Friday, March 30, 2007

Another Odds and Ends Week...

I picked up a student newspaper last week in Kilgore. Had this headline in the local events section.

I know there are only two of them left alive so I guess they can still call themselves the Beatles. When they are down to one, it will be Beatle I guess.

I would have gone, but I think I had to get a haircut or something that day.

There are also some disturbing pictures of animal abuse floating around out there on the net. Here is just one example.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Here's some good news...

Dan-Danz, one of our sponsors, ( he pays $96,000 a month for the link at the side bar and that's the musician discount. I don't know why the rest of the band has not jumped on this?) is a Grandpa.

Benjamin Daniel Maxwell was born on the 27th and weighed 3lb 6 oz. That's a little small, but he is doing fine.

Most grandpas would be buying baseball bats, fishing rod, I suspect Dan will encourage the hobbies of drums and cameras as soon as possible.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Special training is needed...

Catching up with some pictures from Cathy and Mary's trip. These are from the visit to Katie and Travis in Chicago.

Special training is needed for southern people to live in the north. Here is Katie undergoing that special session which was hosted at the Chicago Zoo. The changes in wardrobe necessary are already being seen with just a few short weeks of residency.

This is the neighborhood. That's Katie, Travis and Mary taking a walk. Pretty crowded compared to the ranch they lived on in Austin, but it is nice and they are adapting well.

Their apartment house. Now that you have the picture, go visit. Just drive down the street and look for it, Chicago aint so big.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Started last rotation...

My last clinical rotation started at Nacogdoches Memorial in patient rehab yesterday. Nice place, nice people. It is kind of tucked back in that little neighborhood between Mound and Raguet Streets. Real quiet, with college students walking to school down the shady back alleys that run this way and that in this older residential area off the downtown.

Should make it just fine there.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Nice Memorial for Strong...

Minister did a real good job at the memorial Saturday. A few folks got up and shared memories. Afterwards we went to his parents house and had a good visit, not just with them, but with other old friends that had dropped out of our lives, but were still linked to us through Gary. I think I will reestablish some of those contacts as well as staying in contact with his family.

Stayed in Fort Worth with Scott and Ellen. It was a great visit. We went down to the stockyards and saw a rodeo.

This is the calf scramble, I swear I heard someone say "yoder time in hootersville."

Trick riding. Sorry it's a little blurry. I read that girl in backs lips as she went buy. She was saying, "yanktershire."

Do these people look like cowboys to you?

Friday, March 23, 2007

Obit for Gary Strong...

Thursday, March 22, 2007

I usually do this to people...

Disclaimer, this is not on my butt.

Looks like El Guapo got dog bit today. I treated it just like I would a wound in the hospital, except I would have had on gloves Somehow it just did not seem necessary with a dog. Anyway you always make a picture to start out so you can document any changes.

Cleaned it real good with soap and water. No peroxide, that just kills all the good stuff the body puts out to heal itself. Those bubbles with peroxide, that's just the O2 from all the red blood cells you have just destroyed escaping.

The reason we all survived childhood with our mothers putting alcohol and peroxide on us is because we were young and strong. Throw in some vascular problems, a little renal insufficiency, you can create some real problems for yourself in your golden years. Posted by Picasa


For contributions...

It has been suggested by Gary's parents to make memorials instead of sending flowers. Their suggestion was Serria Club, Nature conservatory and so on, I do not know if these are favorites of theirs or how they decided.

I talked to Suzi last night and she mentioned that Wally and Sill had took over runing of the Americana Festival from Red River Radio and have formed some kind of group bringing in entertainment, sounded kind of like the house party scene that you may have heard about. Did not get a bunch of details, so this info is kind of sparse right now.

My suggestion was that WWOZ radio in New Orleans is having it's fund drive right now, contribute there in Gary's name.

For now though, I will hold off, someone might have a better idea.

Here is Gary's parent's address if you do contribute to anything so the organization can send a card letting them know of the memorial.
Nolan and Pat Strong
6920 Briar Cove Dr.
Dallas, TX 75254

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Service time for Strong...

There will be a service for Gary in Dallas, Saturday at the Arapaho united Methodist Church, 11am.

I don't think the earthly remains will be there so it may not be the traditional funeral in that sense.

I think there may be plans for a memorial in Nacogdoches at a later date.

More info as I get it.

Here is a google search link for the church:,+TX&radius=0.0&latlng=32783333,-96800000,3780700043221196951&sa=X&oi=local&ct=result&cd=1

Monday, March 19, 2007

So to think some nicer stuff for a while...

We had a really good church St Pat's festival yesterday. I did not hear about Gary till I was loading my amp so maybe his good time spirit was with us.

I spent the first part of the fest cooking ribs with David and Donna Trevino in this booth. There was also Cajun, Vietnamese, Philipno, and Mexican food.

Joe, Reagan and Russell played.

Manuel was everywhere doing all kinds of work, making sure things ran smooth.

Deacon Gary.

Philippine food booth. Couple of those guys told me they had a band. Need a bass player, why did they tell me that?

What else but a big screen TV for the grand prize.

Wanda, Eva, and Augustin.

Left to right, Father Paul, the priest from Guadalupe in Diboll, Father Bill.

Ed and Kathy, fest chairmen.

Naturally where I am shadowed by the authorities wherever I go.

Los StratKats closed the day down. If you want more pictures of us they are a dollar each. All proceeds to the building fund.

Look at all those folks in those pictures. So many stories. I guess life goes on.


Sunday, March 18, 2007

Lost a friend...

Gary Strong, an old friend of mine and Cathy's passed away last night. I last talked with him about 10pm that evening. We only talked about 15 minutes or so. Said he had been in a funk lately but was feeling better. He was at the beach and told of walking by the water, "not on the water," is the way he put it and watching the sunset.

I told him walking on the water is easy, walking in it is the hard part. Gary was a troubled guy. May he rest in peace. Here is a picture of him on a Mexican beach about 15 years ago maybe. I have quite a few pictures of Gary, but this one I think might capture that thing, what ever it was. He looks a little lost, I hope he is found.

I used to have a poem posted on this page called "Rider In." That's you Gary.

Please remember his family and friends in your prayers.

More Dreams...

I dreamed I was having a conversation with the actor George Clooney. He said, "The blog was pretty good when you first got started, but now it kinda just seems like you are repeating yourself.

I said, "Git him, lion."

Picture courtesy of Mary and the Chicago Zoo. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Sold the Trooper...

Cathy and Mary made it in yesterday evening with Morgan's new Isuzu and I capped off a pretty productive week here by selling the old Trooper through a Peddler ad.

Here is an on the road self portrait they made. It is one of a series, I can only assume they were parked when they took them or on a good straight stretch of road.

The ad said runs good, tranny work needed. My mechanic insisted the transmission was out. I though the problem was electrical. My mechanic offered a very low price. I did not sell, but listed what I thought was a fair price for a car that will be needing some money put into it.

So a guy calls, comes checks it out, I can tell he likes it, but calls later and says no. Yesterday he shows up at my door. Wants to look at the car again. He opens the hood and pulls one of the big fuses from the box located there. The car runs fine, transmission shifts. RPMs are up a little because of the lack of refinement or what ever the fuse does. This guy likes the car, leaves to get his wife's blessing for the purchase and returns with cash money.

He got a real good deal, I'm glad, he will need to put some tires on and stuff even if the transmission keeps working so the was my goal to sell at a fair price that took into consideration any expenditures to be made.

Any way it's better that Morgan put his cash into the new one since he's off to the big city for school somewhere and needs something that won't need repairs for at least a couple of years. The Isuzu is so nice and clean it is causing me the sin of envy.

Parallel universe note. The guy that bought the car was a real nice guy. Lives about a mile down the road, I pass his house everyday. He plays the string bass. I play electric bass. He plays ukele and so does my wife. His wife plays several instruments and was a music major at SFA who never finished. Sounds like you know who.

Look for more road trip pictures to come.

Friday, March 16, 2007

El Guapo Come to Town...

I get home shortly afte lunch time yesterday. A message on the phone, it's my neighbor. She says, "your little dog, we call him Spot, is at my dads shop, you can come get him or I will bring him home."

Her dad's shop is Bobby Jones Air Conditioning. By my estimate that's at least 7 miles from the house. Talk about momentary facts of the world as we know it reorganization, I think how did this little dog get there? I grab the phone and call the shop. Bobby happens to be the guy I bought this old house I live in from. I get a female, not Bobby's daughter Robby, who is on her way home, and this person fills in some facts. Looks like Robby's son Zack about 16-17 or so has set out on a bike to the shop and El Guapo followed. He has entertained the shop and all are impressed at the distance this little dog has covered. They call him Spot for the spot you can see in the picture.

Any way Robby soon pulls up, she has a pretty new sporty ride of some type, El Guapo travels in style, and they hand him out the window. As I grab him out the car window I can feel from his muscle tone how tired he is. He takes a big nap. I thank them. El Guapo sleeps away the afternoon, he is tuckered out.

After a while, Bobby Jones himself, the owner of the shop shows up next door (big past time, watching the neighbors) and looks like there is some type of repairs going on to that house. Bobby is handy repairing stuff, I have hired him a few times myself. El Guapo stirs from his nap at the sound of the voices carrying across the field. He heads over there to see Bobby again.

This is what I suspect. Bobby Jones can often be seen at Pete's Place, see the link on the side bar, Bobby has an ad for his shop under the acrylic table tops at Pete's and he took El Guapo to lunch at Pete's. That is why El Guapo headed down soon as he heard Bobby's voice, he thought they were going to supper.

I left for the TKD colored belt testing and they were back by the time I got home.


Thursday, March 15, 2007

Glad my brain farts are on spring break...

With the womens of the household out of town you would think it would be a wild good time around here. It's pretty quiet. Trying to not get so far out to sea I can't swim back on this case study I am writing. Got a hair cut. They called me and I worked about 5 hours yesterday. Jammed with the boys to prepare for the gig this weekend.

The one area that my brain has passed gas in is that I cannot establish the location of my camera. It was last seen when we went to the lake last Friday. No pictures were made. It was in the bag with the cds we carried to listen to in the boat. I don't know where those cds are either. I hate this loss, maybe it will turn up. The camera is a few years old, the batteries are held in with a velcro apparatus of my own design so we are not talking a brand new modern device and it seems like it now and then does not focus properly but it is an old friend that has recorded many happenings, a bunch of which have been shared on this page with you good visitors.

I guess I brought this loss on myself when I called an old friend the other day, someone I had not spoken with in years and gave him the address here. Told him, check it out for pictures of us in action.

Another good reason to have this blog, I don't call you and lose my camera.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

I got the case study blues...

I am doing a different kind of writing this week. A case study for school. It's about a patient I saw last rotation. I have all the facts and figures, know what I want to tell but the thing that makes it slow going is you must cite journal articles and such and that takes pouring through a bunch of online stuff and sorting out what you can use.

So to relieve the tension I partaked of a little vandalism last night. I painted the nearby water tower which as some of you know is a continuing feature here. Mary usually helps, we paint, they cover it, it is an endless cycle.

I sure missed Mary, who is out of town with Cathy this week. It was rainy and cold and the ladder and catwalks were slippery. Not the kind of place I like to be, I have had too many patients my age who fell off their roofs to have any grand illusions about my skill working at heights. Yes I needed Mary and those short wide monkey feet that grip the narrow places so well. I needed her strong arms to carry the paint buckets. She thinks carrying buckets make her breastuses grow big. I needed her creative art work, but I have no sense of design.

But I got it done, another plug for the church fest and the gig by the StratKats. All proceeds of the fest go to the building fund.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Bachelor city around here this week...

Morgan is transporting Cathy and Mary to the Houston airport as I write. The reason for the trip is to take delivery of an automobile that Morgan is purchasing from Margaret, Cathy's sister who lives in Evansville Indiana. They will drive back. On the way they have an overnight stay planned in Chicago with Katie and Travis.

Me and Morgan both have other fish to fry, work, school papers to write and so on is the reason we stay home. The reason for the cross country purchase is a simply a good car at a good price with no note for Morgan. He had a note on the last old car, but with his pending transfer to another school leaves the income situation up in the air at this time, so best not to pile up the debt.

This weekend is the St. Pat's festival at church. The Stratkats (that what we call ourselves) play from 5-7pm Sunday. Come see us. This won't be the only plug you see here this week. We are actually going to rehearse and everything.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

I sat in a lawn chair...

I was cooking fish on the out door cooker. The sun was sinking a fine spring afternoon. It had been a good busy day at work. Muddy Waters boomed out of speakers on a cheap boom box. My wife modeled her new bathing suit.

I'm thankful for everything!

Friday, March 09, 2007

Woo Hoo Spring Break...

Well I am headed out to one of those spring break destinations. You know the kind of place where college students wake up drunk, naked, sun burnt, covered in puke and they find you haven't had their shoes off since March.

No I'm really not. Just kidding. But it will be nice to have a week off. Been a real good clinical at Nac Med Center. They like me there and would have me back after graduation. Nice to begin seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

It would be nice to be able to slip out a little early today, Cathy sure wants to go fishing. I do too. I don't think we have had the boat in the water since school started. I have to work again this weekend though, I swapped a weekend so I could be off for the church festival.

So it's a week of spring break, then a week in the class room before the final clinical starts. That week in the class room involves some mock license testing. Look for night screaming, coming your way soon.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

A Little Texas History...

I'll post a photo by Dan-Danz. You can check out more of his stuff at the link on the side bar. Maybe if I get the facts wrong he will chime in here to correct me. Here is the photo:

This is reportedly the oldest standing wall in east Texas. It is in downtown Nacogodoches, most lately part of the old Blank & Company restaurant, in the time of the Texas revolution it was part of a store where Davy Crockett is believed to have stopped for supplies on his way to the Alamo. To paraphrase the Steve Earle song, nobody told Davy that Texas was part of Mexico. It was a bloody mess, you know the rest.

Anyway in honor of Texas history I like to think about that cold late winter early spring when Davy stopped by here. He was cold, muddy, drunk and stinking. He had not had his shoes off since October. Did I say stinking? He went inside where everybody else was huddled around a smoky little fire that was blackening the walls of the place and they were all cold, muddy, drunk, stinking and had not had their shoes off since July. Did I say stinking?

I think when I am in Nacogdoches today I might try to drive by this spot. Catch a little of that Crockett vibe. Maybe take my shoes off for a while.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

So if you had to explain yourself...

Me and my wife were talking about music. We talk about music a lot. Someone threw out the term, describing certain songs as "typical garage band stuff." You know, "Louie, Louie," "Secret Agent Man," songs like that.

Cathy asked, "How would you explain the term "garage band" to a person from another country?" I wonder if this is a term only in use in this country?

Band is pretty easy. A group of people together for one cause. People have a natural instinct to band together.

What about garage. Cathy says you start like this, "You know, the little house where you keep your car." they say, "What car?" Heck, they might even be appalled that we have a house for the car especially if they don't have a house at all.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Odds and Ends from the Weekend...

Worked some long days this weekend. Got to work next weekend because I switched a weekend to be off for the church festival. Be glad when I get a full time job. Maybe I won't have to work so much.

Got a study guide for the National license test and started studying for that this weekend.

Friday night was the best night of the weekend. Our little state school band. which seems to have grown into the name "StratCats" played for the individuals out there just like usual. What was unusual was that there was a group called Advocacy INC. who represented interests who look into the possibility of shutting down facilities like this if it seems that the individuals will be served better in nursing homes or group homes. We were scheduled to play that night instead of our usual night to be able to showcase an example of the activities the folks there regular get.

The band played well, I even saw some of the visitors dancing. Hopefully we can have a hand in not only preserving the quality of life for the folks that reside at the state school, but also the jobs represented there for the community.

Next gig for the StratCats is the St. Patrick's festival to be held on the church grounds March 18 from 12-7pm. We play at 3pm. There will be food (not by the band) games, a raffle and other entertainment. All proceeds go to the church building fund.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

See the Katherine Moves Movie...

Maybe you can get this to work. It's a Windows media player file. I think I right clicked and saved it to the desktop.

Here is a Quicktime if you like that better:

They are on the move...

Today Travis and Katie pack all their stuff into a medium size U-Haul, slam the two dogs in the backseat and move to Chicago.

The have a place to live lined up in what is called the Ukrainian Village part of town, Travis has a plant nursery job, same field he has always worked in, but a better position and Katie has the option to work at home for the same company or peruse other interests.

Keep them in your prayers as they drive today and remember, all reading here are invited to the Cubs/Astros game on July 15th.
"...I know I've seen that face before," Big Jim was thinking to himself "Maybe down in Mexico or a picture up on somebody's shelf..."Bob Dylan from "Lilly Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts
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