Thursday, August 30, 2007

Entering the video age...

I don't think I brought you up to date on the Taekwondo tournament. Mary placed 1st, Morgan took a second and I took a 3rd all in sparring. The road to World Championships next year is paved with bad food, sorry hotel beds, stinking TKD gear filling up you car and farting compadres. Whatever it takes to eck out a few tournament points.

Check out this link:

It's Mary's weapons form at the tournament. First time she has competed it and she fussed a bit about it being posted on youtube. I guess the modern thing to do is diss peoples stuff, she is worried about what comments it may bring, but as her dad I am proud and will kiss those that make bad comments. This vid was shot with my new digital camera. It took about five hours to upload with dial up so bear with me as I post other stuff. Let me know if it does well on other computers.

One more picture from the weekend. I think these are Astros fans crowded about a small hidden transistor radio. They are praying for the other teams bats to fall silent.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Showered the baby...

There was a baby shower for Kevin and Margaret at the land this past weekend. I'll probably take a few days as I go through the shots to get them posted, sort out what was happening and of course bill everyone for the service of getting their pictures posted here.

So to start with the guests of honor.

Just a general crowd shot.

And of course the hay ride.

Check back for more pictures later. With the new higher pixel quality pictures it takes a long time to up load stuff. Still stuck on dial up out here.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


Pop, Geneva and Margaret came up for some fishing. We caught 16 fish, The biggest being a 2lb blue cat on a noodle with a tomato horn worm for bait. We like to punish those horn worms.

Here is a sister shot.

Cathy doing the Huck Finn thing.

No Geneva, he's cute but Texas law prevents you from taking him home.

Me and Pop with a hat and tub shot.

As you may know Margret is with child so there was the special blessing of the belly.

And of course these fish as swimming in our bellies.

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Monday, August 27, 2007

It's been busy...

Just a moment to post before taking off to the lake. It's been a busy weekend, TKD, family, and now we are headed out fishing.

Just to get us started, when we went to the TKD tournament in Dallas we stopped by for a quick visit with my cousin David, and his wife Kathy. They lived just a few miles from the tournament site.

Here is me, my cousin David and his grandson Ryan. David last lived in Lufkin about 30 years or so ago. He remembers how it was around here before all the fast food places and chains and stuff that are making this town just like all the others moved in. That weird old Lufkin where there is still a paper mill and a Pines Theater. David got to meet a bunch of the Lufkin TKD folks and I think had a good time talking to them.

I think this might be the only picture of me made all weekend. Maybe I'll catch a big catfish today. Since I appear in this picture Davis and Ryan do not have to pay the usual $39,000 fee that goes with being pictured here.

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Thursday, August 23, 2007

Slow Week...

But not really, just not much to write about other than work, Mary to band practice every morning and getting ready for the weekend.

It will be a busy weekend. A Tkd tournament in Dallas. A baby shower for Margaret. A snockey game. A fishing trip. Stay tuned for the story.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Catching that Lighting Vibe...

You know what I do sometimes. I have written about it here. I Maybe look at an old wall that was around for a long time or maybe stand at an ancient bar somewhere trying to catch that vibe of all the people, especially if they are famous historical people. Most often that vibe I get is drunk and muddy. not me, but the famous people who have stood in the spot I'm in.

I stopped by Crockett Texas on the way back from College Station and snapped this photo of a statue of bluesman Lightning Hopkins that stands outside the Camp St. Cafe, a coffee house type music venue where he used to play. Lightning was from around these parts.

I have even played my guitar inside the Camp St Cafe where Lightning played his. It was at a guitar workshop conducted by a modern bluesman. He was showing us the right places to put our fingers. I was having trouble putting mine in those places. I don't think anyone else has ever commented to me that I was putting my fingers in the wrong places, but then I really don't talk about stuff like that too much, I just judge the emo vibe.

I think that's what Lightning did. He spent his later years by all reports laying on a cot in a rented room all day drinking gin till it was time to play. It is said that after a day of the gin drinking Lightning could not always put his fingers in the right places on the guitar.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Busy Weekend...

Friday night I helped Morgan load all his earthly belongings in his vehicle and on the trailer attached to it and he left Saturday morning to move into his new apartment in College Station.

Saturday I worked about 9 hours.

Sunday I took what few remaining things there were around there were around the house, a drum set, a couple of guitars, a toilet bowl plunger and I drove to College Station. We unloaded, ate a quick lunch, I hooked up to the trailer to fetch it back and I was home in time to play at church.

I guess he really has moved out if he took the drum set.

Last night I was tired.


Saturday, August 18, 2007


If we can get her down in one piece boys we will float it down the river to New Orleans. Folks down there will be glad to have such, even paying a fee to view it. We collect that and when the excitement has died down we cut it up and sell it to the highest bidder. There will be plenty for all, granny can get a new dress and a sack of flour. Paw-Paw can get them new choppers, little Jonny can get some of that book learning and pop can get a strang for the banjo.

I tell you guys, this is our ticket out of here. When she falls, don't let it get on you.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

School Starts so soon for the Kids...

They will be in class. Learning. Then they will spill on to the playground, eyes all sharp and sparkly, hard and bright. They have heard the new lessons. They began to chant, more and more voices take up the playground call in the cruel wicked way of some children (not mine of course):

Harding, Hoover, Nixon and Bush. You almost expect men by these names to take the field in some sort of sports outfit, a costume that identifies what they are about to become involved with. Harding, Hoover, Nixon and Bush. Maybe the starting rotation for the old Washington Senators? Harding, Hoover Nixon and Bush. Must be the cafeteria ladies. The new ones. Everyone knows they don't really cook anything at school. Kids gotta have it shipped in from Taco Bell. Big business, contracting it out. Harding Hoover, Nixon and Bush. The school board, the ones that have not built a new auditorium for one of the biggest high schools in the area. Harding Hoover Nixon and Bush. Weren't they supposed to build a drag strip right out side town? Harding Hoover, Nixon and Bush, Harding Hoover Nixon and Bush.

It goes on and on. One kid begins to cry, another starts to fight, throwing weak girl punches at shadows kicking up the dust of the playground that the tears turn to mud in his hair. The mud is in his hair because his world is upside down.

Harding, Hoover, Nixon and Bush.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

No emails this morning...

I woke this morning to an empty email inbox. The King of Nigeria snubbed me last night. He failed to require my help with the family fortune. My classmate who always sends me a card that can be viewed at the linked page must have dumped me.

So I rose from the computer. I went to the door. I stuck my head out just enough to feel the first breath of the dawning day's August heat. I hollared:

"Whoa, ya'll come through here. Hey, ya'll come through here. I said ya'll come through here. Ya'll come through here. Whoa, ya'll come through here. Ya'll come through here. I said, ya'll come through here. Hey, ya"ll come through here..."


Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Well We Should Give Away a Big Screen...

This blog is two years old today. Every visitor today gets a big screen. Don't worry, I have your shipping address. For those of you whose family will not understand your preoccupation with visiting here I have a nice card I will enclose that explains it all. It includes some pictures of me I have not posted here.

I got started in August 2005. News that month was kind of like this month, go back and check the archives, that first post is still there. Drum camp was going on, Morgan off to school and the changes since then, I'm not in school and no hurricanes on the way. There has been good news and bad news posted here throughout this time.

I am honored that there have been over 5000 visits to my little Internet home. I never thought things would be this busy. Actually there have been more than that, I did not start tracking till late November of 2005. I consider it a blessing that I have been able to keep in contact with so many people and provide them some kind of idea what goes on around here.

Ya'll keep coming around.

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Sunday, August 12, 2007

More Band Camp Shots...

Pretty slow for a weekend off work. Our usual method of operation where we catch the catfish from 9am-1pm was not agreeable to the fish yesterday. The hot hole we found last time out only produced two keepers. Maybe hot is a key word here. So we took a swim and headed home for a nap in the air conditioned shade. We will move on down south with the fishing next time.
Good time to post a few more band camp photos.

Naturally we got some tuba pictures.

The bass drums with Mary second from left on what they call "2nd bass."

The snares. Too bad those aliens flew over, they would have been looking at the camera otherwise.

Quads and cymbals.

Left flank!

Friday, August 10, 2007

SNAP Trophy Comes Home...

Went down to the Lufkin High School Band Camp where the kids have been staying and working. The always hold what's called a SNAP competition where the individual sections write a mini half time drill, perform it and are judged. Last night the drum line, under the direction of co section leaders Mary and Kaylee won 1st place. Here is a picture of them celebrating when the winners were announced. That's the first time the drum line has won since Morgan was section leader.

I actually picked up a horn at the end when a bunch of jamming went on, it was mostly kids that graduated with Morgan who came up to check out this years Panther Band model. I don't think the vales on the horn I picked up, it was a sousaphone that was just laying on the ground had been oiled all week. They were sticking bad.

Looks like the kids had a great camp, the band looks good at 150+ members strong. Going to be a great season.

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Thursday, August 09, 2007

Tomorrow is an anniversery...

Tomorrow I will have lived in this house 24 years. Lot of changes gone on around here, not only in the house, but in our lives and I guess the house reflects that.

I have a painting, I guess the first I ever bought that is of this house. I know that sounds like I have bought a lot of paintings of this house, I mean one of the first paintings period. It was one of those deals where a guy flys over your house in an airplane and makes a picture then a salesman stops by and shows you the picture and puts the hard sell on and you are all impressed that a guy in an airplane flew right over your house and you sit there and label all the colors of everything so an artist somewhere can paint a portrait from the photo, which is black and white and have all the colors correct. I was sold. Good thing I was not married at this time because my wife thinks it is the dumbest thing she has ever seen.

I like it though. It's like a snapshot in time. The trees around the house have grown and there are more of them. There has been an addition to the house. Old cars in the garage are long since resting in a junk yard somewhere. The old pair of boxers, used as a rag that the artist so faithfully captured hanging from the dog pen fence was finely taken down a few days ago.
So here is a picture. It's not too good, but you can get the idea. Like I say, my wife don't like it so it's hung in a dark corner of the house, hence the bad flash staring back at you.
Like I say though, it's a snapshot. Things move on.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

TKD pictures from a friend...

These TKD pictures, these made by a friend, the parent of one of the kids at the school are from the world tournament in June. They were just given to me last week and I'm getting around to posting the best shots.

Here's me, with my back to the camera, sparring. You are basicly looking at my best technique, driving the other guy out of the ring.

Here is Morgan doing his form. Note the shadow on the floor.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Band Camp...

Mary left for band camp yesterday. She was getting pretty silly in the car driving up there. I thought, just giddy with anticipation of a week with her buddies. When I got home I noticed the loaf of bread she had made a sandwich with. It had that good green mold on the crust. So I guess band camp got off to a bang with the ingestion of fungal spores. I bet the rest of the drummers were jealous they did not get any. Anyway she must have handled it pretty well, no calls to come get her from the band directors and no other drummers called asking for me to bring the bread.

I told Mary, since she is co section leader this year that the best way to teach the glide step to the freshman, that smooth step off move that the Panther Band is famous for is to get each freshman to hold an egg between their cheeks and when they can step off into a march without breaking the egg they have mastered it. After that you can move on to using the egg as a teaching tool for mastering other marching fundamentals. At the end of band camp you can make a big omelet with any unbroken eggs left.

I feel a little bad sometimes, some parents take off from work each year to go help out with band camp, all the kids I have had in band and I have never done that. Course I kind of had an excuse the past couple of years, I was at a camp myself. Carried an egg of sorts between my own cheeks.

So I told Mary, "If any of the band boosters ask about me, tell them that I have locked myself in my room and I do nothing but play the tuba day and night, never stopping to eat or sleep. Have not been out for weeks" Mary said, "They never ask about you."

The Hit of the Summer...

You know the other neighbors have a big teenager they installed in the old dog hotel next door. They have been in and out this summer, the neighbors and the big teenager. I can kind of see why he is in and out. The windows are up, a tell tell sign of no air conditinor. Of course if you had to do without this would be the summer to do it. Seems like we have made it this far and the Texas heat is only just now setting in around here.

Any way I noticed they were blasting "Free Bird" on the boom box yesterday evening. Don't know if they had just got hold of dad's cds or what, but seems I first remember hearing that song in 1974. Course I would not have heard it yesterday, except the Tom Waits cd I was blaring, a section of sad songs he calls Bawlers in a recently released trilogy, ended. Tom Waits music is good music to dig by, which I was doing, digging a trench for an irrigation hose to the oleanders so I would not run over it with the mower again. Course I was thinking about what Jim White said, if I can kind of paraphrase, nothing like a good looking girl digging a heart shaped hole in the ground or something like that.

Now I don't pretend to be a good looking girl or was the hole heart shaped, but I do like old hits, especially when they were recorded in Kansas City by men in matching suits before the war. WW2 that is.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

purchase photos here...

Check out this link, click on ATA Taekwondo individual shots then search Wallace. You can view some portraits that were made by Rickey McNeal Photos. There were some really great action shots they made just playing around that are not posted here, wish you could see them.

Rickey, the photographer, is a guy that used to work at the mill. His son Reggie was a Lufkin high and Aggie football standout. Last I heard he was with the Bengals.

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Thursday, August 02, 2007

It's so hard...

And then they make fun of you. Seems that is the way life goes. For tuba players anyway. Here is a link my daughter Katherine sent, you would think family would have some mercy on you, it's a tuba player joke. A take off on a popular video game:

Actually I have been considering a resurgence of my tuba career. At the recent Alumni concert I played I met the local community band director. He invited me to begin playing in the fall at Angelina College. Rehearsals on Tuesday nights. I'd miss one a month because of another gig, but they say that's OK.

I have not really made a decision on this, don't know if I really want to put the time in it, but on the other hand I would like to keep my tuba skills sharp. I was a pretty good tuba player at one time, now I just kind of keep sharp enough for the occasional gig on tuba. Id like to take a lot of the gigging experience I have on guitar and mesh it with the music reading experience I have on tuba. We listen to a lot of music that has tuba in it, the Balkan and New Orleans stuff. I have ideas.

Here's a picture, it has appeared here on these pages before of me early in my tuba career.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Soundtracks of late...

For the music fan, I have not covered the tunes spinning in our changers. Naturally there is the new release by GoGol Bordello, the namers of this blog. Cathy says she smells sell out, losing the gypsy essence, better hair cuts, reviews in Rolling Stone and the usual signs. Don't let that stop you though, I bet the rock in most peoples collections is already dead.

Another guy in heavy rotation is Jim White. We picked up on him off emusic through his soundtrack to the documentary he made about our neighbors, Buford and Brenda, called "Wrong Eyed Jesus." Just think about that, if the picture on the wall of Jesus had the wrong eyes. We have picked up several od his cds over the past month and he is mining the southern Gothic vein to great effect. Get a couple of his cds and rent the Tennessee Williams screen play "Baby Doll", sit on the porch and watch the neighbors, man that's some good summer living.

Also check out Papa Mali. He got profiled in Guitar Player magazine and I thought this sounds like something I would like. Called Do you Thing, they had it on emusic. Then I realized the guy was an acquaintance. He was none other than Malcolm Wellbourne who used to play guitar in the Killer Bees, a Shreveport based reggae band from the 80s. He was a friend of Gary Strong's and we actually stood in line to get in the Jazz Fest together one time. Don't let the voodoo persona fool you, real nice guy. Wrote a great tribute to Strong on his online obit page.

This is just a quick run down so you guys get started jamming.

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"...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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