Sunday, February 27, 2011

Some Enhanced Photos of Junior Brown...

Recently looked at some photos Juan made on their last trip to New Orleans and some camera settings he used to make live music and night time shots. They were nice photos and I experimented with these at the Junior Brown gig last weekend and even went a little further with the Picasa software to change colors sharpened and so on.

B & W C & W.

Some "guit-steel" action.
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Friday, February 25, 2011

Letter From a Teacher Friend...

An email from my old friend Quince, a life long teacher, I publish here with his permission because I also say "Unions, Yes!"
Hi friends, family and colleagues.
I am addressing everyone in this e-mail, but have BCC'd in order to respect privacy of all of you.
With that being said, allow me to elaborate. and rant.

Some of you are teachers, some have teachers in your families. Some of you may work in the public sector, others in the private sector.All of you know me well, some more than others. We may disagree sometimes, but we can agree to disagree. No matter your political views, we all have worked. Others before us worked too, not only at a job or building a career, but for better working conditions for all. The labor movement brought us all many things we take for granted today as they became law.

I live in one of 22 "right-to-work" states. As teachers, we have no collective bargaining rights; we cannot negotiate contracts. Those states that do are in danger of losing their collective bargaining rights. What is happening in the country is a coordinated effort to dismantle unions. Whether you belong to a union or a "professional association" as it's called here in a right-to-work-for less state, or whether you think unions are not needed, it doesn't matter. If you get a paycheck, and expect to get checks in retirement, then we all need to be concerned.

State by state, you can track progress via this link.

I believe in the value of public education, or I would not have spent nearly half of my life in the classroom teaching. The attempts by some politicians and media to place blame for the fiscal mismanagement of public entities on the backs of teachers, firefighters, police officers, and other public workers is a smokescreen for their nefarious plans to dismantle public education. Plans are underway already for drastic, devastating cuts that will harm the future of this country. Politicians talk about being competitive in the global marketplace. We'll be real competitive with an uneducated workforce. Or maybe that's what they really want.

I proudly stand with the protesters in Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio, and across the country. This time in our history is a turning point for education, for labor, for worker's rights. Don't buy the hype about how it's all those teachers getting rich with their high salaries and generous pensions that have broken the economy in states and communities.
Does the country have amnesia or do we not recall what brought the economy to its knees?
Wall Street, bankers, the Fed, financial charlatans and criminals. It wasn't the teachers.

I have never seen such times such as these in my entire career in education. Districts are paying teachers to resign, so they don't have to lay them off and pay unemployment; in most cases, they have no grounds for termination, and they know it. What a desperate measure to balance a budget. Some are buying them off cheap; $1,000 to $2500 is the average.

Dallas ISD is paying $10,000 to resign. Gee, about 4 of those, and you've got a teacher's salary. Are they insane?

Folks, we're eating the seed corn.

We need to remember our history and learn lessons from it.


Craig / Q

This Land Is Your Land

Get Up Stand Up


Thursday, February 24, 2011

Ok Ok I Promise...

I promise Honey, I won't scorch the yard on take offs and landings anymore.
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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Boy's Night Out in Austin...

Made an over night trip with old bud Larry to Austin to catch Junior Brown, western wild man of a special made guitar you see here called the "guit-steel" at the Continental Club. Also enjoyed second act Haybale with Redd Volkart on guitar. We stopped by Ali's apartment and Morgan was in town so he also attended.

Just when you think you are kind of putting something together on guitar you go see a guy like this and makes you feel like you should just quit.

The unapologetic tourist, Larry at the SRV statue on the shores of Town Lake. Larry has been collecting autographs on a small Tweed Fender amp. He has Gatemouth Brown's, Rick Derringer and now he got Junior Brown to sign it. We made a few music stores leaving town, stopping by to chat with Charlie Hennig at Heart of Texas Music where SRV bought his iconic "#1" guitar and a shopping place for many music stars. I bought some mando strings from Charlie, but for the record more interesting gear to me at Austin Vintage guitar and South Austin Music.

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Saturday, February 19, 2011

Saturday Fishing...

Here's a photo of Cathy on the look out. I don't know what for, not many fish to see and really don't need any as the freezer is full. The nice weather today was a good excuse to bum around the lake with no agenda at all.

Pretty good channel cat, wish they were all this size or bigger. The blue cats are usually the bigger ones, don't know where the big channels hide.
Kentucky Spotted bass. Fooled him with a lure.
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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Night Time Fire Photo...

Always good to come home after a long day and see that the neighbors have been busy and I am always thankful when their busyness did not burn down my house.

Life is an opportunity, I used this one to work on my night time photography. My skills are terrible, maybe this is really and art kind of thing since I can't make it come out like I like.
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Sunday, February 13, 2011

Epiphone Mandolin...

In the wake of the great banjo experiments that conduction of which have been well documented here I pulled out my Epiphone Mandolin and began plunking on it for the first time in ages. This mandolin was a birthday gift from Cathy. We had gone to a Southwest Liturgical music conference. I won't try to even be accurate as to what year or even what city as I have been under some fire lately for poor fact checking of the info on these pages. Hey, the older you will get..., so I will guess the decade as to 90s and the city as Austin.

Cathy kept a good secret. We traveled, got a hotel room and the small mando in it's case was well hidden in our luggage. I never suspected and it was quite a surprise. That night, we were staying at the conference host hotel, I quickly learned three cords and clumsily jammed with Oregon Catholic Press composer Arsenio Cordova in the hotel lobby. I had previously made his acquaintance at a work shop held at St. Patrick's and for better or worse he's probably responsible for launching my church music career. He's a professor at the University of New Mexico according to his OCP bio of various cultural and political science topics. The songs that night were in Spanish and by the laughter of the group I don't think they were all church songs.

With the banjo project experiments I found (on the Internet, how did I ever learn without it?) I could use Chicago tuning, also an Irish tuning and get going quickly, even though it's not in the traditional tenor banjo Dixieland style. Also works for the mandolin. The way I had been playing mandolin was I would learn a song for some special occasion or gig, put the mando away afterwards, chops get rusty, big old fingers get forgetful and I would be back to square one learning before I knew it. Now I am up and going with modest skills, at least enough to have fun with.
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Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Neck Wear on My Acoustic Guitar...

People pay big money for the relic look in guitars these days. This is the neck wear on the back of my old Alvarez acoustic. This guitar was a pawn shop purchase in the early 1980s. Best I remember it was pretty shiny back in those days. Front shows some wear also, frets, finish and I just put a new nut on it some kind of fancy man made ivory.

Don't know how this guitar got this way. It rarely leaves the house. I did play it at church a couple of months ago when Cathy was out of town.
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Sunday, February 06, 2011

Coraline Visits...

Coraline visits this weekend while her parents take a little vacation to New Orleans. Part of her activities while in town consisted of backing up the choir at church this evening. Actually the second gig she has played with us, both her and Rose sang last time they were in town together. Coraline says as Cathy, Miguel and Mary look on, "where did that big bass player go, all the noise stopped."

At Great grand Ma Bessie's Super Bowl party.

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Thursday, February 03, 2011

Ice Pellets 7am...

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Few Taekwondo Photos...

Just a few more photos from the recent Black Belt Nationals in Dallas, results were previous noted in earlier post, just looking through the photo archives for interesting material this morning.

Mary, in the foreground does a lot of things well, head kicking consistently gets awards.
Morgan stretches a leg in his form.

Mudbelly gets air. Photo is an action shot, a little blurry, but note my head above the distant door height.

I constantly place well in the standing on one leg contest.

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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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