They Warned Me...
And I kind of knew it would happen. This is a photo of a lithium battery powered monitoring station. It's across from my drive way. In sight of my house. They are watching, listening. They said this blog was subversive and would get me in trouble.
Some one recently told me, "don't change jobs, you are probably screwed when they see the blog." Well I did change jobs earlier this year and it did not seem like it came up in negotiations. Besides I would be more worried about my employers thoughts of me if I was raving online about my rights to own high powered large clip weapons, big honking pistols and the fact that my social skills and manners were so poor that I required these with me 24/7.
Wait a minute, a little closer look shows this device to be made in China. What a relief. The Chinese are monitoring everyone. I thought in a moment of great paranoia it was just me.
This Looks Like Bad News for Fishing...
I made these photos last week on Sam Rayburn. I am pretty sure this is Giant Salvina, a very hard to control invasive plant. It was floating around everywhere in small patches like this one. It's method of operation is to blanket a lake, kill the wave action therefore taking the oxygen out of the water.
Up side to this is there is a researcher at Stephen F. Austin State University using this plant as a focus of his cancer research. Hope he has some luck, it would help more ways than one.
Heck no! Not at my house. As you can see from my Christmas decorations Mary, Joe and Jesus await in the manger for wise me and the arrival of out of town kids. From the photo below you see my Mom, the biggest kid, is arm deep in present opening. She may have it finished in time for her birthday in July. I also received a Christmas card today which brings us to the yearly Older You Will Get Secular vs. Religious Christmas card exit poll.
Are you ready for the big announcement? Yes you guessed it. Secular wins again. So much for the good old USA being a Christian country. The beast, the people have spoken. The score is 24-16 (thanks to that late one, it was Christian for making it closer) with Frosty and Rudolph clearly on top. It did seem that a card with a wreath was popular this year and it could be possible to consider this a Christian symbol but they were not in enough abundance to tip the score.
I do believe that all the people I got cards from were reared by the Christian tradition. Some may not be good Christians, but I bet all are devout Christians to some extent such as when they pass a Texas State Trooper going a little to fast and say a quick little "oh Jesus please don't let him see me" prayer. This means their selection is a personal choice. I also must report that I received cards from the Bishop of Tyler, the local Monastery and a Priest. They were all religious cards and I bet that is some kind of real official rule they have to go by so that even if they wanted to make a personal choice and send you a card with their dog on it they couldn't.
You may guess that all the energy I wasted on this silly thing has me feeling tuckered out and foolish and a little bit like a Republican who spent a bunch of money trying to buy an election You may even wonder what kind of card I sent out. I'll have to get back to you on that after I ask my wife.
Midnight Mass Christmas Choir...
As I go back to my work shift this week I have a bunch of Christams photos to sort through. I'll start with the Midnight Mass Christmas Choir.
Good bunch of folks and I did not get all of them in this photo. Good singing and good fellowship not only at Mass but in the rehearsals before hand. I'll play with you guys anywhere.
You know, I don't think I have people stand on their chairs at any of the non Church gigs I play.
Christmas Eve Catfish...
Cathy and brother Matt occupy the front of the boat as we land 26 cats from deep water on a cool Christmas Eve morning.
Maybe Santa will bring more bait!
The camo helps you sneak up on them!
It's Christmas Eve Man...
I think that's a quote. Some say Charles Dickens said it. Others say Bill Cooney.
I do know that Santa and his Elf played for "Drum and Tuba" Christmas at the local Nursing Home where I work.
Duck Hunt With Morgan...
It was an effective decoy set this morning as Mo bags a couple of woodies. It was effective in that it also drew in a buck whitetail deer who came down to the water for a look only to be scared away as Morgan was after ducks only.
While Morgan hunted the decoys I waded the back water with this guy trying to pick up some fishing tips.
I saw a few ducks fly by and and had given up on really hunting so I kept scout around, always on the look out for a better spot. I made this photo then rounded the little point on the left and flushed a dozen ducks off the water. Wasn't ready for that at all. It's what we in the duck business call getting pooped on.
Morgan says "Come on Dad, get back in the boat."
Me, Cathy, Mary and Brother in law Matt went cat fishing today. The action was not fiery but steady enough to catch 19 that are now swimming in our bellies.
How many pictures do I have of Cathy and Mary in these two boat seats? Guess and you might win a big screen for Christmas.
Mudbelly yells as he sets the hook.
Some fished so hard they had to take a big ugly nap.
Labels: big ugly nap, catfish
More Duck Hunting...
Yup, that's me. I'm holding some wood ducks my Dad killed. I originally guessed this picture to be made in 1959 from clues in the chronological order of my Mother's photo album. That would make me two or almost 3 years old. That's a pretty big two year old but then I am still pretty big for my age these days.
I still like duck hunting and I still wear that style of boot.
Looks like my Dad had a couple of ducks that day. That's a toy gun in the photo. It was a popular toy at that time and not such a good idea these days. I never bought my kids toy guns but I did hunt with all of them to varying extents as they liked it.
After my Dad passed away I hunted with the shotgun he used to kill these ducks, a Model 12 Winchester, one of the finest duck guns ever made until last year. It became just too worn and loose in the action to be safely reliable so I have retired it. It is something I miss carrying that old gun to the woods. It meant more than any game I took. That shotgun held the memory of my Dad.
I forget some times how much I like to duck hunt. I only do it once or twice a year. Hunting is something my Dad taught me to do and when I am doing it I remember old long forgotten knowledge and skills that lay deep ingrained in my old noggin. First photo is my old Winchester shotgun. I think maybe I got it for Christmas when I was 16 or 17 years old. The ducks are blue bills, a hen and a drake. I breasted them out, saved the legs and Cathy fried it all for supper, making a thick wild game gravy served over rice. Very tasty.
Maybe you can make out the bird in this second photo. Possibly a diving duck of some kind. I let him pass. My Dad used to call these "diedippers." Don't know if that is really it's name or not. There's some photos in my bird book that match up to this being some type of loon.
Not ducks, our decoys. I did not see this many, only about 8 ducks total. The other day when fishing during the closed portion of the season I saw 25 or more ducks in this area. Of course not many around when I hunt. That's the way it goes. I mainly put these dekes out to keep birds from landing here. I had hoped they would see them and have the confidence to land where I wanted. This strategy worked a little bit.
Juan walks the lake edge. I showed him this photo. He needs to loose the light brown hat. Ducks see that a mile off.
As an added bonus we each found a crank bait in good condition hung in the brush by bass fishermen when the lake was a normal pool level. It's only a little low right now at what I think is a perfect level for duck hunting.
Everybody gets to hold their great grand kids!
Here's "GG" or Grandma Bessie holding Coraline and Warren. Bessie came up with a new name for the new one, the baby now know as "Roaring Warren."
In the second photo Geneva shows how glad she is to have a boy Great Grand Child.
Old One Pop shows he can still handle a little one. Should have either had them both in overalls or no shirts.
The Series Continues...
That's the series of grandchild in the tuba photos. Remember Coraline in the tuba? Here Warren has his first and most likely not last encounter with the low brass section.
This Guy Has My Tuba...
Spotted this photo hanging in the County Line BBQ out on FM 2222 near Austin recently. It's Ben Bernie and Orchestra. Ben is the violin player in the middle of the group. He is co-composer of "Sweet Georgia Brown." Looks like the tuba player has a horn just like my 1936 King Tuba. I don't know why this photo hangs in the County Line. Nothing I could find indicates a Texas connection.
Second photo is cropped up a little closer to show Bernie, sitting with violin and to give you a better look at that big tall healthy man of a tuba player. Something about a guy like that I like. I want to be him when I grow up. I do note also that the clarinet player is something of a gear hound. He has lots of horns. I like gear but it's hard for a tuba player to be a gear To have TAS which stands for Tuba Acquisition Syndrome which is a disease usually cured by your wife.
Third photo I cropped up the banjo player for a better look. Kind of slight and sickly compared to the big old tuba guy, but cute and I bet the girls liked him. Needs to wash hands, looks like he's getting the head of that banjo dirty.
So my final impression of this photo is I bet all these guys crowded in room sometime in the 1920s or 30s would smell a lot like tobacco smoke and a little bit like some kind of booze, probably what ever kind was available. With a banjo and a tuba it would be noisy. I am just guessing about the booze and I know for sure about the noise as I have a horn just like that guys and also banjos but as to the tobacco this is what the web says about Bernie;
"He died from a Pulmonary embolism, brought on from his years of smoking his famed cigars, in October of 1943."
Are These Good to Eat...?
And you thought I was going to need a bigger shotgun but the hotel we stayed in Austin had swans in the lobby. In Memphis they have that hotel with ducks in the lobby. I guess in Texas you have to go one better, or bigger, or just go one to show them and for some reason if I identify with that mentality it makes me feel as if I am from Missouri.
I don't know how it got started that you need water birds in your hotel lobby. I suppose there are web sites, face book and reality TV shows dedicated to the subject so it is possible we could know all. I don't need to know all but what I do know is that there were very large koi fish swimming in the swan pool.
So next time I stay here I will bring a fishing pole. No need to bring bait. The hotel gift shop sells lures which come in floater and sinker models and look like a small piece of swan poop. You can also gather your own bait if you like. I do know there are TV shows, web sites and facebook dedicated to that subject
We note passing of Ravi Shankar. My connection to this event is the cover of an old concert program from 1974 I have saved from when I saw George Harrison in concert with Ravi opening. I have used this scan in a blog post before and I still listen to Ravi's music occasionally. There's a recording that has been unavailable of the band from this concert and best I remember it's called "Ravi Shankar and Friends." May be they will reissue this.
That's one thing about a famous guy passing. He gets popular again.
Once and for All...
Ali says "this graduation business is no bull."
One of the perks of a UT graduation is a life time supply of steak. You feel good about this when you are done (just be glad you don't have to buy a parking permit for this thing which requires a larger space than a Ford F-150) but they actually factor this cost into campus fees.
That's ok. I'm glad she graduated from UT and will join her for dinner anytime she invites. I mean she could have graduated with a life time supply of TCU Horned Frog or SFA Lumberjack. Frog is not bad but social norms throw up some barriers to be crossed before we dine on Lumberjack.
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