Thursday, August 31, 2006

School seems to be starting slow...

And the reason being for that is that one of my instructors has a family emergency going on. Her daughter in North Carolina is pregnant with twins. There have been several tricky times, including one quick trip there last spring semester and a visit over the summer. Now the pregnancy is in the 32th week and her water broke over the weekend. They don't want to do a c- section till the 34th week. So keep them in you prayers.

So with this instructor out, the other instructor, who just started this semester and while very capable has her hands full with both classes, sophomores and freshman in the class room at the same time. I am dong as much reading and studying as I can, but it feels a bit like the calm before the storm because sooner or later we will have to start playing some catch up.

This is my work weekend and it is usually a good time for me to study because I just dedicate myself to those two things and don't schedule too much else. Hopefully if I use this time to get the most basic things down I will have a good spring board when things really start moving along.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

I'm well documented lately...

I mentioned that I was videoed taped at the taekwondo tournament this weekend. Those are still going for $15 by the way.

A few weekends ago when the band played at Jackson Hill Marina there was a DVD made of that performance. I only have one copy and no way to duplicate it, but I could be persuaded to part with it for $20. For those that are interested of course.

Last night various Lufkin High School Band alumni gathered and combined with some members of this years band we all shouldered horns to make a recording of the school song fight song, national anthem and a few pop tunes. This will be burned on a CD and sold at football games this fall for $10 to finance a band trip this spring. Good deal for the band, my daughter says they get $8 out of every sale. That's a good percentage.

I don't get that much selling my own. I have production cost, salaries to cover and royalties on songs covered and such as that.

Anyway it was fun playing the tuba last night, I did not do too bad on the music reading and stuff and my lip is not so far out that I could get it back. Like every thing, practice makes perfect.

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Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Strange Dreams...

I dreamed I went to the paper mill, the now shuttered factory where I once worked for 25 years. It was some kind of pay day (ha, ha)execpt that at the pay window I was sent to the old purchasing office instead of completeing my business at the window.

I entered that office and it was now some kind of half way house for high level mentally retarded people, who were all happily going about their activities of daily living and did not seem surpised in the least as I intruded on their quarters.

I then entered the plant itself to find that all macheriney was operating, but there was no product being made or no raw materials being processed into product. Just convayors and other such machinery turning and running to no where. I entered a wharehouse type area where there seemed to be a super abundance of things, rope, vehicle and machine parts, WD-40 and safety shoes that might be needed during operations. I was beginning to see where the $22 million the Lufkin Daily News reports as the cost of operating a shut down paper mill had gone.

As I strolled around, first time I have been in the place since Feb. 2004, I began meeting a person every now and then, those that were responsible for this state of suspended shut down. The each allowed and held forth on how the company was threatening to bring even this state of affairs to a halt, but none believed it would ever happen.

It was a very surreal type dream and all in color. Glad I am awake now.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Allen TKD Tournament Results.

Went to the Allen Texas TKD Tournament this weekend. It was held at South Fork Ranch Convention Center, the South Fork Ranch house is the place made famous by the TV show Dallas. I never watched that show and can't say I am particularly proud of the way Texas was represented there, but those are the facts folks.

Mary did great again, 1st place sparring, no competition at all. Made it look easy. Also did a good form, tied for 3rd on that and when that happens they get a chance to do forms again to break the tie, but could not prevail on that. She is doing 3rd degree form, it's hard and has only been doing it maybe 4 months so her work is just starting to show.



Morgan took 3rd in his weapon form, the jong bong, or long staff. It was the first time he competed that form.

His other stuff, forms and sparring, he won one and lost one sparring, looked good. Tough competition in his ring. Here is a shot of his form.

Here is Mary doing form.

I competed for the first time I think in almost two years. Second and third degree Black Belts 40-49 years old, I was likely the oldest guy in the ring. There was one other guy, I have competed against him for years now, I might be four months older than him. I did not place, but like Mary I was in a four way tie for third in forms and even though I did not break the tie it was good to know I could bring something that was competitive to the tournament. Sparring I was doing alright, Jumped out 2 points to 1 then it was tied at 3 and then I forgot to block a head kick and that gave him 5 points and match. Sorry no pictures, they got it all on video. For $15 I'll send you a tape.

I think may be besides me all of the adults from our school placed. I saw several of the kids doing well also.

Here is a shot left to right, of Master Phrumjunction (spelling?) from Longview, Master Olford from our school and Master Niblock from Round Rock call points in a 4th and 5th degree sparring match.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Polished my horn...


That's right, the old thing shined right up. What you are looking at ladies and gentlemen is a late 1930s tuba made by the H.M. White Company in Cleveland Ohio. Date has been verified by their website and an instrument repair man that worked on this horn for me one time. They called their line of instruments "King." The company is now owned by Conn Selmer. Here is an artist type rendering picture of what the factory looked like in the 1940s. Pretty impressive place, the world needed more horns!

Mr. White, in the picture, he passed in 1940, designed all the instruments including a complete line of low brass that according to the company website "...Provided the player both musical superiority and long-lasting construction." I second the long lasting construction. I also can vouch for the superiority of the bell front design. Everyone should have a bell front tuba.

This horn came to me through the museum of East Texas. One time, it has been some years ago, I'd say 7 to 10 or 12 maybe, they were having a fund raising garage sale. They had this tuba out for 75 bucks. I was at work on a Saturday and Cathy called me to tell me about it. I could not get there that day, but when they opened Monday morning I was there with money in hand. It was a bit funny because they acted kind of like they were getting to me for $75 and I felt a little guilty for getting it so cheap. No telling what it is worth, I would guess more than $75. Tubas aint cheap. Of course it is not as nice as a brand new Czech or English made horn, but it has a nice vibe.

The reason I have it all shined up is that I have a tuba gig next week. Some old guys I went to high school with are getting together to record the Lufkin High fight song, school song and so on. I have been practicing a little bit to build up the lip.

I think the more I practice the better this horn sounds. May be it's the operator, not the horn. I have been playing the tuba since I was 12, and have had a horn most of the time since then be it begged or borrowed. That's makes 37 years of playing. I might just wear out before this horn does, it kind of makes my head feel funny to play these days, all viberaty and stuff.

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If you happen to be boat shopping...

Mine is not for sale you crazy thing, but I might know where a good deal is.

Little boat dealer, don't know the name on business 259 as it passes through Henderson has two pontoon boats sitting on his lot. They have been sitting there since February or March. He has a big sale sign sitting on them. I would think, a small place like that, that these two boats are weighting heavy on the inventory figures especially since the boat buying season has passed. They are soon to be last years models if they are not already.

Looks like the sundowner or sundancer brand boat, with 60 to 90 HP Mercury out boards. Snap down custom boat covers, a $400 value by itself have been keeping the boats nice and protected from the elements.

I would bet no reasonable offer would be refused. Just a tip from an old pontoon man, I am no way associated with the business mentioned.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Just a note on politics...

From an email I received concerning business using inmate labor in their operations:

"..A company called Unique Performance, which builds custom-made "muscle
cars" and other vehicles for private sale, is proposing to employ 35 to 40
inmates at the Boyd Unit in Teague, Texas, to "assemble car bodies."
A contact at TDCJ whose job includes keeping us informed of these operations
under the federal Prison Industries Enhancement Act said the inmates will be
assembling car kits from China. The company will then install engines and
transmission and finish the assembly of the vehicle.
The notification to Texas AFL-CIO President Emmett Sheppard declares,
"Unique Performance is cognizant of the displacement of workers and
prevailing wage issues." Attached Texas Workforce Commission documentation
states that in Freestone County, the project would not displace non-inmate
workers. And the documentation notes that the average wage for "Production
Workers" on such projects in the region that includes the Boyd Unit is
$11.36 an hour. Assemblers and Fabricators get $10.11. In my experience
following these operations, PIE wages are significantly lower than the
averages.
For well over a decade, since Texas first started launching these types of
operations in private prisons, our objection to this line of calculation has
been that the true measure of whether a prison plant competes with the free
world is where the goods go, not where the manufacturing occurs. Is there
any question that the building of cars anywhere in the U.S. competes with
free-world workers anywhere in the U.S.?
Unique Performance has a web site. I could discern nothing on that web site
that would suggest that the lofty prices customers are being asked to pay
for various kits, accessories and finished vehicles might soon include the
product of prison labor."

Ok, so the kits come from China, workers are prisoners, which I don't object to prisiors working I just object to their use to increase business profits at tax payer expense. I assume that the state handles all health care and the tax payer pays. No retirement. Food, housing and clothing also on us.

So you say, Carl you really want an $11 per hour job assembling cars? No I have blessed to have the opportunity for a better job, but I advise you to investigate cuts in aid programs for students wanting to attend college. They have been deep in recent years so chances for continuing education to allow more skilled workers are less. So this all adds up to be a bad thing.

Just think, what if all state employees were replaced by inmates. Not too far out of the equation, grounds keepers at the high school, sell tickets at high school sporting events, run state park concessions, drive the Texas State Railroad engine, man those cameras at intersections that give automatic tickets, what a twist, you can make your own list.

This is just one of numerous ways the state uses inmate labor. They also make postal uniforms. Why you ask? Because the demand for uniforms by the department of defense are overwhelming other manufactors. Don't forget to add the cause of that into the equation either.

Ok, soap box removed.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Had home work on the first day of school...

Had a little home work, had to look up a few topics and reference them, only .gov, .edu,. org sites please and read a few pages. We have a new staff member, an MD of physical therapy, very qualified and she looks like she will be thorough. Overall goos to be back in school. Time to buckle down again, sigh.

Here is a picture my friend Quince sent me from our fishing trip this summer. It's me all buckled down. Great panormic shot of Big Sam Rayburn.

Yes mom, I have on pants.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

School starts tomorrow...

Well the long haul to Kilgore starts tomorrow. Last year driving up there every day just as I was passing through and leaving Central Heights I would pass a Sheriffs Department car on the way into Nacogdoches, apparently not on patrol, but on his way to work. I wonder if he wonders where I have been.

To use a cliche, it has been an idyllic time this summer. I really enjoyed clinicals during the first part of the summer, kind of my chance to try out my skills with my own patients and this second half has been great with lots of work at the hospital, fishing (18 cats yesterday, maybe last trip of the summer?), music playing and family fun time.

Going to be some hard classes. Neuro is one of them. The brain is complicated, today at work a PT was showing me the lab reports on a patient and the MRI showed something, the CAT scan showed something else and the patient wants to fall down. It was a mess in that old noggin. Some PTs are ortho people, some like wound care, some like shoulders and backs, this PT today likes the brain and I was told with these patients there is never a dull treatment. I guess I will start getting that all sorted out tomorrow, hope my old noggin is not a mess by the time I am through.

Ok the last little computer project of the year, pictures from the gig at Jackson Hill:
http://www.pbase.com/wallace_6/state_school_band_photos

I'll be busy, look for lots of teeth nashing angst for the next few months.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

A day to remember...


Tim Graham. A friend gone to soon, today would have been his birthday. It's been about a year since you passed, we don't really know the date of your passing so I'll just celebrate to date you were born.

I am not mourning your death, I'm jealous, you are in Heaven, playing in better bands with nicer guitars than any of us will ever have in this place.

Friday, August 18, 2006

More on music...

I recently posted my love of music from the east. You may have read of Cathy's fondness of gyspy influenced music. After all, the gyspy/punk/cabaret/rock band Go Gol Bordello (link at side bar) named this blog. They were a discovery of Cathy's and the international reach of the net has allowed her to find more music like this. It has been a merry chase through this punk rock to Balkan brass bands to bands that make a world music that aint for sissies and more.

This month, if you check page 90 of Rolling Stone magazine you will find this in the review section. The shakers and makers have finely stumbled onto the underground. Cathy either has these cd, has cds by the group or has them on order. I think some of them are actually Americans, I guess the romantic notions of the gyspy will make any one want to jump on the band wagon. Pretty good music either way, good if you are like me, an old guy who has tired of oldies after so many hearings or if you moan there is no good music anymore.

It aint jump jive and swing, but it is some fun. Give it a listen, if it perks you ears it may give a hint to some lost bloodlines you have forgotten.

Look to the east for music.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Pictures from the TKD picnic...

Master Olford's ATA Black Belt academy had their annual picnic this past weekend. I helped cook hamburgers and hot dog, a lot of hot dogs, Big old hot dogs, Master really came through on the meat and everyone else brought the fixings.

Here is me and Master Olford getting ready to cook.











Every year at the picnic there is a big touch foot ball game. Mr. Wallace at quarterback puts his team up against Mr. Martinez, who can be seen at middle line backer.





An action shot. A few minutes after this picture was snapped the gentleman, a TKD parent, in the background who threw the pass punted the ball. Some how it caused what I believe was a patella dislocation and possible a patella tendon rupture. Knee cap went north with the quad all bunched up looking, if you need laymans terms. We loaded him into a car and and his wife took him to the ER.

In Physical Therapy we usually see the problem after it has been repaired so it was a good experience (for me anyway) to see it when it happened.

If you would like more info on the TKD school, check the link on the side bar. Our tournament is coming up in September.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Bits and pieces today...

News from Iraq. My friend Jeremy, you may have read about him here will be home sometime in September. Should be in Kuwait in about a week or so and then home in a couple of more weeks.

Standings for the American Taekwondo Association, girls 14-16 second and third degree black belts are up. Check out 4th place.

SPARRING GIRLS 2nd, 3rd Degree Black Belt 14 - 16 YEARS OLD
1
LAUREN N. BLANKS
23 points
LANSING,MI
2
ONELIA LLANO
20 points
WAPPINGERS FALLS,NY
3
KRISTEN FISCO
17 points
PARLIN,NJ
4
ARLUNAA FULLER
15 points
SACRAMENTO,CA
4
BRITTANY RANSOM
15 points
BARTLETT,TN
4
MARY WALLACE GO MARY WALLACE!
15 points

LUFKIN,TX
4
ASHLEY CARNALL
15 points
CHANDLER,AZ
8
KAYLEE BURGARD
14 points
FARGO,ND
9
JORDAN ADAMS
9 points
COLUMBIA,MO
9
SABREENA CANDREVA
9 points
BRADLEY,IL
9
KAYLA TIMMONS
9 points
VALDOSTA,GA
9
JAZMIN GILLESPIE
9 points
SURREY,
9
KAITLIN AGGEN
9 points
PARIS,TX
9
JESSICA ZAHN
9 points
SOUTHLAKE,TX

http://www.ataonline.com/the_ring/standings/tourcurr.asp?vb=G23D&vf=

Keep track of girls 2nd and 3rd black belts 14-16 at this link. Look under sparring as there is a top 10 for forms also.

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Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Pictures from the Astros game...


Attended Sunday's Astros Vs Padres game with the entire contingent of my family and various inlaws. It did not help the Astros win, but we had a good time.

The talk on the street was all about the game. Cathy and Katie, behind them a familiar Houston sight, a homeless man blowing a snot rocket.


View from our seats, my nose was not bleeding too bad.











Pop, Geneva, Matt, Morgan, Katie, Travis.













BILs Kevin and John flanking SIL Juan. Hey Kev, where is your Astros gear? Various other party members behind and to the left.














The group know as "the cousins."












Where is her Astros shirt you ask? I can barely get her to wear a shirt at all.











Katherine and Travis.












Margaret and Kevin.






John and Mary.













Pop and Geneva. Can Pop figure out anymore ways to cause trouble? He plays banjo, clarinet, votes Democrat, jumps out of boats and now he's at and Astros game. Keep an eye on him.






Rose and Juan. They are big Astros fans. Juan collects autographs and memorabilia. He has many Astro signatures. He got several Pardres autographs that day. Seems the Astros don't sign on Sundays.

I think I have documented all in attendance. If you were there and are not here, let me know and I'll fix it.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Just though of something...

I have been blogging for one year now.

Took the show on the road...


Our little State School Band, we play for the entertainment of the folks that live there once a month, played at Jackson Hill Marina on beautiful Lake Sam Rayburn this weekend. We opened for the band Blue Dog. I guess we need to change our name, we don't really have a name, we joke about names, but looks like they named us. See the marquee.

Here is Larry on guitar. He got us the gig. No last names here, just in case our bosses Google us.

Runt on vocals, guitar and western street cred.















Dan-Danz smashing the skins.




You know who preaching the blues.












The music went pretty good. There were lots of dancers during our set. The good folks of southern Angelina county are just starved for rock and roll. A real nice scenic set up on the banks of the lake under a pavilion, with picnic tables, restrooms and even a small concession.

Then there was the older you will get moment. Runt pointed out to me a couple of scantly clad women dancing together during our set. He said, "look at that no one says a word. Just let me and you get out there and do that and there will be talk."
Yeah, me and this guy.









Here is a full band shot. See that big pole, none of us danced with it.









I may set up a little photo album later in the week.

Here is a link to one of Dan's photo albums with some pictures that he and Cathy made with his camera:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/96264999@N00/



I have a bunch more pictures from the TKD picnic and the Astros game yesterday I will get around to posting later in the week.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Stay tuned...

Lots of fun this weekend, more later with many pictures.

Friday, August 11, 2006

The 23rd Year of Living Here catfish Round Up...

Some of the Cooney in laws in to celebrate the 23rd anniversary of living at this house with a fishing trip.


Sister Shot, Cathy and Margaret catching catfish.

Sorry guys, these girls taking their own fish off the hook are both married.






The crew for today.

Bill jumps in and Geneva fishes.

Don't tell him he's 74 years old, he has forgot.

The tub shot, final score 26 cats. That make 150-200 catfish since roughly Father's Day weekend. I have really lost count. These fish are swimming in our bellies.

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Thursday, August 10, 2006

Ladies and Gentleman...


The 2006-07 Lufkin High School Panther Band.

Mary is standing in the right side row of percussion, second from the front.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Catching up on the week...

Just some thoughts and activities that are flying past tonight. Must be the hot summer, the last few days are bearing down. Still a little dampish from a TKD workout, a little weed eating, bike riding and getting boats and stuff ready for the weekend.

So this last week or so I have:

Got to know a couple of taekwondo families better. One family we have been around each other for a while now, they have a kid on the drumline with Mary and both parents met when they were in the SFA band, the year after I left. Discovered we had lots of friends in common from way back there. Another family, been in Martial Arts a long time other schools shared some old TKD pictures with us.

Got cross ways over the email with an old friend over politics. He emailed and said I was playing "snizzle-dizzle" and called me a "lugnut." I might be a lugnut, but I have never played "snizzzle-dizzle." Do you think he might have been drinking? I have some political opinions, but I don't want any politicos, no matter what their views coming over to my house. I don't have a personal relationship with media figure heads so insult them, I won't be mad. Looks like I may have lost a friend. Cathy says "big deal."

Cathy's sister coming tomorrow. Her parents on Friday. Big fishing trip. Tomorrow it is the 23rd anniversary of the day I bought this house. The Great House Buying Catfish anniversary Round up. I think it will take about 20-25 fish to feed the people that will be here Friday. Hope they are biting. Stay tuned for the tub shot.

Went to Kilgore, bought books, parking sticker, new student ID, I'm ready. You should see the power point notes for the Neuro class. Looks like a Houston phone book. There will be many tears and screaming in the dark before December. Lucky I am good at that kind of thing, requires almost no effort.

TKD picnic on Saturday, I will haul my grill out, Master O will have his and we will cook a couple of hundred hamburgers and hot dogs.

Saturday evening, me and the guys play at Jackson Hill Marina. We are calling ourselves Mudbelly and the StratCats or Runt and the Raunchy Episodes or something like that. At our regular gig we are known as "The State School Band." We will be the first of two bands, beginning at 7pm. Here is the set List:
Twist and Shout G
Real Life A
My BabyÂ’s Tuff E
I AinÂ’t GivinÂ’ Up On Love A
Johnny B. Goode A
Trouble KnockinÂ’ B
Mary Had A Little Lamb E
Wipe Out A
Wine Spode Ode A
The Old Man Is Down The Road E
Satisfy Suzie / E2F E
BoppinÂ’ The Blues A
Guit Steel Blues G
Caledonia ?
Big City G
House Of The Rising Sun Am
Jambalaya C
Today I Started Loving You Again G
Folsom Prison Blues E
Your Cheating Heart C

Going to an Astros game on Sunday, all of Cathy's brother's sister, parents, our girls with Travis and Juan. We will meet at Thelma's BBQ for lunch before the game.

Looks at at least 40 hours at work next week. Working the out patient clinic, I am going to handle the tech job and the department secretary is off so I will do some of her duties also.

Did I mention sweating a little?

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Results of the Tricky Dick Catfish Rodeo and Round up...

Now I know how Nixon felt that day he resigned. The wind that had troubled us the last couple of trips laid, the lake was glass and we sweated bullets in the hot august sun just like that poor man must have done so many years ago on that walk to the helicopter.

The catfish were there. Caught 16. Guests on this trip was an old buddy from SFA days, Quince, a friend of 30 years in town paying a visit and Stacy, a co-worker of Cathy's. Better than average fish, I don't think there were any throw backs for undersize. Big thick fillets, those fish are swimming in my belly.

Here is me and Quince.












And of course the tub shot. Not a good shot, the fish look pretty small but notice that I have on no pants.

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Monday, August 07, 2006

Things that pop up in my mind...

Seems with the end of summer approaching it has been a few weeks of old memories and friends popping up out of nowhere and summer time cruising listening to and enjoying music, Mary at band camp and all the experiences I had doing such things. Some of the friends have changed, they are different people. That's another blog post, I got too much of that on my mind that I can't digest right now. But one thing I like to think about is the memory how much I have always enjoyed music from India.

I guess my enjoyment of music kind has a band camp connection. Pop music in my band camp days had some great horn sounds. Also the Beatles were still big news and as horn players we listened to their records with a critical ear, there were horns on some of them, band instruments, that made us and the Beatles one, the uncool band geeks validated by the music of the greatest pop musicians of the century.

One thing we were exposed to through the music of the Beatles was the influence of the music of India in some of their songs. I really fell for the the sounds of the sitar and sarod. I knew that there was an Indian music master Ravi Shankar who played with the Beatles. One day while browsing one of the few places that carried the latest music in Lufkin back then, Jack's tapes (Jack's is still in business, cds only now) I was looking in the used section. You could trade two used 8 track tapes and get another used one or trade 3 and get a new one. They still carry used cds and the music hound I am I have to stay out of there because even though the new selections are mostly rap and pop country I will always find stuff on the used rack that results in impulse buys. Anyway sometime in the summer of 1974 or so I found a Ravi Shankar tape on the rack. I bought or traded, I can't remember which.

Now the band camp connection. Someone owned a small portable 8 track player, nothing like the boom boxes or ipods of today and on trips to out of town football games that fall we drove everyone crazy with the droning of the Indian music. Maybe it was really the terrible sound quality, I don't know. We alternated the Indian music with Jerry Jeff Walker and Waylon Jennings. That stuff can be irritating also, remember in these days there was no Little John ( ya-uh, ok) so we had to work hard at pissing people off with music.

In November of 1974 some of us band geeks ended up seeing Ravi Shankar open for George Harrison at the Hofinez pavilion in Houston Texas. I still have the program from the show. This is the back cover. Outside in line at the show I signed a petition to protest the deportation of Beatle John on drug charges. I figured that when these petitions were turned in the U.S Attorney's office would soon be contacting my parents. They did not, John was never deported and so I count this as the first time I alerted the U.S governmet that I would be talking revolution and singing the blues. They are still watching and waiting with an ever mounting list of my dangerous activities.

The Indian thing as well as the revolution thing have remained constant, with refinements of course. I still like that kinfd of music, not sure about the Indian Bollywood stuff yet, need to listen to that somemore. The emusic download service (link on side bar) has been great at really expanding my Indian music collection as well as expanding my interest in music that spans the region from Africa to India to the Balkans.

I have even played with Indian people. On New Years Eve 1999 we had a Mass at ST. Patrick's and sang songs in four languages, Indian, Taulog, Spanish and English. Hopefully one day I can expand my skills in this area. There are several Indian slide guitar players coming to prominence and they do some interesting things with slides and drones.

I guess what I am trying to arrive at is that sometimes we do know what we are doing when we are young. We just need to polish our dreams, and make them grow with no limitations. Damn, I am all sensitive, crying and stuff this morning, there must be things in my head, trying to get out and this is what came first. I'd publish a picture of my state for you guys if I was not typing this naked.

Anyway stay tuned, tomorrow we commemorate another event from 1974. It is the anniversary of the resignation of Richard Nixon as the President of the United States of America. In honor of this event we will host the annual Tricky Dick Catfish Rodeo and Round up.

This is what Dick said on that day:
"By taking this action, I hope that I will have hastened the start of the process of healing which is so desperately needed in America."

Wise words at the end, point Dick.

No doubt that Dick started well, as we all do, had some ideas, he just did not have the best interest of all in mind. Refine the dreams for good of all Dick.


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Friday, August 04, 2006

Band camp 06...

Mary has been at band camp this week. Last night we went down to view the SNAP competition, where each section of the band writes their own mini half time show and puts it on for the parents.

Ladies and gentleman, the 06-07 LHS Drumline or at least all that I could get in the picture. Missing the Cymbals and several bass drums on each end.

Here are the Cymbals with Mary in the middle.











All lined up.















With the Panthers rated #1 in the state it will be football till Christmas. Look for us opening presents before game time in the parking lot of Texas Stadium.

As Go Gol Bordello says, "start wearing purple!"

Thursday, August 03, 2006

The mysterious head...

Another story from the weekend in Jefferson:

We browsed a bunch of antique shops. I found a cover (no record inside) from an old 78 rpm record, some kind of tribute to the trumpet player Bunny Berrigan for $1. It will look great hanging in my stereo room. This is the kind of thing we look for. Bargain junk that no one else has a desire for.

We also bought a bunch of records for $1 each. Can't get those new anymore.

Here is something Cathy found. It cost $5. The only info the proprietor of the store had about it is that it came from an estate sale in Berea, Tx (population 74) which is the location of The Colony, a Seventh Day Adventist settlement dating to the early 1900s.

It is aluminum and looks like it should be a bookend of some sort.



What makes this so unusual you ask. Well Cathy has encountered this image before. It was when she visited New York last year in the Bulgarian Bar, a place where Eugene of GoGol Bordello (see their link on sidebar) sometimes DJs. Apparently a larger version adorns the wall in this bar. Here is the bars business card. I think the web address is a link to a petition by the bar to regain it's liquor license.

My guess is that this is not a famous person, not art, but some sort of novelty image. But what is the story? Why a bar logo in New York and why was it found in a one horse Texas town? Where is the other bookend?

Help me out here art fans.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Back in Town...

Cathy and I took a little bed and breakfast vacation to Jefferson Texas. We stayed at the Whistlestop Inn in the Captain Quarters. They had an old rail car all fixed up, but here is a shot of our lodging. Very nice place and good people running it.

The town of Jefferson has quite a history as a river port, some civil war and Indian stuff and they have a Mardi Gras every year. Small, but a neat place with lots of antique shops. We bought books and old record albums as our souvenirs of the trip. Not real fancy dining avaiable around, just good solid catfish, steak, hamburgers and Mexican.

We took a tour of Big Cyprus Bayou in a river boat of sorts. The next day and this was a real bonus, the B&B operators had a canoe and let us borrow it. We had brought fishing poles so we took it up the bayou and drifted back. Cathy caught the most, I think she had 4 or 5 fish, a couple of them bass and I caught two bream.

Her is an old civil war ammo dump on the banks of the bayou. Seems that no fighting took place in the area but it was a huge manufacturing center for the Confederate Army. In some of the gift shops you could purchase just about item you needed with the confederate logo on it.

We toured the Excelsior Hotel. Famous guest included Presidents Haynes, Grant, Johnson, along with Ladybird (it was one of her favorite places) Oscar Wilde, Jay Gould and Gary Strong. You can stay in very same rooms, for not too bad a price.

Lot of Jay Gould, railroad mogul, history here. Cathy stands on the back of his rail car.

Here is me drinking from a horse fountain that was erected in 1913. It is the Greek goddess Hebe, the goddess of youth. My wife made me drink. I also noticed there is a local Mardi Gras Krewe with this name. That's a UFO in the background. They have been following and watching me everywhere I go. Can't even take a vacation. They don't usually let you get their pictures.

It was a real nice getaway. I will come here more often when I get out of school, maybe Mardi Gras 2008. Now it is back to work, get ready for school and so forth.

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