Wednesday, September 30, 2009


This is the neighboring buffalo herd. All pictures made across the street from my house. I would guess numbers as many as 150 beasts. This one says, "Mama, what's that man looking at?"

"Wait, momma, don't leave me with those people."

This herd has been next door to me since I bought this old house in 1983. I don't know how long a buffalo lives, but there seems to be several age classes, a few small ones like in the pictures with his mama, then about two other sizes before you get to the last two distinct classes, full, grown and regal beast.

No they are not swimming in my belly.
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Monday, September 28, 2009

Traditional Dancers...

I always enjoy making pictures of the traditional dancers at the church festival each year. They are really good. I don't know anything about this troup, maybe they are locals or just traveling around performing across Texas at different events.

Modern choice of colors, how do you say "salmon" in Spanish?

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Sunday, September 27, 2009

Every Now and Then You Learn Something...

I went down to the video store the other night. You may remember a previous post about the big boy working down there, his scrutiny and verdicts on movies I watch. It was a popular post, lots of comments, cards, letters, and emails from interested fans basically a tie in whether we should elect him to public office or get a restraining order that forbids his comments on the business of others.

Anyway, what I learned was and I knew this was that when interested fans read something on here they often sent comments, cards letters, emails saying "I know just what you mean man." It's usually something I never thought of, but often I consider this input a valid point of view because I did not know what I was meaning when I was writing and it always helps when other people do the head work. This is the case with the original Post on big boy.

From my description folks pictured a backwoods old country boy. This is not the case, he's not a local. I have spent sometime thinking on this and I should have presented myself better as the backwoods old boy, which he confused with some type of intellectual. I'll do better next time.

Anyway, I picked out a video and proceeded to the counter to present my selection for his inspection. It was something about Vikings in the new world vs. Christian monks vs. Native Americans and boasted a death metal soundtrack which led me to believe there would be quite a bit of gratuitous sword fighting. Turned out to be probably the best idie flick in the store.

Back at the counter big boy looked at that movie. He said, "You people rent the weirdest stuff." I turned around real slow. There was no one else there.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Got to Have a Flute Player in the Band...

Miguel plays flute with us when ever he can. In fact some one asked him one time "Miguel how does a flute player get into country music?"

His reply was, "How the heck does he get out?"

All kidding aside Miguel takes a mean ride on any Hank or Merle song.
Me and the flute player bromancing on a little duet with Dan on drums in the background. No I am not making an obscene gesture, it's just my old cruddy two fingered bass technique that has served me well for so long that it would be ridiculous to try to change it. Probably make me lose my groove.
Whoops, band fine, someone did not wear cowboy boots.
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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Band Photos from The Church Festival...

Here's some band photos from last weekends church festival. This first one is Mudbelly. One of his favorite things is playing music outside on hot days and completely sweating through his clothes. Loves large closed back Fender speaker cabinets cranked up loud enough his trouser legs flap from the passage of sound waves. I am not making any of this up.

Dan on drums. A friend in the neighborhood later recounted recognizing "Wipeout" from two blocks away. Drums weren't miked either.

Roy on lead guitar. He was a sub for our usual guy, Larry who could not make the gig. He rehearsed with us once, see the blog post on the sheriff's visit to the house then played a gig. We only hung him out to dry a couple of times when he took a ride. A very good sport, said he would like to play with us more. Maybe we can treat him a little better in the future.

Runt on lead vocals. People ask me all the time, "is that is real name?" I say, "No."

They say, "What is it?" I say, "Runtly."

There was another guy in the band. Will deal with him in a separate post, not enough room for anymore pictures in this space today.

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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

More Aggie Photos...

Sam, Ali and Morgan.

Morgan and Ali in front of the big ring.

I took quite a few music photos this past weekend what with the gig at the festival and all. This has to be my current favorite music photo I have made, the Aggie Band leads the Corp into the stadium before this past weekend's game with Utah St. The small size of this shot posted here does not due it justice to how it looks blown up a little. It just has everything, a sun dappled fall afternoon, band, marching and tubas.
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Monday, September 21, 2009

Ring Day...

Last Friday was Ring Day, the day seniors get their rings at Texas A&M. It's Morgan's senior year, he will be graduating next August. Here he is at the $400,000 photo op site they had set up for picture taking. The photos here really don't do justice to how many people there were in this area with a line for each side of this ring for proud parents to snap a shot.

Ali, Morgan's girl friend is attending UT this semester and drove up this weekend. Actually they decided to count this weekend as their one year dating anniversary as close as they can tell.

Cousin Samantha is a freshman at A&M this semester. Here she is hoping a little of that senior mojo rubs off on her.
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Sunday, September 20, 2009

Los StratKats at Fiestas Patrias...

Los StratKats played the church festival today, a combo festival celebrating Our Lady of LaSalette Feast day and Fiestas Patrias.

Left to right, Miguel on flute, Mudbelly on bass, Dan on drums, Runt singing and picking and Roy on guitar. Thanks to all these guys for joining in to help have a good show for our Church's fund raising festival.

Cathy made lots of guitar face pictures, we will work through these this week. Thanks to the guys in Altura Musical, they did sound for us, they easily have the best system in town.

Lots of music and dancers, here's the traditional hat dance.

My camera shows 145 pictures made this weekend, good blog material as I get to it.
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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

More Shameless Self promotion Can Get the Sheriff Out to the House...

Our little country band was having a rehearsal Saturday night at my house for this weekends upcoming LaSalette Festival/Fiestas Partrias to be held on the St. Patrick's Church grounds Sunday Sept. 20 10am-5pm and somebody called the Sheriff on us. Seems a noise complaint had been called in by a neighbor. It was not the closest neighbor, he was playing with us also. If you know this neighborhood houses are mostly 100 yards apart.

I wish I could have taken a picture of the squad cars or the look on the jug-eared deputy's face when he saw that most of the men making this racket were the age of his grandpa (I think he was wondering how those old guys got those big Fender amps up on the stage on my porch) but I decided it might seem rude or something to run in the house suddenly in the presence of such visitors.

It was 9pm when they arrived, almost my bed time. Any later and they would have had to wake me up to tell me be to be quiet which does happen sometimes since I am known as a ferocious snorer. They were nice and informed us that music outside must be below 85 decibels.

So this picture I took recently on an Austin street corner near the UT campus seems appropriate since it's a festival of our Lady and our band is playing. Most of the time I'm good but sometimes that man in black, Johnny Cash walks the line.

Come see us play, we go on at 10am, good morning St. Patrick's. Must be the opening act, a country band to catch the Anglos attention after the 9am Mass lets out.
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Monday, September 14, 2009

More Sports...

More sports from last weekend in Austin. Attended a minor league game, the Round Rock Express vs. a K.C. Royals team, can't remember their name, but they came from Nebraska. The Express are associated with the Astros. It's our second minor league game this summer.

Cathy and Katie wave from the stands. Check out the guy in the Longhorn Orange checking out the girls.

Me and Katie in the outfield.

Fast pitch!

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Sunday, September 13, 2009

Are You Ready for Some Football...

This kind of football. Without a dog in the fight this season for local high school American football I covered niece Chandler's soccer tournament in Austin last weekend. Good action and a nice visit with brother and sister in law Jim and Sandy.

Chandler plays for the Challenge, that's her in white.

Old double zero makes the kick.

Fast paced action, Chandler on the left in white.
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Thursday, September 10, 2009

A Trifecta of Sorts...

A visit to LBJ's presidential library on the UT campus finished up a trifecta of sorts as I have now spoke at three libraries closest to me. It was the same situation here as it was at Bill's and H.W.'s. They told me to keep my voice down and if you don't identify these presidents by first names or popular initials you need to steer from this page and google Brittany or something that people born after 1975 do for fun.

Here's me outside the library. Kind of messy, had some construction happening around the grounds. No stately bored academia like H.W.'s on the A&M campus or bragging gleaming modern mobile home chic similar to Bill's in Little Rock. LBJ was tired after 37 years in public service. He wanted the old cold war security of a good place to hunker down.

I think these three presidents have somethings in common. All had some great success and some incidents less than great. LBJ had great domestic achievements but got bogged down by a war. Bill was good at domestic policy, but had some less than stellar personal choices. H.W. was good a foreign coalition building but brought down by the usual Republican party economic policies. While these things are similar they are not what made these men do great things.

LBJ and Bill drug them selves up from a hard scrabble kind of life. LBJ had to quit college and teach at a border school in the 1930s to have enough money to continue on to a degree himself. If ever traveling through Hope, Arkansas check Bill's boyhood home, it's modest. H.W went to war very young, shot down, his crew men killed he spent 30 days on a sub after rescue. You did not just go home in those days, the going frequently got tougher. These men learned hard lessons early on.

So here is where I get subversive, not that you ever see that here, but the guy that just left the White House had none of this learning. It showed in the way he governed and in the shape he left the country in. I look forward to a visit to his soon to be constructed library at SMU. The guy we got in White House now has pulled himself up in a way very like these greats of the past. I expect we shall see some of the same highs, some of the disappointing lows. It's what makes us human and able to give service to others.

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Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Guadalupe Cruising...

Cooled it on a Guadalupe tube float this weekend. First Hill Country river float I have done in a few years good to be back in the tube so to speak. There might even be a couple of old tube buddies from back then lurking on these pages.

Time for a new blog character alert, here is Katherine with boyfriend Charles. No, jog your memory, Katie has long kept up her $39,000 payments to appear in all glory, Charles is the new patron. We had a very good weekend getting acquainted and he seems like the kind of guy that will keep up his payments.
Me and Cathy float by rocky banks lined with cypress. I have begun to accept the fact that cypress is a must have for water adventure. Some kind of mojo thing.
As you can see, we had company down the river. Lots of folks on tubes and with the river flowing at a measly 52 cubic feet per second (ok, so I know stuff like this that you don't) they were more that happy to increase the beer flow to make up the difference.
Why is this man grinning? Looks like he might be cracking everyone behind him up as he monkey grubs his tube. He might even need one of them new finagled mansieres. You know, a brosiere, like guys wear. Lucky for him he's not doing this in Wal-Mart.
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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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