Saturday, June 30, 2007

Got a tuba gig today...

Heading up to the middle school band hall for a day of rehearsals for the Lufkin High School Band Alumni Reunion and Concert tonight. Morgan also qualifies and will be on drums. Waymon Bullock directs.

Concert at 7pm at Carpenters Way Baptist Church.

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Thursday, June 28, 2007

The Ballad of Buford and Brenda...

That's my neighbors. The new ones in the rent house down the road past us. The place where I suspect there might be some R.E.D. Neck business going on. I have not officially met them and have not really laid eyes on Buford, but Cathy has met Brenda.

Seems that Buford and Brenda don't have a phone. They are a young couple with several stair stepped small children and also only have one car. Those two things combined is what led her and Cathy to meet. Brenda has come down and asked to use our phone. These phone calls have been to Buford at work.

The first time she used the phone, it was a pretty quick conversation. I think Cathy said she asked something like "you coming home?" She then hung up, apparently satisfied with the answer. The next time she used the phone it was an emergency and she needed the car. Seems that "bubba" or "booger" I can't remember which had come to injure his head and she thought transport to the hospital was needed. "Bring the car" she said to Buford over the borrowed phone line. Cathy said the injured one really looked none the worse for wear. Just the kind of head skin a kid gets when family pictures are scheduled to be made.

So anyway tonight I got a pretty good look at Brenda. Notice I did not say met her. I was mowing the yard, on the riding lawn mower. The person I suspect to be Brenda and a big teenage boy walked through the yard and passed about 10 yards from the nose of my riding lawn mower. They never looked at me. The only thing I can think is that I was somehow invisible to them. This did not surprise me. I have been invisible a few times in my life, never while piloting something so noisy as a riding lawn mower though. Maybe I am getting better at the invisible thing.

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More TKD pictures...

Short girl getting some air.
Wish I had this kind of leg strength. That's a slow extend and hold.
Check this link for more pictures. The pictures are all of students from our school. No I don't get the money if you buy a picture of me. The pictures were made by a guy that used to work at the mill, Rickey McNeal, also the dad of former A&M quarterback now in the pros, Reggie. Just follow the taekwondo links.


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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

More Tournament Pictures...



Here is a picture of Mary's leg in action. The new camera has a "burst" feature where you mash a button and you get 6 real fast shots. This feature is designed to help the slower digital shutter speed capture action events. This shot captured the leg after it had kicked and drawn back just in case another kick was required.


Here is me sparring. I used hands mostly, I need to work on a sliding side kick, where you slide up to them and kick. I did get one two point head kick in. Note the face shields, a new rule that started Sunday. Not really too bad, but heck to get a drink when you are wearing one.











I don't think I got any pictures of Morgan sparring, but I took video with the new camera. Maybe I can post it some where you can see sometime in the future. I was a pretty awesome display of firepower. He also judged a couple of rings. Here he is in that action.

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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Little Rock Pictures...

With my new camera I have about 200 shots from the tournament this past weekend. Blog material for awhile.






Here is me outside the Clinton Presidential Library. They up front with the fact that the blue dress is not on premises, but I enjoyed the tour very much. Despite what you think about Clinton when you look at what happened to our country historically during those years it will make you want to weep when you compare it to what has been going on with Bush and crew in office.


Here is a shot of Left to right, Mary, Mr. Martinez, Master Olford and Morgan. That is a lot of TKD action right there in those few feet of space.




Here is a picture of all the girls in Mary's Top Ten ring receiving their medals or competitor pins on stage in the main convention center room. Mary is about the center of the line, look for the jet black hair.




These pictures are slow uploads today. I wonder if it's the massive mega pixel pictures?








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Monday, June 25, 2007

I'm Back...

Back from the tournament. Let me give just a quick update of the action because I am headed to work. I have a new camera, a Father's day give and I made over 200 pictures and videos with it. I think it has more storage than this computer. I'll get the pictures up as the week progresses.

Mary's drive to the championship ended on Friday, she won one fight and lost one. Top Ten is a bit of a let down seems after all the fun that has been had all year long at the many tournaments it takes to get there. Hard to boil it down to just one ring. We are very proud of her. The top girls moved into the adult class, they were actually 17 so maybe this will be Mary's year. She got right back into the thick of the standings with a 1st place on Saturday in sparring to begin the new tournament year.

Morgan took a second sparring. He was one of the smallest guys in his ring. One kid looked close to 7 feet tall and the 1st place winner that Mo lost to was not much shorter. Great action in that ring. First sparring for Mo since the shoulder surgery. He will be in the hunt for a championship also if he keeps sparring like he did yesterday.

And then guess what. I placed 2nd sparring myself. Fist time I have ever placed at Worlds. Won two fights and lost one.My forms score was 6 for feet, 5 from the center judge and 6 on hands. Not good enough to place, my usual there. The sparring win at a World event gives me 9 points on the tournament trail. Look for me sparring at the Allen tournament in August. I'm in the top 10 for now, see if I can stay there.

Pictures later. It's turning into a really good summer.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Off to Little Rock...

We are off to Little Rock this morning for the American Taekwondo Association World Championship. Mary will be competing for world champ in sparring 14-16 year old girls tomorrow. It's my job to carry the boom box in the entourage. Gotta have the right tunes.

Saturday starts the new tournament year, Mary competes for what will be her last year as a Jr., she will go into the 17-29 year old ring next year. Adults, me and Morgan compete on Sunday.

Yes I signed up to compete. What with ending up school, testing and starting a new job I have not been able to train like I should, but hey, I have a new ring this year, I will be the youngest in the 50-59 age bracket. That should count for something.

Look for good pictures, I received a new camera for Father's day, hopefully I can operate it. Old faithful has been packed for some back up.

This should be the first of several out of town trips this summer as I begin to relax and get in the groove of working and enjoying my time off. I know Cathy has been looking forward to this time. I'm looking forward to looking around and recharging the batteries for some things to write about here. Seems like I have been so inside my own head.

See you next week!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Woo-Hoo...

I checked the Texas Physical Therapy Board of Examiners web site this evening after work to find out that I am now have a regular Physical Therapy Assistant license.

What a relief to pass that board exam. I think I can finely relax. I can never give thanks enough, first to God and then to all my friends who prayed for me and encouraged me through these last few weeks.

It's a new life.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

My wife makes catfish bait...


I know it's father's day and all but I been telling you guys that she is mad at the catfish. She wants to get them all out of the lake. She has made a custom bait, pictured here. It is weenies, chopped in sections and saturated in garlic. No doubt after spending last night in the bed of the pickup the fish catching ability will be improved.


We made a little late night after dark trip yesterday to the lake when the sky had cleared after all the thunderstorms of the afternoon. Floated the noodles for a while baited with the weenies and caught one small cat. Then we hand fish a bit and caught one more cat. A little cool and windy on the lake. Not much action but nice to sit there. Not many folks out, we could see maybe three other night fishermen, one of them one of those gar fishing boats, sweeping the shallows with a search light with men perched on the bow to shoot the toothy fish with arrows. From the distance in the dark they looked like alien craft hovering and making abductions. I could imagine myself as it's helpless human prey, running and sweating, stinking under the arms as I tried to stay free.

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Saturday, June 16, 2007

Weird Blog Behavior...

So I sat down while worrying about my test on Thursday night to pour out my little boy lost with a desperately tight pucker string commentary. I got it all out and I clicked publish now. I like that. My words associated with the word publish. Then I clicked view blog in a new window. I think the wife said something about new windows around here, but in this new window only appeared the previous blog post. The new post finely showed up the next morning when I clicked publish again, so I spent a night consumed by the fear that the blog is full.

That's one thing that I wonder about sometimes. It usually comes to me in those moments when I am on the back deck counting the airplanes that pass over my house at night. Is there a limit to be reached here? I could email and ask that question, but I am afraid I might attract scrutiny. Sir Paul McCartney just released a CD called "Memory Almost Full." Is he worried about the same thing?

If you see my wife, it's ok to talk about the windows. Don't mention the airplanes or Sir Paul. You can figure out the airplane thing and Sir Paul is not her favorite Beatle.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

So now I wait...

The deed is done, the PTA board exam is taken. Funny how there are some things that can just instantly make you sweaty and stinky under the arms. This is one of those things.

I can't even begin to guess how I did. I never really can guess what I made on a test. Maybe it's a mental trick of mine, a way of maintaining lowered expectations if I did not do well. The test itself was no harder or easier than any of the practice exams I have taken so at least there were no surprises.

The real down side to not passing is that I lose my temp license till I can take it again and pass. That will be bad since things are going well for me at the hospital. Funny how the exam can be harder than the actual job, with the job you get into the routine. You look at the care plan for the patient that the Physical Therapist has written and while it does not describe the exact interventions you will do it gives the goals for the patient and from there you make it happen.

Worst things worst to use a quote from the Great Bill Cooney (I know you must have heard of him) "If money can fix your problems, you don't have problems." That means I can just sign up for a study seminar, for a nice fee of course, and bone up.

So this evening finds me mentally tired. Funny how all this brain work can make you so tired. I been getting off from my job each day, which is very busy, feeling very refreshed. I get a 30 minute lunch break and that's about it. Rest of the time I am running all over the hospital only to stop now and then to type a patient note. One of the PTAs that used to work with us once wore one of those walk meter things and logged 8 miles in a day I think it was. I pretty much have her beat now. But even with all that I get off and feel like fishing or TKD or anything except for ths old stinking under the arms brain tiredness I have now.

They gave me a note today that said several weeks to receive results in the mail. I might know pas/fail by Monday by checking the board web site.

Thanks so much to all the folks who called and encouraged, who said they would pray for me, you have touched my heart.

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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Serious Night Screaming...

I studied all weekend for my board test this coming Thursday. I am really nervous, night screaming is in full force. The neighbors seem to be gone on vacation, maybe they knew it would be like this. Seems like all I have done is toss and turn and sweat. Don't know what kind of shape I'll be in on the actual day.

Took a bit of a break yesterday as Anne, her kids and her grandson from Australia came for a visit and spent the night. We went to the ball park and watched Morgan's softball game and during it I became antsy thinking I should be home studying. Cathy wants to go fishing today after I get off work, but I just don't think I could enjoy myself think about study when I should have fun. Just not capable right now.

I have taken about six practice exams since the beginning of May or so. I have passed 3 and failed three. Some grades real good, some not so good and that worries me that the performance is spotty. I can think that, well I took that one after work so I was tired or I studied all day and then took that one that night so I was burnt out and stuff like that but at the rate I tossed and turned last night I might be pretty tired by the time I take the real test.

Maybe work will relax me today. I have not seen my patients for three days so I wonder how they are. Might be good for me to think about someone else beside me.

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Sunday, June 10, 2007

Another Birthday...

Morgan is age 20 today. Here is an old picture of the boys having some fun. We don't fit in the bathtub togeether anymore.






Here is a new picture of the boy having some fun. That's Nichole. Times change.









Saturday, June 09, 2007

Big Gou...

Here is a picture of a big gaspar gou, or a fresh water drum Cathy caught earlier in the week on the noodle lines. Thought we had a good fish there for a minute. He hit a big old wild shiner caught in the cast net.


Not to say the gou is not a good fish, he is just not a good eating fish. I have a Paul Prudhomme Cajun cook book which has several recipes that call for gou. It specifies gou "not more than a few hours fresh caught," or something like that. I do know that after you catch em, clean em, and freeze them when thawed and fried they are a bit on the rubbery side. Fresh caught they are pretty good. I have fried a few fresh and caught a big un on the river bank when I had a grill going and grilled him right up and it was a fitting feast. Course everything tastes better when outdoors.


Possibly the biggest fish I have caught out of Sam Rayburn on a rod and reel is a gou. Caught him when striper fishing maybe 20 years ago, pretty common catch, I have caught quite a few of them mixed with stripers and white bass. I had no scale to weigh him so no telling what he weighted. I can pretty much guess the weight on a bass or a catfish, just not much experience on guessing gou weight. Just like our feature fellow here, he was turned back to keep doing what ever it is gou do.


With all this note keep in mind that in 1995 the Texas Parks & wildlife recommended that keep your gou consumption to 4.6 meals per month to stay under the reference dose of mercury.


This same survey recommended not more than 18.9 meals of channel catfish per month. So far we are holding under that number.

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Friday, June 08, 2007

Made a pay day...

Three years after I lost my job I finely made a 40 hour week pay day yesterday. As Borat says, "Very nice." You kind of have to imagine the foreign accent to make that little joke effective I guess.

The only thing that stands between me being really free of the yoke of work I had to do to retrain myself over the last three years is my National Board Exam. I will take it next Thursday at 12 noon. Wish me luck.

I am kind of out of my normal work schedule right now due to taking off for the world TKD tournament so I am off where Cathy is working. That gives me a nice quiet weekend to spend studying. I have a practice test to take and that is good. There is so much info to cover I think the best strategy is not so much reviewing material, but practicing how to take a test that requires big time critical thinking and reasoning skills.

What do you think about that?

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Thursday, June 07, 2007

Morales Mexican Food Burns Down...

Well there was that hurricane that hit New Orleans. Then Gary Strong died. Now Morales Mexican Food, the First Street location has burned down. I don't know what the world is coming to. Somehow these events all seem connected.

I have eaten at Morales since I was a kid. It was called Iona's at that time but the quality of the food was always good and one thing I will miss is the big black velvet painting, 10 feet long big, of the city of Venice that hung on the north wall of the place. Maybe that is the thing that connects New Orleans. I know after a Jazz Fest trip when you returned home and Lufkin seemed a little drab and food just was not as good you could always go to Morales, eat a bunch of hot sauce sitting under that big colorful painting and get a plan together how you could come out of post jazz fest depression.

Lots of folks I know connect me to that place. I know the people the dishes are named after. The Wally's Special, Joe's Special, Bocho's special, I see those guys around quite regualar. How do you think the Lufkin High Football team made the playoffs this year? I was in there eating the Panther Special every Friday. I guess Gary fits in there too as a person connected to the place because he always ate there passing through town and through the years we had eaten there many times together. Gary was always quick to remind Bocho whey he had not been seen lately. "I have been eating at Rodriguez's" a competing place that is now closed down he would say.

Best wishes to Bocho and Juanita, the owners of the place. They are parishioners at our church and I hope they get things sorted out. Hopefully the employees folks, like Angel who seem to always be there morning non and night do ok too.

As for us we may be missing some things in our lives but at least we have the North 59 location to keep eating at.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

There's a Birthday...

Strains of Happy Birthday played by tubas float in the air. Somebody stepped in cake. It had not been on the floor long because El Guapo would have eaten it. Another year older. You know whose Birthday? It's Katie's. She turns 24 today.

I hope all get a chance to wish her a happy birthday, you can post it here. She might be too busy to read it up there in Chicago, where there is probably still snow to shovel, fights to be broken up in the Cubs dugout, and that long backasswards commute by train that she makes from the city to the suburbs each day for work.

Happy Birthday Katie!

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Sunday, June 03, 2007

Fishing with the Cooneys...

Brother in law John brought wife Mary along with Megan and Caitlin to town
for a lake trip this weekend. Here's John over the secret spot:













Some folks did not fish too much:











Along about the time of this self portrait a smudge appeared on the camera lens:











Mary relaxes and reads a book. I think it was Moby Dick, Old Man and the Sea or a history of the Titanic, something like that.















We tubed. Helps to have the heaviest person on bottom.













The tub shot: The catch for the day was 14 fat channel cats.












Guess what? Those cats are swimming in our bellies!
It was really a great time with family this past weekend.

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Friday, June 01, 2007

17 Weeks...

Here is an update. Recently we posted a picture of Cathy's sister Margaret's sonogram showing the baby in her belly. It was a nice picture, but some cad here at the house that thinks they are an artist computer enhanced the poor little thing's picture so we can't use that image again because it would be classified as porn. We don't want to do that.

So here is the belly itself. this is 17 weeks hopefully we will receive further updates.
Bet that dog will be surprised that he has some competition in a few months. Dog's name is Scout. Welcome to the blog, Scout, you have made the big time.
Speaking of big time the JP Cooney's will be here for a big lake rodeo this weekend.

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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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