Saturday, September 30, 2006

At the airport...

Been a hundred years since I was at the local airport. I saw a notice that Texas canidate for governor Chris Bell was flying in to make a local campain swing. Ya'll come out was the word on the street. I had visions of snapping a picture of a political event, canidates descend down one of those roll up to the airplane stair things all waving and smiling and posting it here. I got there and decided it was probably not going to be a big plane.

I pulled into the parking lot, looked like about as many people as visit this blog every couple of days on hand. I occurred to me these might be suits inside so I headed to a very nice pavilion overlooking the runway. A beautiful day, a great place to sit and watch a piper type craft making practice landings. A woman walking a dog. A TV station camera man set up nearby. I thought about a neighbor from my area, Mrs. Watterson. her obit several years ago read that she cooked at the airport grill and that her brownie recipe was a favorite of her good friend Ann Richards. Now Ann is gone too. Was it something in the brownies? Would Willie know? Surely Ann knew Willie, did Mrs. Watterson know him too?

Before this line of thought could lead down a road to a Louisiana traffic stop a side door opened and a 60ish wome in an American flag teeshirt came out and lit a smoke. Political junkie? The women asked me, "Who is flying in today?" Now this seemed a bit unusual and a great allegory of life hit me all of a sudden. Someone from the inside asked me, on the outside what's going on. I reacted normally, did not revel the great insight I was having, people ask me stuff all the time, and explained the event to smoking lady. Later it was apparent dog walking lady heard this exchange.

Smoking lady said, "So many on TV you done know who is who. Old Bush flew in here when he was running for governor and nobody even went out to get his autograph. Now look at him, he's president."

Yes, now look at him.

She finished the smoke and went back through the door. An SUV arrived and men in suits got out and went inside the main entrance. I noticed the camera man was gone. The dog walking lady came back by and said, "That man you were waiting for drove up, must be him, everyone clapped when he entered."

One of those days, I missed what I came for, but got something else. Now, figure out what it is.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Big White Dog...

I know he has some fans here that like to hear of his adventures. Right now he is enjoying the cooling days by laying in his favorite spot, a hole he digs right behind the garage space where my wife parks her car. He could scoot over a couple of feet and dig behind my car, after all I am the one that likes him, but he likes that spot for some reason. May be it is because of the special way he and Cathy relate to each other. He does real well as long as he keeps me between him and her.

He has kept up his traveling ways. He is here for a week or two and then gone for a week or so. Each time I think I will never see him again, but he returns to dig the hole back out, soak up 30 or so pounds of chow and it's off again. I suspect one day he will be gone for good and I will wonder stuff like did he just find a better place, he was traveling when he turned up here and I will wish I had a bathroom scale so I could know just how much he weighed.

It's going to be cool tonight, might make him feel like the road. I am sure it will be a spur of the moment decision because for right now the boys are preparing the night watch. They are very good at ensuring that the possums eat no more dog food than they can hold. Cathy is working or later tonight she would hollar into the dark, "Stop that ugly barking."

I hope Cathy sees this picture so she will have proof that yes, The Big White Dog stands up some of the time.


Getting a little help...

I approached my wife for some help with a school project. See, I must simulate a disability this semester. I must go in public, try to perform what activities I can to get a feel for what a handicapped person faces. I chose blindness. I submitted the proposal to my teacher that I would appear to be blind by use of some sort of eye patch and I would go to eat at a restaurant and then attempt to do one of my favorite activities, playing music, to see how that was impacted. It must be a credible enactment with a story in case some one asked me questions. Better if done around strangers.

So I asked my wife, told her I would need her help. Would need some driving around, guidance, this must be done for 24 hours. She listen to my explanation of my project carefully. She had one question.

"Will you be standing up or sitting down to urinate?" she questioned.

That woman knows how to cut to the chase don't she.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

New Neighbors...

A nearby neighbor owns the house at the end of the road and rents it out. New folks down there. I used to feel like I should get to know the neighbors. The first renters down there had some mail put in my box on accident one time. I went down there with the mail, knocked on the door and a large sullen teenager answered. I said, "Hi, I'm Carl here is you mail." He took it and shut the door. The exchange happened faster than I could write about it.

Now there are new people down there. I saw the old leave with a trailer full of their crap. I know the new by their cars. A wheezing, sputtering Dodge Neon, when it dies, the funeral will be more that it is worth. A big late model blue Ram truck, creeping slow up and down the road. Then there is rusty truck, an old skinny guy with a pony tail is the pilot.

Rusty truck likes to wave. I was in the porch swing with some study notes. I looked up at his passing and he sticks his arm out the window, fully flexed at the shoulder full 180 degree of the glenohumorel joint motion available and externally rotated with the finders extended and waving. My clinical skills kick in, no rotator cuff problems for this guy. He must have good manuel muscle strength or a lot of friends because he has what looks to be nine rusty appliances piled and roped into the bend of his old truck. I wave back and he passes on.

Now this huge pile of metal, dumped around his new digs is causing me a problem. It has changed the sonic landscape. I can tell during my night screaming episodes. The night screams are not noticed, I don't think, by the neighbors. Lots of night noises here, buffalo snort, the local jack ass brays, coyotes howl, owls hoot and cows who suddently notice that their buddies have left them bawl in surprise. I night scream, the sounds from deep in my throat being whoosed out by large inhaled air volumes softened by their impact on trees, bushes, and soft dirt crawdad mounds. Now there is this pile of junk down there and as I scream I hear the sutele changes to the sound as it hits the metal and bounces sharp and shiny back to me instead of being soaked up by the soft natural things like jackasses asses and buffalo foreheads. Believe me, I can tell the difference. Experience is everything in night screaming. Got to knowwhat you are doing or the effort is wasted.

Place your bets here, that pile of junk will be there when rusty truck is gone. And I'll still be night screaming.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Every few months...

I do this, a real good blog entry, and boom a computer thing and it is gone. All that is left is the title above. Now I got to head to school.

How about a picture of the Thong Monster?

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Results from the tournament...

Master Olford's Battle in the Pines was held this past weekend at the Angelina College gym. It was a lot of hard work for our school, but things went well.

Here is what bow in looked like that morning.

Once again Mary was dominant in the 2nd and 3rd degree black belt 14-16 year old girls. She took first place in sparring and even without a current update of these tournament points earned this weekend is
3rd in the world right now. State champ, which is points only looks like a wrap even though the tournament season does not end till June. She competed form and weapons, but no place there. Here is a form shot. The gym is a great place to watch, you can see everything going on all at once as opposed to convention center venues where you are limited to the ring right in front of you, but without some decent zoom the pictures aren't as good..

Morgan did well, triple 3rd in form, sparring and weapons. Here he is giving some last minute advice to a student. He has turned into an instructor well respected by students and parents and is also making his mark in the organization as well.

Guess who else placed? Little old me took a 3rd place in forms. Not too shabby for maybe the second oldest guy in the ring. It was a three way tie for third, we each did our form again with all three judges selecting me as over all. I lost my sparring bout, pretty good match and that guy went on to take 1st so I did not feel too bad losing to him. I am glad to place in forms, you could redo sparring and possibly have a new winner, but you can't take away technique.

Here is a look at all trophies that we had to give away.

Here is a tournament savvy black belt giving out sage advice.

I Haven't had a recent picture of us in TKD get up made recently so I handed my camera to a bystander for a picture. I still don't have a picture of us, but here is the best that they could do.

I got some pretty good pictures of kids from our school, may be they will be used on Masters web site.

Friday, September 22, 2006

More crazy music...

Using her share of the downolads from the Emusic web site Cathy picked up some Javanese Gamelan music. I must admit that I have had my finger on the trigger for this very download before. It does have an enchanting title, "The Sultan's Pleasure." When the Sultan is pleasured, everyone is pleasured. I think Willie Nelson said that.

Now I know that you as well as I use music for various reasons such as to relax, to set the mood for an occasion, I like to rock out on my way to school before a test, or if I am too happy I play something depressing to just really bring me down. I am not sure of the category this stuff will fit in as the prevailing way of creating sound on this recording seems to be to set a cat on fire and throw him against a gong.

I am glad it has been downloaded. It will come in handy if the neighbors get too close. Not that I don't like the neighbors, I like to freak them. The big teenager next door moved in to the former dog hotel house and sometimes I hear rap music when he is getting ready for school. Not that I don't like rap, it has a certain charm when blasted from cheap speakers. I'd just like to demonstrate the broadness of my horizons. See, I know what he is thinking when he listens to rap, he is longing to be black and is releasing the African American trapped in the white Huntington High School body.

He can only guess what I am releasing when I throw flaming cats at gongs.


Thursday, September 21, 2006

If you need entertainment this weekend...

Master Olfords Taekwondo Tournament will be held at Angelina Colleges Shands Gym on Saturday Sept. 23 from 9-5pm. I'd bet the best time for seeing some good black belt action would be about 10-2pm. $5 to get in the door.

This is a big do, what the ATA considers a class B tournament. The last tournament our school held drew about 800 competitors.

Check Master Olford's link on the sidebar for more info. Come out and support Mary as she takes another step down the road to world champ.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

First it was the bagged spinach...

Still right in the middle of it. Now an inmate has walked off a county work crew a few miles from my house. I saw the High sheriff of Angelina county hisself out looking around the area last evening. Somebody has to do it, after recent reports in the local newspaper concerning sheriff deputies setting up myspace web sites and viewing porn on county computers some good old crime stopping would be good for the image and the soul.

Another weird thing, Willie Nelson's bus pulled down my road a couple of days ago. A guy got out and asked me if it would be ok if Willie and his sister picked dew berries in the cow pasture next to me. I said I guess, I don't own the pasture. I advised them to not pick too close to the fence because on occasion the owners use herbicide to keep down the weeds that grow there. Might have an ill effect on the body or mind you know, chemicals.

Willie got over the fence pretty spry, but his sister who is older was slower. I guess they found something. When they returned Willie was holding his hat like a bucket without a handle. From a distance it seemed to be full of berries.

Monday, September 18, 2006

I awake to a strange sound...

It's raining and sounds like a lot. Sounds like a soft spring rain, but hopefully it is a cooling fall rain, giving everything a good drink before the long dark days of winter begin. Yesterday before Mass Father Paul detailed for me how the little sprinkle we had had come from a hurricane on the west coast of Mexico. I suspect he watches the weather channel. He keeps a close eye on those things, he was brand new to Lufkin when all the refugees came last year after Rita.

I better leave a couple of minutes early this morning to prepare for anyone who forgot that you need to slow down a bit when it's wet.

Another plug for our TKD tournament this weekend, see full details at Master Olford's link on the sidebar.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Bagged spinach and tuba playing...

Once again I find myself right in the middle of things. News reports are out of people killed and sickened in 22 states by e coli contaminated bagged spinach. I have eaten two bags of this stuff this week. Well one and a half. I quit eating it when the reports started coming in. Maybe I have the last good half bag of spinach in the country. Should I eat it? Maybe I should encourage blog readers to post their votes in the comment section here. I'll do what you say. Maybe.

At the Lufkin Panther pep rally on Thursday I got there just in time from a trip to Baylor Medical Center. I was dressed in my PTA class shirt, nice kakis, and clean shoes, my other other self you know. The tuba section saw me after the rally was over and I was walking from the stands and one of them hollared, "There is that hippie tuba player." Now what gave them that idea?

Last night after the game one of them ask me, "Can you play loud?" Guess what I told him. They invited me to pick up a horn at the games, but I can't do that. It would take away from a kid playing, probably the least skilled one, you know, face full of pimples and that horn might be the only rocking out he does.

Damn I am all sensitive. I hate it when that happens.


Homecoming game...

Panthers beat 'Doches. Again.

Why is this girl winking?

Oh no, this is why. Blog readers, meet Jacob. That picture looks a little blurry. I think the camera shook when he put his arm around her.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

I am up early...

Got to be in Longview at 6:30am. Meet my ride and the PTA class all car pools to Dallas to Baylor Medical center for a field trip to experience spinal cord injury treatment.

I am in one of those periods where something happens every day. I reall don'rt see an end right now.

Tomorrow is prep for the PTA club garage sale on Saturday. Raise a little funds.

Tomorrow is homecoming for Lufkin High. I don't have a ticket to the game, don't know if I can even make it there what with the garage sale and all.

Work this weekend.

Next weekend is our TKD tournament at Angelina College gym. See Master Olford's link at side bar for complete details. Come see me fight. Or better yet see Mary fight. At the rate I have been training, mine won't last long.

Oh yeah, there will be some tests and stuff also.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

For music fans, what I downloaded...

From my subscription service emusic this month:

Heavy Trash by Heavy Trash, new incarnation of John Spencer Blues Band. Why this is not pouring out of the radio air waves everywhere I do not know.

Richard Thompson Live in Austin, English folk rocker.

Revival by Gillian Welch, old style county gospel tunes, I love her, but not in a stalking kind of way or anything.

Ancient Court Ragas, Asok Pathak, classical Indian but I don't think it's on sitar, something lower pitched. Nice download, two tunes, very long.

Tabla Beat Science, live in San Francisco. Second disk of a two disk set, spin off of DJ Shebisabba (Spelling?) tablas, turntables, thundering bass guitar lot of weird for 10 downloads spread over two months.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The Property...

My daughter Rose and husband Juan recently purchased 3 acres in Sweeney Texas, population about 3600 I think. They call it "the property" so when you see them use the correct terminology please. Cathy visited yesterday and took a few shots for me to view since I have not been able to go myself.

So maybe I am oriented correctly when I say this is from the front. Nice big trees.

From the back I think.

Construction underway. As per Rose's instruction, Juan works on a storage building. In the back ground is a fence he has been building. The house is their closest neighbor. I think this is the back of the lot.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Panther Pictures...

Panthers won. I took pictures of the band. Mary got on the jumbotron twice. I got on it once. I know that such fame is only fleeting, bits of digital data transferred and then deleted, but you got to raise your kids so they do not shy from such opportunities. It all goes back to that time I had the rubber shark in in New Orleans at Mardi Gras. It's about living in the moment and acting, not re-acting.

Drumline sectional before the game out side the band hall.

Cymbals up close. Even though it is East Texas, they wear shoes to march.

Clang! I think it was the crown that got Mary on the jumbotron,
I think it was the Panther Hat, the story of which is detailed a few blogs back that got me on.

High school football is a sight to behold.

I have been all about connections lately. So here is Lufkin band director Mr. Williams waving a creation of mine that Mary took to the game. It's a forked stick with noisemakers strung between the forks to make a tribal ethnic percussion instrument. It's painted in Lufkin colors. I have played these instruments in New Orleans many times so it makes a connection for the high school band, New Orleans and the rubber shark.
Mr. Williams does not know where this thing came from or who made it at this point. Something primal inside him detects the Congo Square/New Orleans influences and rubber sharks. It makes him want to shake his booty and he does not know why.

It's just all about that thing that sits next to us.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Can't get that song out of my head...

On Wisconsin. You know da duh da duh, da duh da duh da da da da da...

What brings it to my mind is game day, it is used as the Lufkin High School fight song and retittled "On You Panthers." According to online sources it is "regarded as one of the finest college marching songs." by J.P. Sousa. The rights are rumored to be owned by Sir Paul McCartney or Mr. Michel Jackson, but the song is really public domain.

I actually got together with a group and played this song on tuba the other day for the first time since about 1975. Our version was recorded and I am glad I did not have to pay Sir Paul for the rights to use. As a member of a generation totally ruined by the Beatles I feel that I have given enough.

It is cloudy with a sprinkle so far today. I hope it pours for the game. Bad weather clears always clears out the tourists and gives the pros more room to operate. Makes things all around more interesting, those that appear in the face of adversity are strong in their convictions. And the conventions are that the Panthers are naturally going to whomp some ass.

To quote another fellow who had a hand in ruining this generation, the late good Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, "when the going gets weird, the weird turn pro," or something like that.

Speaking of turning pro, the Panthers, moon walking, I am the Walrus, and gonzo journalism are we ever connecting the dots today!

"Honey," I shout, "Have I had my blood pressure meds today?"


Thursday, September 07, 2006

School update...

Well my program director at Kilgore became a grandmother today. As I mentioned here before her daughter has had a difficult pregnancy and she delivered twin boys today by c-section. They were about 32-34 weeks I think and one went to surgery this afternoon with a polycystic kidney. They knew in advance that the surgery was necessary. All was well last word I heard today.

We had the first test today and it was tough. Lots of clinical thinking questions. Lucky for me there were at least 17 points worth of bonus questions in a short essay/answer type format. Regular readers here will be happy to know that I almost ran out of paper. So maybe the bonus balanced out anything I screwed up on the other part.

Some growing pains for all these past weeks, us getting used to our new instructor and she carrying the load while the other is out with the family emergency. Hopefully things will be more normal and on track soon.

This afternoon me and some classmates visited Longview Lanes and did an environmental assessment as to how available the location was to the disabled. There are several groups from our class doing different sorts of places.
Here is something I threw together, I think it would be a good presentation and have sent it to my classmates for feed back. I think we have the technology to project this website for the class. See what you think:

Greed and war...

Ok, I hate to comment on the political but sometimes I see things I can't let go.

Got an email, all sources enclosed (violations of trading with the enemy acts and such) about some really old news that was reported in 2003 in alternative press type publications. You may have heard it and it does not surprise me one bit. It detailed the actions of the relatives of certain men in public office and important positions around the country during WW2 that supported the Nazis and made money doing it. Seems that lately the Nazi card has been thrown down and as a member of the generation whose dads fought WW2 I have always took the mention of Nazi to be very serious business.

I have speculated here before (am I going over the same ground too much?) about a type of greed that common men, ones like those WW2 dads, who had it good, returning from the war to factory jobs, dinners of fried meat and summer evening cigs in the back yards of expansive lots who had no idea during the late 60s that a President from Texas was agonizing in the White House basement over targets in South East Asia and people like me who sat as a child among these men today can't understand. It's a greed that wants money and power so bad that they will make money regardless of the suffering it inflicts. I am sure it happens all the time during war and that there are many guilty parties in the halls of power.

Now if this was just greed, well I know how that will end. Some of these folks tout us as a Christian country, and they should check out the Bible and the comments there about such behavior. But it may not be all just greed, I keep having a comment a friend made to me during a discussion about "what they are doing to us White Christians'" pop up in my head. That smacks of the Nazis right there in my humble little little opinion, infers that there is an elite Christian segment of the population that is better and they must go against others to preserve their views.

So anyway I am sure you can check out this story from the info I give here and form your own thoughts. Down off the soap box.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Getting going on school...

Well the tests and stuff, various projects and an out of town field trip for next week occupy my thoughts and actions for the moment. I guess it better be longer that a moment spent on this stuff if I want to keep up the grades.

It's that old hated feeling, that thing that sits next to me, I know I have written about it here before. I have it all the time, before I play music in public, before I do my for at a TKD tournament and at school and that old feeling is there is nothing in my head. Of course there is, most of the time in all aspects of life I am guided to do the right thing. Especially if my wife is present. She won't be present at the test so may be studying is put this stuff in my head.

My instructor is back to North Carolina today to see about her daughter who is pregnant with twins. They have been trying to come early and one is going to need some surgery at birth so keep them in mind. While she is gone we are back to a crazy schedule.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Labor Day Catfish Round Up...

I have worked enough Labor Days in the past, good to have this one off.

The girls, Katie, Cathy, Mary.

Dad can still catch them. Go ahead, make fun of my feather.

Secret spot, try to find this place.

Cathy fixed up this new way to display our catches. Final count was 23 cats.

Some of these cats are swimming in our bellies, some are on the way to Austin with Katie to swim in Travis's belly.

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Sunday, September 03, 2006

Happy Birthday...

I neglected to mention that Sept. 3rd is my brother Glenn's birthday.

Happy Birthday to you.

That's not a birthday present he is holding, but an icon of his faith. He belongs to some weird religion that believes in three chords, red guitars and the truth.

Which one...

Ok, so yesterday evening I'm engaged in the fine East Texas sport of opening hunting season early. I'm all dressed in cammies, rubber boots, but what a dilemma. Which would you shoot?

I could shoot that buck, fill up the deep freeze and have a nice set of horns for the wall. I could shoot his buddy, that big black Angus, buy another deep freeze because my little one is not going to hold all that and help my wife out with her hobby of wearing out her old teeth on heavy beef.

But then that buck is going to be a lot easier to carry to the house.

Whoops, I farted and scared him, looks like my mind is made up, going to be bloody to the elbows around here for the next few hours.

Friday, September 01, 2006

New update to "Meet the Panthers"...

Mary in the foreground on cymbals on the Lufkin Daily News web site.

Click on the link. There are at least a couple of drumline shots.

The man with the hat...

Shot of drumline, Mary is cymbal player on far left.

Went to "Meet The Panthers" last night, the band played, kind of a pep rally for the beginning of football season tonight. Reminded me of an encounter a couple of weeks ago.

I was working in our out patient clinic, joking around with a patient about the cruelness of physical therapy. With the Panthers ranked nationally and everyone getting ready to open Christmas presents in the sun baked parking lot of the Alamodome while they wait for the game to begin I mentioned to the patient if I was getting you ready to play for the Panthers this would be much more strenuous.

A lady, the caregiver of one of our patients, was dropping that patient off and over heard my Panthers comment. She was ready for football season to begin. We chatted, I ask if she had kids invoved, she said her daughter graduated and had been in the band. I said, well I have a daughter in band. She mentioned her daughters name and I knew her because she works in a business I frequent. Our conversation ended and the lady left.

Later she came back to pick up the patient. She looked at me and said, "I know you, you are the man with the hat." I assure you, I did not have the hat on in the clinic that day.

Let me explain. Way back when Katherine was in band (long time ago, she is so old) the Lufkin Band Boosters sold these hats for a fund raiser. I was at a meeting when they brought them out and I bought one immediately. There were cases and cases of them. I am the only one you ever see at a game. There used to be another guy who had one years ago, but I have not seen him in a couple of seasons. Everyone asks where I got it, where can they get one and so on. I am surprised more of these are not floating around. It could be possible at the time they did not sell well, the Panthers were not so prominent, people were not so ape shit for purple and gold and there may be cases and cases of the in some past band booster presidents garage. I like it a lot, and judging from that lady's comments it makes me a known figure at Panther games. "The Man with the Hat." Here is the hat.

Also a shot of the versatility of Mary on cymbals and playing bass drum on "Striving." A fight song type thing where the lay down, stand on their heads and do all kinds of stuff.
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