Thursday, December 07, 2017

An Further Diiscussion is Unnecessary...

Any further discussion is unnecessary. Chicaronnies, snow cones and chips. If you don't like it eat at Chic Fillet or Hobby Lobby.


Monday, December 04, 2017

Big Slough Wilderness Area...

Well I felt hungry for that old Christmas duck today and since season is open I went over to the Big Slough Wilderness Area in the Davy Crockett National Forest to see if I do something about that. I'll tell you right off so the suspense does not build that I couldn't.

First off I slept till nearly 8am which is pretty late for me and then took care of an errand that took longer than necessary so I did not arrive at the hunting spot till about 11am. With temps nudging 80 degrees I was fat boy struggling through the brush in hip boots. That's not usually the recommended ducking time or weather but then I don't always do stuff the right way. I did not see ducks but looks like the roads are good, the trail through the woods is fairly well marked and I have not got too fat to walk in the wild.

Interesting things seen in the woods. Here's a deer stand on a push cart. Since this is a wilderness area no wheeled devices are allowed so technically illegal. Pretty near this I saw a big ground scrape so there are deer in the area. Maybe they push the cart around when no one is looking.
Deer track lead down to a gravel bar on the big slough.
Looking up the big slough. Rain has been light but plenty of water here. I don't think hip boots would have been useful to retrieve a duck from the other side. With the arm temps I should have worn a swim suit or may be just brought the pontoon boat. With the help of a chain saw to cut fallen logs we could have made it up stream.

Late last season after some rain there was a powerful amount of water coming through this junction of the slough and a back water area. Even with the sand bar showing midstream I bet it's pretty deep. I had a photo from the high water at this spot last year on the old crashed computer or we would compare.

Bridge on the 4c hiking trail.

Here's something new. A protected wetlands sign posted by a spring that flows at the edge of the road. Warns of no foot traffic past this point. Really it is the wilderness area behind the sign so that's like double's not allowed any way. I could not tell but maybe somebody has been braking the rules but it's pretty thick woods behind the sign so I'm not sure what kind of wheel apparatus might be the best to take on the forest.

A shot of the spring. It's pretty small and though I have passed it for years I have never drank from it. The location right by the road makes it suspect for cleanliness.

No luck today. Maybe tomorrow with Pop and Geneva on the boat for a catfish trip. Hopefully we can get ahead of the norther.


Sunday, December 03, 2017

Trout Fishing in America...

Yesterday we went with grandkids and big kids alike to Mcgonial's Mucky Duck, an Irish Pub in Houston to see the band Trout Fishing in America. They have been in operation since 1979 performing music for adults and kids and have four Grammy nominations in the children's music category. This might have been my 3rd time to see them.

Mary was really the driving force behind organizing this trip and then with the advent of the birth of sister in law Crystal and husband Herby's baby the Zamora family ended up in San Marcos. I did not realize Mary was such a fan but I do recall seeing this band once at Jazz Fest when Mary was about 10. A good lesson for doing fun stuff with your kids. It sticks with them. Don't worry, we got you an autographed cd.

In attendance with us at this show were besides me and Cathy there were Morgan, Ali, Warren and Coraline, Rose and Tim and Tim's parents Bill and Tina. More big kids than little I guess but all enjoyed.
Tried to get a shot of Cathy and Warren dancing but looks like the action is just a blur.

For the literary men and women among us some will recall the novel Trout Fishing in America by Richard Brautigen. I read it a long time ago.  Published in 1967 a bit of research on wiki labels it an abstract novel with reappearing characters from chapter to chapter with trout fishing as a "thinly veiled and often comical critique of mainstream American culture and society." Singer songwriter also has a song about not wanting to cast you line in that old mainstream.  I think we need more writings like this. The children's music of this band is very refreshing and is capable of making you think.
If you are a kid I bet you like dinosaurs.

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Thursday, November 30, 2017

Multipurpose is How I roll...

This is something new. For the first time in our lives we bought a new fridge before the old one went out. I guess that's how you know you have really made it.
This is a Samsung. I don't know where it was made but it's a good possibility it was China, Hungary, South Africa, Germany Sweden, Luxembourg, Poland or India unless Trump has brought those jobs back and my internet research just does not know it yet. Hopefully this does not cancel my buy in America efforts but this sure seemed like a more solid item than the Frigidaire. Any way last time I checked most of those countries were still on our side.
This thing is the same brand as my phone so maybe there will be some duality discovered. Maybe it will take my calls, play music ,connect to the internet or write this blog for me. One thing for sure I think it could be used as a casket. Maybe if it will last me I'll be buried in it. If it craps out after a few years we could convert it to a porta potty to be used at fish fries.
It might not be made in America but that don't keep us from being ingenious.

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Thursday, November 23, 2017

Dogs and Trombones

I almost titled this Dogfish Trombones. It's a take off on the name of an old Tom Waits album, from the 80s and it's up for debate whether that is old music or not since I do have a book about a trumpet player, Buddy Bolden, from the early 20th century waiting to be read by my bedside. That's old music.  Buddy apparently never recorded so unlike Tom Petty and David Cassidy he won't be making money he can't spend. I do have some money to spend and I went looking for a trombone. Later on I saw a dog. Let's see if we can put this all together. 

I think my old high school band friend Kenny, a trombone player and still a good one, made the funniest comment ever on the internet when he saw this photo of me and grandson Ezra. 

He said "like training a dog to gunfire." My instruments are all bell front so it is an edgy sound that's old school. Back in the high school days when teams did not have pro style stadiums with the fans well away from the action with bleeding noses the band marched to the sideline playing the fanfare and came to a halt right there close to  
fans in low seats. In our infantile high school desire to play long and loud we would pick out a guy sitting there ready for some football and direct our low brass gunfire right at that person. We would later say in our infantile high school way, "Did you see that guy? I got that poop all over him!" Only in our infantile high school way we did not say poop. We said another word. Face it. Tuba playing is loud as poop.    

New grandson Wallace won't be here for his gunfire training till January.   You can see here that he is getting ready for it. 

We tried our best with Cathy on guitar and Katie on uke. Some people can't stand ukes. Some gotta have 'em. Wallace tolerated it well. 

So what ended up happening is that I thought if we could buy a brass instrument we might start training early. I thought that there should be a trombone for $50-$75 in a pawn shop. I based this on the incident where I once bought a trombone at a pawn shop in downtown Lufkin. When I asked for a trombone the proprietor said "How many you want?" Think about it for a minute. If band starts in 5th grade with 20 trombone players and say all those guys and gals stick around till 12th grade so 20 players x 7 year classes of band equals 140 trombones in town at any one time. Plus my friend Kenny makes 141. If we drop the voting age to 11 that is is enough people to swing a low turn out local election like road commissioner or school board.   

So we set out on the great trombone adventure/pawn shop tour. Katie even installed an app on her phone that would notify if a trombone came up for sale at local pawn shops. I checked a couple in the immediate area to no luck and then we went down to the hipster mecca of Wicker Park on the premise there would be failing, poor hipsters pawning their axes.  Right away I noted there were no poor people in Wicker Park. Harder to tell about the failing thing. There were no trombones. After several shops I probably was primed to pay $50 over my budget so I guess it was a good thing we did not see any. 

We soon headed home on the bus. All that was wasted was an afternoon. I can remember the days when grandiose ideas were pursued for a week or until all avenues were exhausted.  Guess I am not so dedicated these anymore.. We stopped at an old bakery for a cookie. Nice place, been there a long time. 

When we came out of the bakery a guy got off the bus with a trombone. Must be the only one in town. 

Later on the flight home a guy and a gal got on the plane with a dog. 

I acted like I was taking a selfie but I got their photo. Like the dudes in the Chicago airport terminal in fatigues and machine guns I don't think I have seen this before. I was aware that folks sometimes shipped animals on planes as a piece of cargo but I guess if some folks let their dogs wear clothes and a hound can have a favorite TV show they watch from their recliner they can have a seat on a plane. 

I could only wonder if I had found that trombone what kind of trouble it would have caused to get on a plane with it. Not exactly a fit for the little baggage sizer so does it have to be a checked item? I mean what if I had got on board with it and then played a song. People have their lap tops out doing work, music is my work and I certainly need to work at playing the trombone. Probably make me be like Buddy Bolden. No one would get to hear what I played. 

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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Catfish Are Biting...

I note from the fishing log that last year on November 19th me, Cathy and her brother mat caught 75 catfish. We headed out to the lake yesterday with multiple plans of action. 

One ongoing deal around here has been the demise of the original Yamaha 50 horse power motor that came on the boat when we bought it in 2006 I think it was. The last lake trip the motor did not run well so we took it the the shop. A stopped up carburetor denied gas and oil to two of the three cylinders burning one, damaging another to a lesser extent and leaving one ok.  The cost of a new motor was about twice the cost of the repair so we are now the owners of a new 40 hose Evinrude purchased at Callahan Marine. This was our first lake trip with this motor and hopefully this will be the last motor purchase and will last until I'm too old to fish. 

The Evirude E-Tech. It's fuel injection, computerized, use less oil, less gas, EU certified and environmentally friendly and made in the USA. The first pontoon boat we owner lasted 17 years and the motor was a 60 Johnson. This boat came with a 50 Yamaha and I did not notice any change in performance from the 60. Now after a test run this 40 certainly seems powerful enough though we certainly won't know till we get a summer time load of people and pull a ski tube but I think it will be ok. Going fast aint what it used to be. 

How many more photos do you need of Cathy with a catfish? Ok here is another. I took all the fishing gear out while the boat was at the shop and one thing I forgot to return to it's rightful place was the maize we use to chum up the catfish. It did not seem to make a difference as we caught 32 fish and proved to show that the fish are here at this same spot I mentioned we caught them a year ago.  I think Cathy might have put it on me a little. I mean I caught fish but I threw back a bucketful of undersized fish. Her's were keepers.  

This might have been the reason for good fishing. Lots of little tern like birds perched on every stump is a good indication of bait in the water. 

A closer zoom. 

I mentioned multiple plans of action. It is duck season and I carried a shotgun. Cathy put me out and I walked up a creek. I killed one cat squirrel and flushed two wood ducks I did not get a shot at. Cathy continued to fish and reported seeing 13 ducks from the boat. That's ok. At this stage of the game and what with the sore knee I have had from the past week or so it's just comforting to know that a fat boy can still put on waders, negotiate flooded creek bottoms and catch a glimpse of birds on the wing and scenic lake views.   

Another sundown on Big Sam. 

32 catfish. made about 5 pounds of fillets with one small package held out that I might try to make a courtbuillon (pronounced coo-be-yon) out of. I saved the squirrel for a gumbo or soup flavoring or if I get a bag full this hunting season I'll get Cathy to fry. 

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Monday, November 20, 2017

The Mountain Goats...

We saw the Mountain Goats while in Chicago. It was at the Rivera Theater, a venue built in 1917 in  French Renaissance Revival Style. It's a very good place for a show with standing room on the floor and balcony seating for us old farts that might or might not hold up to rushing the stage these days. The Mountain Goats are one of Cathy's Favorite bands and we last saw them in 2012 at Fitzgerald's in Houston. Occasionally I get in Cathy's car and there are like 9 of their CDs handy as needed. 

If you don't know this band it's pretty much one dude named John Darnielle. He has various collaborators and appeared at this gig with the same band as last time plus an added instrumentalist. John is very prolific and many of his early recordings were lo-fi on a boom box. The last decade or so the sound has become more polished. While not always my cup of tea when it comes to sitting around listing I much enjoy the live shows and there are certain songs that really ring a bell for me. The band's wiki page describes the music as "organically emotional motifs." The New Yorker magazine referred to him as "America's best non hip hop artist."  

Average looking dude, short hair, sport jacket, barefoot, guitar...

Don't let the acoustic fool you. This is hard strummed shouted anthem style stories of life. Probably lot of string changes, bleeding fingers and so on. If you have ever had the thought like one of these songs verbalizes "I'll live through this year if it kills me" or I'm gonna say what I feel using the same four chords I always use the Mountain Goats might be for you.  

Strapped on an electric for a few tunes. 

Opening band was Mothers. Seems like I recall there was another band the Mothers that you might not want to get mixed up with these guys. Usually I look forward to opening bands with that secret underdog wish that they will show up the headliner, make him work harder for his money and deliver an honest version of their selves. Last few openers I have seen in Chicago seem to fit some particular style that requires skillful musician ship with lots of time and tempo changes but if are happy hearing a set a set of Jimmy Reed covers every now and then it will leave you looking for the groove. I did like the shimmery clean guitar sounds though.   

Tried to get a photo that represented the theater style. I advise checking this venue if in town. Lots of good bands play here.  


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