about the time I was a national kickboxing champion.

And while I'm an orange belt in Akido (your beginner belt) - I don't know how to do any kicks.

Or punching.

Instead I was the master of Pit Fighter. Which was a fighting arcade game.

It was inspired by Jean Claude Van-Dam movies.

And I was good at it.

That summer we took a cross country vacation and every time we stopped in a city. WE would go to the mall.

And I would find the arcade.

And go play Pit Fighter.

I beat everyone who was there.

It was my best experience as an arcade player.

I really miss arcades.

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Zen And The Art of Stand Up Comedy

I once dreamed of being a stand-up comedian.

I memorized every Robin Williams bit.

I studied Bill Cosby (HOW the jell did he get so creepy ?!!!?).

I just loved the process they used to make people laugh.

Plus lots of friends and family told me I should do it because I'm funny. And like lots of comedians - I don't do jokes.

I do funny stories and bits.

Jokes are good - but you really need a joke writer and memorize them. I just enjoy pointing out the absurdities of situations.

So one time in college while home from summer, I saw an ad in the newspaper.

You know back when I read a newspaper.

It offered a chance to perform in front of a crowd. I could do whatever talent I wanted to do.

I thought I would try comedy.

Now - the goal was to sell tickets to your friends and family so they would come and vote for you.

But I didn't want to do that. I wasn't that scared of selling tickets.

I wanted a real test though.

I wanted to see if I could make a complete room of strangers laugh.

And I didn't want to win the show. The winner was going to get on a 2nd tier talent TV show. But 2nd place was a better gig.

At least a better gig for a single 21 year old.

A week on a cruise ship.

Yes, I was hoping I could get booked as the comedian for a week on a cruise ship just to meet girls.

And by meet girls, I really mean have lots of Bibical relations with foreign girls :).

Which considering I basically picked my graduate school degree entirely based on having best odds of meeting girls (Library school) - this shouldn't be a surprise.

Anyway - I did 5 minutes at the show.

I made entire room laugh.

Based on audience reaction - I had the best response of any other performer.

But I didn't get any votes. Because the voting was just it is now - people vote for their friends.

Oh well.

I've been on lots of cruises with my wife. Whom I met in library school.

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Older posts are available in the archive.