Tuesday, January 30, 2007

You do what you can...

Here is a picture of Mary and Aaron. We visited with his parents yesterday. They are doing as well as you can expect in this situation. The support and love they are receiving from family and friends is tremendous.

I guess Aaron and Mary had been going out a teenagers say for a couple of months now. May be in that time I had spent 8 or 10 hours around Aaron. A couple of Sundays ago he went to church with us and afterwards, our group had played and we talked music and guitars. Aaron was a tuba and guitar player. We had played in the tuba section together last fall when the Lufkin High School Band recording was made. I told him next time he was out to bring his guitar.

I am glad I took that opportunity to invite him to share our common interest. Many times it is easy to let people you meet slide by never taking the time to get to know them. I have no regrets in our friendship because I offered him a place doing the thing, music, that me and my family love to do. God had other plans for Aaron. I am glad I was able to the say the right things to one who was closer to Heaven than any of us knew. Posted by Picasa


Sunday, January 28, 2007

Sad news today...

The boy Mary has been going with, Aaron Stubblefirld, was killed in a car accident last night. It's quite a shock, we just saw him last night.

It's a small town, I know many of his family. Keep them in your prayers at this terrible time.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

That old uneasy feeling comes back...

You know what I'm talking about. They are watching. They are listening. They are tunneling in the ground. They are on to us. We have proof:

This device was spotted on a cold dark night as we drove home along the farm road. We now know what all the construction is about. It's just a cover, a distraction. By reducing the road to it's previous status as a covered wagon trail they thought that we would never notice a few changes. But we did, did we ever.

I sent my trusty elf in close to make the picture while I hung back. It's me they want anyway. Who knows what this is? A night scream monitor perhaps? Yes they would like the night screaming to stop, no doubt about it. This thing is located across the road from the water tower. They would like to catch the water tower painters for sure.

Have to be more careful in the future because the past is the cause. I sense the hand of David Gimour in some of this.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

And then someone tries to steal your schtick...

Just when you think you have a unique thing, such as the hat Cathy made me for my birthday, along comes some wise guy that wants to horn in on the action you are getting.

Here is me in the new hat:

Next thing you know I get a Modern Drummer magazine. I don't subscribe to modern drummer, my son does. I just don't know about the name of that magazine, after all drumming is an art that originated in the old old days with a guy pounding a log with a stick to keep away wild creatures after the fire died down. Next morning his buddies told him, "Good Job," so he started pounding it day and night and so 25,000 years later we got a magazine trying to tell us that aint the way it happened or there's more to it or something like that.

Anyway there is a little inset picture on the cover of this months issue of some joker that only deserved the secondary story and he has on my hat:

This picture was used with permission of course, just like all pictures on this web page are.

How he knew I had a hat like this I'll never know, but I know one thing, when you are out there in front as far as I am they never leave you alone.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Odds and ends...

Not much to report other than busy busy in a good way.

Clinic is going real well, really like the people I am with. Only 3 more days there and the over to Medical Center for 6 weeks.

Morgans shoulder still in the sling. He called me and said he sneezed hard and it "shifted." Nice that he is concerned about his recovery, but that feeling might have been a good thing, maybe some surgical adhesions breaking. Without a $1500 MRI, I'll just have to guess it's ok for now. I don't think the doc would even move it around to do any kind of ortho test at this point. In clinic, last summer and the past two weeks I have seen a ton of shoulders. I have had my hands on a lot of different stuff, I am beginning to know stuff about shoulders.

At church Sunday broke a string on my new acoustic bass. Just plucking kind of soft, not bringing the Holy Ghost or nothing so I think it was a bad string. It's a new set I replaced the factory strings with so I only had two gigs on them. Got to play the bass hard at the state school dance tonight and it was really good. It's hard to pick which bass is my favorite right now, my good old 25 year old electric or this new made in china job. Nice to have a lot of different sounds at you disposal.

Morgan drove Mary to Lafayette for a TKD tournament and she scored a double 1st. Texas people put it to those coonasses when it comes to TDK. Mary is still in the hunt for world champ. Kids fly to Las Vegas in Feb. for big Spring National tournament points.

Hope this weather breaks for some fishing this weekend.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

So he says hey...

"Holmes." The man called me "Holmes." I think that's what he said. Maybe it was "Homes." It sure sounded like "Holmes." He looked to be younger than me, maybe 10 years it's hard to tell on well fed white men sometimes. He asked me to do him a favor and I complied. He was polite when I returned in two minutes with his simple request, maybe he expected me to give him a hard time, want to fight, use foul language or something like that. You get that from some people you know.

How did he peg me as a "Holmes?" I was dressed in a way that gave away absolutely nothing about myself or personal style other than I was a white male. In other words I had a uniform of the most nondescript kind. I was silent when he approached me, I would like to have surprised him with "No comprehende" in some obscure Balkan tongue. I would have liked to say, "just a minute, it is time to turn and face Mecca to pray and I will be right with you." I would have like to asked him if he wanted to buy a watch real cheap. I could have broken into song, "Help, I need somebody, Help!"

When I got home I looked at the big white dog and said, "Hey Holmes."

You just never know what kind of weirdo will come up to you these days.


Friday, January 19, 2007

I'm 50 years old today...

That probably disappoints some of you. I know you thought I was 12 what with the internet being the great equalizer, but I don't feel 50. Seems like the other day I was 20. Time passes I guess. I have done the best I could to not let it pass me by.

No great party planned, got to work this weekend. Gifts have been nice and the big white dog even showed up for the occasion. Here is me having a big birthday with the loot that I was able to haul in by combining a gift card to academy from Katie and Travis with a little cash from my mom. I got a new pair of nice neoprene waders and a big net. Water proof clothes and big nets are in much demand since we have been on the trail of Ol' Ginormus.

Yes mom, I wear under garments with my waders, this is not another one of those naked pictures like you see other places on the net. I mean, my mom is not looking at naked pictures on the net, but there are some out there. You know what I mean.

Other nice gifts included hand made wearables from my wife. I'll post pictures of them some other time.

My sweet wife also gave me the ultimate gift, her share of the emusic downloads for the month of February. That's sacrifice, let me tell you.


Thursday, January 18, 2007

First day at clinic goes well...

I could have took the day off it turns out because the Kilgore campus was closed due to ice. I did not know that till later, but it was fine since I got a walk on Tuesday.

Due to the ice all morning patients canceled. It was a good time to go over my checklist of skills. I was grilled from about 10am till noon, kind of like a lab test. At the end my CI said, "I'm impressed, I'm really impressed." So that was really good for me to disgorge everything in my brain. Sometimes I am not sure it's really there you know what I mean? Did that thing I learned catch and stick in a crevice up there? Will I be able to extract it when I need it? Looks like I can.

Of course that means it's there in my head in a text book kind of way, it needs to be tempered with experience and thats what clinic is for. Couple of years people will think I have been a PTA forever. Looks like I am really on track for what I need to know for the license exam.

Hours look like they kind of vary due to patient load. I'm in at 7 this morning, but might be out by 2:30-3:30. Things are also out of the ordinary because this is a husband and wife PT practice and they had a baby Monday. Really I like it because things are kind of hectic.

Makes it exciting and that is what we are all about.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Progress of the ice...

Bout to get iced in here. This is the deck this morning.

This is the deck at dusk this evening.

I don't do winter to well. What with the walk for class I am just sitting around. Maybe when I pick Mary up from work I'll stop in at Academy and buy a spinner bait or something, That should make me feel like spring.

Got a walk first day of class...

I knew it was coming, the clinic I am going to, a husband and wife PT team were expecting a baby. The had alerted me they would be closed. So off to a slow start.

Seems like I am running in place, things are kind of slow right now. Sat around nursing Morgan all weekend and then got him back to his apartment. Weather has been so bad and the yard so muddy from all the rain it is impossible to do anything outside. I think I have cabin fever.

Katie was in the past weekend and we went with my mother to the new Tokyo Steak and Seafood House for Japanese food. It's a great place. Here is me and Cathy, turning Japanese. Photo by Mary with her new camera. She spent her own money to be able to be employed as a photographer by the older you will get LTD.

Driving to Doches yesterday with Morgan we crossed the Angelina. Rolling red on a high horse as we say around here. Tons of suspended red mud particles being transported from the rolling red hills of north East Texas to make my favorite fishing spots shallower. A real waste of fertile soil, we need to catch a lot of catfish to make up for the loss.

From the amount of water flooding the bottom yesterday I don't thing we will
see any of our favorite stumps to tie up to till august.

Mr. Holt still doing ok, reportly they gave him a board to write messages on and he wrote "Tell Master Olford and all I will be back soon to the TKD school." Tough guy.


Monday, January 15, 2007

Mr. Holt has lung transplant...

Mr. Holt, one of our Taekwondo instructors had a lung transplant. He had a condition that had been aquired through his work so it was good to see his number come up.

This picture is him competing at worlds about 5 years ago when he made state champ in the double bong man hee.

Here is an email, written by Mr. Prather, another TKD student with all the details I know:

in case you haven't heard, Lawrence Holt had his lung transplant on Saturday morning & the surgery went well. I just spoke to his son-in-law Eric that he was staying with in Marshall. Eric said that there were a few new complications & he had to have a blood transfusion last night. If they are not able to get the bleeding to stop then he might have to go back in tonight for more surgery. They said he was awake, aware & writing notes to them. He is a very strong man but he has a long way to go before he is out of the woods. I'm sure he could use all the encouragement from all of us that he can get. If everything goes well he will have to stay in the Baylor University Med. Center Hospital for at least 10 days & then for about 3 months in an apartment next to & owned by the hospital before he can even think about coming back to Lufkin. We all need to keep him in our thoughts so please pass this information on to everyone.

Please keep Mr. Holt in your prayers. He is a very good man.

Posted by Picasa

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Updated Instrument pictures...

The internet is good for so many things. I had an email from Katie with a link to some pictures of instruments belonging to a friend. He had seen a few pictures I have posted here. I made an updated picture and shared it with him. A new person with a shared interest.

Also it is always good to have a record of valuables.

Anyway, here is a lifetimes collection:

I did not make any pictures of anything owned by other family members or of any banjos. This is just the stuff I use.

I also mailed him a picture of my tuba, since the uptake of that cross to bear is the thing that got all this music business started.

One thing I have never posted here in the various musical features I have had is a picture of my stompbox collection. A stompbox, for those that don't partake is a box full of electric gizmos and magic smoke (don't ever let the magic smoke out of an item of musical equipment, it will not work properly afterwards) that causes your instrument to take on other sound qualities that it never had before. Here is a picture of my stompboxes:

Stompboxes have been kind of a midlife crisis thing. I got by many years playing music without owning any. My wife says some people have midlife crisises that are much worse and this one has pretty much held in check due to a job layoff several years ago.

I think these stomp boxes have a direct link to the uptake of the cross, I mean tuba. No sense in getting too deep here, I have never worn a crown of thorns while playing a tuba, a viking helmet with horns, but no thorns. The link is the effort to recreate that great shiny ass cheeks flapping together small children fleeing sound that was embedded in my head that life changing day in 1969 that I first picked up a tuba. So no matter what instrument, and you see many different ones in the above picture, I have been subconsciously looking for a way to recreate that joyful thunder that has bounced around in my head for so long. That elusive "tuba tone" is something that just cannot be duplicated without employing modern electronic gadgets full of magic smoke.

I bet you did not know I studied this stuff so hard and that experiments are inconsistent and ongoing.


Saturday, January 13, 2007

Aboutr 12 hours later...

You can see he is getting his sense of humor back. We might even let him go see the big stuffed elephant he likes so much that lives at Brookshire Bros. in Huntington.

Later in the week we should get some pictures the doc made inside of his shoulder. Posted by Picasa

Friday, January 12, 2007

He looks a little pale but...

He is doing fine. Came out of surgery about 2:30 today. By 10pm he is starting to be himself a little more. Has a nerve block to the brachial plexis so he is doing really well with the pain for now. The block could last several days but that's kind of an unknown thing. He has the vikes ready for when it wears off. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Shoulder surgery and other strange events...

Morgan has shoulder surgery tomorrow at 1pm. It's a repair of the glenoid labrum, a ring of cartilage that deepens the shoulder socket. Its scuffed up from the bone and needs to be attached back down. It's arthroscopic so it should go well. He will be is a sling for maybe 4 weeks. He has already dropped the weight lifting class he signed up for this semester, no way that will happen.

It was an uproar in Kilgore today. Let's see if I can do the tale justice.

Started normal enough, both instructors there giving out all the info for our clinicals, lot of papers to be kept so there is a record of what you did. Dr. Bice's email was given out as the person to contact, she is running the clinical part of the show. She is new, just started last semester. Well the instructors go to a meeting or something, we sit through a presentation on resume writing. Later when I got to the car my boss had called, I returned the call and we talked about my work schedule upon graduation. Big need here for a resume.

As the resume session finished up we all are headed our ways, we will not see each other again till after spring break, and Dr. Bice shows up in tears. She says this is my last day. This is something of a shock. Seems a student in the freshman class has written some type of scathing email attacking her personally, accusing her of messing up his (it's a guy, kind of narrows the suspects) holiday because of an assignment that was made. What ever has been written is so bad she does not feel like she can be unbiased to this student and therefore must leave.

Personally I think there is room for dismissal of the student due to a policy of civility in the classroom outlined in the student handbook for this program. I guess it could get messy because people sue when there is this kind of time and expense involved in these type of programs. I have heard of it happening.

So I hope this student has considered the stress of having just one instructor. My class went through it last spring. It is doable because one class is all in clinic and what little classroom time they have involves some guest speakers. The only draw back is that there is lots of night screaming involved.

On the upside of things I got nominated for some type of state wide award by my classmates. I was very honored. It is one candidate from each school in Texas and I have to submit some type of written thing, answers to questions or something, more later on this. I do know it is a monetary award, goes to the license exam cost.

Maybe a post late tomorrow on the surgery.

Chicago bound...

Looks like Katie and Travis are in for a move to Chicago. Travis has been there this week and was hired, I think a nursery manager position. That's a nursery with plants, not children. This is the kind of work he knows, it is what he does, so I think this amounts to a move up for him. Maybe Katie will post in with more details.

I think Katie will be able to work for the same people she works for now, it's a computer thing, does not matter where you are as long as you can answer a phone or be online.

So I think this amounts to the fulfillment of a dream for Katie. When she was a little kid she always said she wanted to move to Chicago. she waddled around here as a little fat baby grunting "Chiii, Chiii, Chiii." I did not know what she meant. There as speech became more well developed she said, Go Cargo, go Cargo...," and as a harried parent of 4 with blood in one eye and excretment in the other I never was able to take the time to interpret what it was she said. Then finely as she became more articulate she batted long brown eye lashes made lush by an exclusive diet of carrots and said, "I want to move to Chicago."

Thus understood, I asked, "Why?" She said, "Because it snows there."

See, the kids grew up thinking me a bad old dad because we did not live where it snowed. Due to a picture made on Raton Street in about 1960 of their mother in a baby carriage with a rare snow fall covering the coastal plain the kids cursed me each winter because I would not move them to Houston where it snowed. They had proof in the picture that it snowed in Houston but they were doomed to live in tropical Lufkin.

Until now. Katie and Travis are moving north. I cane across the noun the other day in some reading, "snowpants." Sounds uncomfortable, but maybe they will get a pair each.

Good luck to them.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007


What a waiting week. Waiting to get paperwork between Texas Workforce and the college straightened out. A chance call to them reveled one more document to sign, if I had not called I might have missed registration deadline. Still waiting to see if my account at the college updates today. Got to wait around, not to far from the phone, computer in case I need to make nasty calls, send scathing emails and such.

Also got an email from my instructor that I need updates on my last TB test in my files at school. This involves catching the infection control people in their office at the hospital where I work, they are busy people in and out. So there will be some waiting for this. Last day at work met one of these folks in the hallway and had a nice breezy chat. If I had known I needed an update I could have got it then.

Also Morgan has a shoulder surgery on Friday. He has torn the anterior part of his labrum on a board break at the TKD school. The labrum is a ring of cartilage that deepens the ball and socket shoulder joint. It's a scope surgery to fasten the labrum back down to the bone so that the as he gets older it does not start to grow spurs to keep the shoulder stable and cause arthritis. It will involve some immoblization with only passive movement for up to several weeks. Passive movement is where you don't move your arm on your own. The therapist gets to move it for you to keep from having frozen shoulder. The look on the patient's face where you do this makes all the study to get through school worthwild.

What I am really waiting on with Morgan is to see if he packs up for the move back to his apartment in Doches while he still has two good arms or I have to pack it for him.

I took the boat to the car wash yesterday. I am waiting for the carpet to dry before we slime it all up again with ginormus catfish.

Mary bought a nice digital camera. I am waiting for her contributions to the pictoral history of this page. So far only self portraits.

If you are waiting today feel free to post about it in the comment section. I'll wait for your insight.

So there you have the day, pretty boring, reveling the mortal waiting at the red light, sitting on go side of your noble adventurer. I know you expect better. I will give it, I promise.


Monday, January 08, 2007

I guess...

Life in the slow lane is fine, only thing is is does not produce a bunch of good blog writing. I can't really think unless I am outside screaming at about four in the morning. I been sleeping too good for that lately.

Anyway worked the weekend, got called in for more work today and was very busy there.

Hope to get in a fishing trip but I am patiently waiting for the Texas Workforce commission, the funders of my schooling due to job losses cause by NAFTA to pay my bill for this semester. They always seem to want to fax my voucher at the last minute and I don't like letting deadlines get so close while relying on electronic devices. It's possible I might have to drive to Kilgore for 30 minutes or so if things don't go good with the fax. They have had necessary paper work from me for enough time they should make a move in my opinion.

I guess I should not grip about free money.

Friday, January 05, 2007

So it's been a good vacation...

School starts soon so to get back in the swing of things I called up Ressler Rehab in Nacogdoches where my first rotation will be and paid them a visit today. Things went well, got the routine type business things out of the way so we can get right down to it when I start on the 16th. I'll be doing a sports medicine specialty there for two weeks. here is a link to their web site:


Don't think I ever reported my grades for the semester other than a couple of the final grades I was especially proud of. Ended up with two As and two Bs. Those Bs were in Neuro classes, I am as proud of those as if they were As. Lot of effort there.

So I guess even though the nice warm cloudy afternoon today meant that giant catfish were swimming up swallow in our secret spot I am going to be glad to get back to school. I like what I do.

I am also working all this weekend. That means scores of catfish will dodge the bullet to live long and grow to ginormus size.


Thursday, January 04, 2007

Making arrests...

No not around here, at least yet anyway, though it feels that way sometimes, must have been the reason the old man always said "damn" before he said cops. I don't know of a good reason that he would have been arrested, or me either for that matter, but things can go down hill quicker than you think. That's what seems to have happen at old Saddam's execution the other day.

The news this morning reports that there was an arrest in the incident involving the video and taunting of Saddam during his ordeal. I bet if you are watching TV you know more than me because I don't get my entertainment that way so I haven't even seen the video, so I have to try to put these things in my perspective. I certainly would not expect to go to a hanging with the intent to taunt the fellow but I would think that once you got there emotion might take over and you never know what might happen. The closes thing I could compare this to in my own experience is when I went to a "Spamorama" in Austin Texas.

People were doing all sorts of things with spam. They were cooking it. Making stuff out of it Then the two areas where I am most able to relate to the emotions that might bubble to the surface during a grotesque experience such as watching a hanging, the spam throw and the spam eating contest.

Just think think about the contents of one of those spam cans flying through the air and then slipping through extended bare arms on a fine spring afternoon only to slip to the ground and be snatched up by those larger than the city dogs everyone in Austin seems to own who then defecate where decent people will step in it. Makes you want to hollar don't it? Hollar I did. Then the eating contest, a can of spam is opened and eaten as fast as possible. Watching this was more exciting than I expected. I assure you I was at a "Spamorama" for other reasons that I can't disclose just yet other than the purpose of watching an eating contest, but I quickly picked out my favorite contestant and heartily cheered him and cursed the other riders, I mean eaters, as he gobbled his way to the timed goal. My expectations rose in the back of my throat as the swallowed whole big chunks rose in his as I watched closely for the slightest bit of gagging. When my man went down I quickly changed alliances, casting my wagers in the dirt with the other crazies and screaming even louder. Who cares if it hurt anyone's feelings to be so uncommitted?

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

First fishing trip of 2007...

Ok we will just call it the Gerald Ford Memorial Catfish Round up. Since he seems to have had several funerals, we will have several catfish round ups and bream rodeos in his honor as the year passes.

It was slow, and cold with no big fish on the noodles, only one average size one, which made a total of 8 cats with one real nice 2lb blue Cathy caught.

Saw 5 otters. They swam and played until they were about 50 yards from us. Real nice to see them diving and hear their grunting and splashing. They looked real happy. Despite previous boasts of catching, killing and eating God's creatures I left them alone.

We attracted lots of attention from the gulls today.
Word travels fast one the lake when you are catching fish. Tried to get a decent shot of them all sitting on the water behind the boat, but it just looks kind of like we were throwing empty herbal tea bottles and baked chetoe wrappers in the lake.

We cooked them when we got home. They are swimming in my belly. There was enough for us and we called the kids to tell them when they got off work, come eat. If they don't show soon, there may be more of them swimming in my

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