Wednesday, February 28, 2007


For the big white dog fans. Here he is. He has only spent about 7 days at home this year. He is missing his collar and is nice, fat and sassy. Not like he has been roughing it or anything. Gotta love that face. That's El Guapo in the background trying to be a big dog too.

And how about this guy? I made this picture, Cathy made up a lost dog poster because he had on a brand new designer John Deere Tractor collar and we started to get in the car to head down to Huntington to post notice at the post office, the Dairy Queen and the store, but as we got it the car a loud whistle rang out and he took off toward a house across the Farm Road from the church about 200 yards from us.

Turns out he was a new arrival to the man that rides the horse around the neighborhood. His name is Hairy. Hairy had a little trouble learning to stay at his house, but I think he has it figured out now.

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Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Vegas Pictures...

Well I think they went to a tournament in Vegas. They missed the return flight, caught a later one, claimed held up by security. Said they asked what they knew about the older you will get.

On the way.

Why do all fighters fall for the sins of the city? A little fear and loathing in Las Vegas perhaps?

Hey I placed forms and sparring in Vegas one time. Where were the dancing girls then?

The bright lights.

Oh yeah, there was a tournament.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Weekend Activities...

Pretty quiet weekend around here. Bunch of RCIA activities at church. On Saturday a morning of prayer then Sunday the Rite of Election with a trip that afternoon to Tyler for all candidates and the elect to be accepted by the Bishop. Me and Cathy are sponsors, that's our part in all this.

The funniest thing that happened all weekend was Saturday evening at the wedding of one of Cathy's co-workers daughter. It was held in the big Baptist church in Huntington. As a surprise to the groom and a nod to his Scottish heritage the was a bagpiper with a very military bearing who led the wedding party in and out.

At the end as the bride and groom made their exit and the shrill sounds of the pipes died away and the vision of the swampy moors disappeared in everyone's mind I heard the voice of a young child ring out.

I swear I head him say," What the hell was that noise."

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Knock out in Vegas...

Word just in, Mary's ring finished and she got 1st place sparring at the ATA Spring Nationals. Word is she waded through them. Says the competition is tougher in Texas.

I bought Mary a 1gig memory card for her camera. That's the same size as the first computer I ever owned. Looked like it would take 1200 pictures. Maybe we will have some shots to post next week.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Mary fights in Vegas...

Mary and Morgan journey to Las Vegas for the American Taekwondo Association Spring Nationals. Mary is working her way toward a chance to compete in the sparring portion of the world championships at headquaters in Little Rock in June.

Morgan is out of the picture as far as competion goes. He just got his shoulder out of the sling from his surgery in January.

They fly out this afternoon. Wish them luck.

In fact I have an idea. Since Mary and Morgan have such cool heads, mature, able to travel by themselves I have a proposition for you. Any of you. Send me your bank account or credit card number. Even cash, but that won't get here in time, but I'll take it. Just simply post the numbers in the comment section of this blog and I'll make sure the kids place some bets for you. Naturally they will get a certain percentage of the winnings, but I expect the return on your investment to be great. We will work out all the details after you send the money. Do this as soon as possible. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Ya'll think I'm making this stuff up...

If you are a regular here, you know these have been cropping up everywhere in the area. Look back to a previous post for more details.

Well, I found another one. I don't know what to call it, some sort of installation. Maybe I am just paranoid. Are they watching, listening, trying to tighten the net on us night screamers?

Look at the picture closely. In the background, blended with the brush you see a back up installation. Back up means serious business to this old boy, at least it does on the cop shows.

I snuck up to this thing, approached it on it's blind side and carefully, quietly placed my ear to the opening. I could hear a steady whistling noise. I listen for a while and the noise never changes. Then I remembered, oh yeah, I play in a band with Larry. I hear that noise all the time, I just forget about it sometimes. So this thought made me write a poem and this is a first, I don't think my poetry has ever appeared in these pages. Maybe you will see more, but here it is:

Larry, you little wild thing,
You make my ears ring,
You make everything:

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Ash Wednesday Blues...

That's the title of a cd by New Orleans singer Anders Osborne. I plan on giving it a listen today. I don't really have the blues, just aware of the fact that ashes to ashes, dust to dust, one day I'll rest in he ground like these good folks in the Old Waverly cemetery where I made this picture on a winter day.

Till then I'll be reflective during the season of Lent. I'll listen, look, instead of giving something up, I'll try to do something more so that when the new bloom of spring comes I'll have some different habits that I can carry into the new light of spring.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

All on a Mardi Gras Day!...

Too bad we can't be there. And the only reason is to boost the economy of the storm ravaged city. Really.

Here's a shot made at the Jazz Fest, but these Mardi Gras Indians will be out there today in the new suits they have spent all year sewing.

I don't know about you, but there is just something relaxing about catching the beads thrown from the parade floats. I think it is just the fact that you get out there and go ape doo-doo over a worthless trinket that means absolutely nothing. Maybe it lowers the inflated value we put on certain other things we have in our lives so that an equilibrium is created and things are back in perspective.

Here is a parade shot. I don't think I have been to a Mardi Gras in the digital camera age yet so I had to dig through old 35mm shots real quick this morning to find something appropriate. There are other shots in my collection but this is just the first I have found.
Good reason to go back to New Orleans, make a parade picture that captures the smell of the ape doo-doo.

Monday, February 19, 2007


Mary took a first sparring last weekend. She competed against #3 on the list linked below for first and second place and won. Her and Morgan fly to Las Vegas next weekend for Spring Nationals. Check the link, scroll to the Sparring for the contenders. This weekends points have not been added.

SPARRING GIRLS 2nd, 3rd Degree Black Belt 14 - 16 YEARS OLD
The link:

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Tournament time...

Mary and Morgan are off to a Taekwondo tournament in Humble today. Morgan is still in the sling, but Mary is down the home stretch for qualifying to compete as world champ 14-16 year old 2nd and 3rd degree girls. Next weekend they fly to Las Vegas for spring nationals.

Mary should be ready. She left the house yesteryear wearing a cheap pair of fake patent leather pump sans any type of hosiery purchased at the local discount Ur-Shoes-R-U.

There will be some stink foot in your face going on today.

Friday, February 16, 2007

More Dreams...

Only two ways to sort out the stuff in your head and that's by night screaming or dreaming. The screaming gets stuff out. The dreaming finds places to put stuff you have learned. The night screaming must be done late at night outside naked and it's real cold right now. The dreaming, well you are asleep in a warm bed, so take your pick. The dream:

I was in a boat, water was flood stage and I saw red mud shore lines being battered and eroded by waves. Then I am back home, I look at my watch, I must be at work by three I think to myself. First though I have a riding lawn mower that must be driven up ramps into some kind of U-Haul (they are not one of my sponsors) box van. Only problem is that the van is full of furniture and other household possessions. Lamps and funky bed frames, rickety nigh stands and shoddy book cases. There is no room for the mower. I start to rearrange, but I look at my watch again and think I will never get this done by three.

Then the alarm wakes me up. To bad I don't have a head doctor on retainer, lots of stuff to work with here. Plenty of symbolism to digest. If you come up with anything good, let me know.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Hard to resist this...

$100. I often dream of things I like to do when I get out of school. The dream usually involves something that needs doing at church or may be a fun thing I could do playing music or a trip I could take with a little disposable income and time.

Now if I had a cool 100 clams to waste I could advertise this site. I saw an ad in the paper for jumbotron sponsors at the Lufkin football stadium. $100 gets you advertised on the big screen four times, at the big district track meet, the Special Olympics, 2007 graduation and one other I cannot remember. Sounds like a bargain to me. You know how this internet business is, get on it and people will pay you. They email already and say, "Carl, (some call me mudbelly) I want some of what you got. Here is the cash for it."

I actually have advertised a few times on the jumbotron during Lufkin Football games. The camera focused on me because I had on a funny hat. No name, no logo, think of those instances as merely creating a buzz for what is to come.


Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The Great Valentine's Day Debacle...

No I did not forget, but one thing I bought was not what it seemed.

While making up a little gift basket for my wife I spied a t-shirt at K-Mart that said "Belly Dancer." That's an area of interest for my wife, she has a lot of the music. It should have crossed my mind that K-Mart is not the best place for buying supplies for unusual hobbies. Turns out that it was a maternity shirt. That kind of belly. I bought a medium, so it's not like real billowy on her or anything. She was not mad or nothing, I guess it really is the thought that counts.

She thinks she might be able to make some kind of project out of the shirt.

Also today my instructors from Kilgore pays a visit to me on location to talk to my clinical instructor to see how things are going. I bet they don't bring Valentines. I have my skill check off book, the MACS all ready and it looks pretty good.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Had a weekend off...

First whole weekend off since school started. Wish the weather had been a little better, would have gone to the lake, but a little wind stirring in the trees and temps seeming like they might not get out of the 40s made me decide that it could possibly feel like the 30s on the water. Also the boat ramp we have been using was closed due to high water last time we tried to go so I spent a bit of time on the mower bagging a few leaves and dumping them in flower beds around the house.

Afternoon me and Cathy went for a hike on the 4-C trail in Davy Crockett National forest. Here is the trail:

I think those camo coveralls have been her favorite get up this winter. She had been wearing Morgan's but at a post hunting season sale she bought her own. They were a little long in the leg, but Mo's had got a little short in the leg for him so they traded. Both feel like they got the better deal.

A different bridge here, check the sand river bottom in the background, swept clean by recent high water. We met a swamp ape and had him take the picture.

Saw several hunters. One was set up on the trail, we were on a long straight stretch and could see a log in the distance that looked like a good seat, but a guy with a rifle poked his head up about 70 yars away and so we turned around and went back. I thought hunting season was over. One group of two we saw walking on the road as we left had a rifle with a bipod set up, I guess you can hunt hogs or varmits year round. No one wearing hunter orange. I would have if I had known those guys were around.

Back home I took a picture of Mary and El Guapo being cute.

Also the big white dog graced us with his presence. Have not seen much of him since Christmas. He was just as fat and slick as could be. He must be living else where, but has not completely forgotton us.

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Friday, February 09, 2007

Almost missed an anniversary of sorts...

Walked out of the paper mill for the last time on or somewhere about this date in 2004. Seems like a long time ago, so distant that it was a dream or maybe never even happened. So weird to have a 25 year chunk of life disappear like that.

Maybe it's not weird to everyone that worked there. Every now and then I talk to someone who says old so and so he is just waiting for the place to start back up. I guess it seems like a dream it me because I have not waited. I have moved on. Put old things in the distant past. Made room for new.

I will kind of be glad to put some of these new things in the past. School for example, glad to get that past, become comfortable, experienced and competent in my new career so that one day when it ends, hopefully at a time of my choosing it will be like a good dream and I can lay my head down in peace.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Writing different stuff these days...

My output seems to have slowed here. I think I am using my words elsewhere. I am writing patient notes while on my clinical. Documents stuff, what's up with them, what they did, your assessment of how they did and a plan for the next time.

Got to be short and concise, which is trouble for me. Most people don't like to write, but I can write for hours. Anybody reading patients don't want a physical therapy note that takes hours to read. They want to find out info about the patient very quickly.

So I am using up all my words being short and choppy and to the point. May be I really storing up a torrent to be let out here in the future.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

The cousins visit...

Don't jump to conclusions. We have not taken up the hobby of drowning small animals.

Here is the group what has come to be known around here as the cousins. Left to right is our little dog El Guapo, with Katie and Travis's brood from Austin, Udie and Killer. They are taking a bath together, getting their tummies scrubbed till they are plumb pink.

As you can see, El Guapo looks somewhat distracted from his usual pasttime of standing around trying not to stink. Udie of the laser eyes expected more bubbles. Killer, he just expects. Posted by Picasa


Saturday, February 03, 2007

I am ready for spring...

How may reasons can I think of that I am ready for spring? Just the good ones now, I'll leave off the stuff about baby birds and blooming flowers since you guys know how damn sensitive I am.

I'm tired of old winter clothes. I got a bunch of nice short sleeves, t-shirts and shorts. My old drabby long sleeves make me look like an old man. Ok, I walked into that one. I am an old man. And when I layer with the t-shirts I look like a sausage.

The farm road to the house, through the wisdom of the Texas Highway Department, has been reduced to a wagon trail. There have been days lately when it rained and I did not think my little car would make it. It's a stretch of road that begins when my blacktop meets the highway and does not reach solid ground for about two miles. I have taken to sometimes driving to Huntington and then to Lufkin, adding up to 10 miles to each days travel. The cars are covered in mud. Can't be good, that much weight, 192 pounds of mud on my little car (46 pounds) is bound to be a strain on the tranny, which I am sure is only engineered to the specs of car weight. The manual says DO NOT PULL ANY LOAD WITH THIS CAR. My wife is driving the truck, that proud woman is invincible in the mud. Speaking of mud, that road base stuff drys and drops off in the garage. There is more mud in my garage than Davy Crockett had on his feet when he trudged through Nacogdoches that long ago spring on his way to the Alamo.

By next weekend I will have been through a strecth of about 25 days of work and school with only about 1 and 1/2 days off. On one of those half days, last Saturday, rain was a threat. We trailered to the lake only to find the Hanks Creek ramp closed due to high water. I have never seen that before, the ramp referred to as "Big Hanks" is closed a bit of each spring, but never "Little Hanks." We headed to Monterary Park, only to have the skys dump out on us so we headed home without ever launching the boat.

For those of you who have booked a trip with the older you will get catch your own supper service I hope we will be able to find a stump to tie up to by late July or so. No fish, you get a big screen TV.

What else is there? Make your own list, use mind, or hand me some whine. I need some bright days.


Friday, February 02, 2007

Too many words...

That's what someone told me. You regular readers here would never guess that. That statement was clarified as too many words in the morning for someone who is not a morning person. Since I am married to someone who is not a morning person and have been married for quite some time now you would think I would deal with these type dangers a little better. I guess it helps that my morning person works nights so I only spent about 14 actual true mornings a month with her.

I don't know what gets me going so early. Maybe it's the night screaming. That wordless expression of my mid age angest that leaves me physically exhausted and raw throated. So it seems anyway. Whatever, maybe I am just ready to be out of school. Tired of waking up a raw nerve. I do know from neuro last semester that there are a couple of brain systems that control alert and resting comfortably.

You got the descending reticular system. You lay down, get comfy and boom you are asleep. Little bunches of tissue that look like boogers and snot strings say everything is safe and ok, let your guard down. Then there is another system, looks about the same if we could lay it out on the table and we will call it the RAS. It's the part that hears something in the night and makes you come alert and see about it or it will tell you that was just the ice maker dumping and you can go back to sleep. That's the part out of whack on me.

When I wake the RAS kicks into high gear, it may be a caveman RAS that tells me there are wild things about, it does not say you still have some sleep time. It is saying go, go, go!

So off I go, right or wrong, good and bad, generally irritating the heck out of everybody. Does the RAS make you play the tuba?


Thursday, February 01, 2007

Getting on with the week here...

Been kind of a long week here what with all the events that have happened.

Aaron's funeral was yesterday and there were great words spoken by all in celebration of his life. The Lufkin High School Jam Band, a loose group of about 40 members who play tunes that the students themselves have arranged played at the cemetery. It was about as close to a New Orleans style jazz funeral as you can get in this town.

I have been on my new rotation at Nacogdoches Medical Center so in addition to my thoughts and prayers being in other places I have been getting to know new people and patients. Seems everyday I have fallen asleep early feeling very tired only to wake early. I am really getting enough sleep, but the extra morning hours makes it seem like I am not. Been kind of a long pull here, rotations, weekend work including the extra day I put in at my job, I still have to work this weekend before I have a weekend off.

Maybe we can start to get back to the things we have left unattended over the past week while we mourned and supported the friends and family of Aaron.
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