Friday, May 31, 2013

Grandparents and the New Couple...

My Mom and Pop and Geneva. 

For my non facebook readers check the photos Suzanne, the owner of Cochino Lodge made. She also has a little write up on her web site. I recommend Cochino Lodge, great place, great service!

Scroll down the page for our photos! 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Looks Like I am Going to be in a Show...

Saw a story in the local paper about Stephen F. Austin professor Ron King's home made instruments and I contacted him. I sent photos of some of my instrument builds with sound samples. He responded with enthusiasm. Looks like I am going to have some of my builds in his art/experimental music show sometime in 2015. 

This story was on local TV news tonight

Looks like I have almost two years to suffer for my art. I'll be busy building and keeping you informed as the show comes together. Posted by Picasa


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Mariachi Wedding...

Miguel did a great job booking Mariachi En Houston for the wedding this weekend. Click the link to see them on youtube. They did a great job on the music for the Mass. They played some of the classic Mexican wedding songs, some which I play myself at weddings held at St. Patrick's. I just don't play them as well. 

They also did a great job playing for the reception afterwards. They were professional musicians of the highest caliber. I noticed as they walked around playing for people as they sat at their tables to eat they had a special technique that made the performance personal. If you looked at the singer and made eye contact the singer locked eyes with you and the song became about you. Very effective. 

First dance.

Powerful voice and a great guitarist. Posted by Picasa

Monday, May 27, 2013

My Dad's Medals...

Some months back I filed a request for any of  my Dad's WW2 service records available. Not much is onhand due to a fire in the early 70s that destroyed many servicemens records. I did get these medals which I was not aware of and am pleased with the service of our government which provided them free of charge.

Starting at bottom left is the combat infantryman's badge. Above that is the European-African-middle Eastern Campaign medal with two clusters which mean he got it three times. Middle is the Bronze Star. Don't know if there is a particular incident associated with this but it basically means the recipient was getting shot at. Next is WW2 Victory medal, below that is Good Conduct and the lapel pin is for good service.

My Dad never said much about the war. There is an author who writes books on the 29th infantry division which was my Dad's division. The guys in the movie Saving Private Ryan all have 29th patches on their uniforms.  From the history I have read my Dad's unit "F" company of the 116th battalion was in the thick of things when U.S. troops figured out how to modify a tank to punch through the Normandy hedgerows. I have found mention of him in a data base of 29th morning reports, reported for duty, MIA, hospital with a non battle injury that took place over June and July 1944. That was a few tough weeks. Many did not survive. I am thankful my Dad did.

I have put photos of him in uniform on these pages before. The black and white photo I choose today was in with his bare few mementos. It's tents in a muddy field. Could be Europe or it could simply be Tyler Texas where he did his basic training. Either place was a hell of it's own. Thanks to all.  Posted by Picasa

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Mary and Miguel Wed...

Two Great Families are now one. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Sneak Peak at the Facilities...

Here's a photo of ground zero for this evening's wedding reception. Mary has assured me that if the wedding does not happen the party still will. Just kidding. The wedding will go off as planned. I don't think you could find two families, the Wallaces and the Zamoras who are more happier about this day. 

Hope you are bringing fishing poles. Here's a view of the lake. 

I know everyone enjoys this online journal because I bare so many of my sensitive feelings. Well today I feel like a Mardi Gras Indian. You know the old carnival tune. It's a standard each season. "Every year at Carnival Time I get a new suit." Now I don't really get a new suit every time some one gets married around here but I have one to wear today. And we are going to have some fun wearing it. 


Friday, May 24, 2013

Getting Ready...

Mary decorates...

Father Francis helps with the rehearsal...Posted by Picasa

Groomsmen toss the groom in the air...

Bridesmaids toss the bride...

We are ready. 

They Did What...?

They Painted the water tower? 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Drummer Finely Gets Out Of Town Gig...

That's right drummer Dan finely gets an out of town gig and he had to move to do it. With a planned move to the Austin he will be traveling for the monthly Lufkin State Supported Living Center Strat Kat gigs. 

The band has changed personal from time to time but Dan has stayed the same organizing this gig that started in 1985. I think I have been with the band since 2001 or so. I am a relative newcomer. There's been a lot of loud sloppy rock, roll and country played in those years with the band receiving a 2008-2009 DADS Vision award in the Wellness category.

Here's a photo from last night's gig with Dan on Drums and Danny on bass. 

It's not the last goig by far. Look for Dan on drums each month when he returns to East Texas keep the beat going on.   Posted by Picasa

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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

One of Those Things I Notice...

Here is a photo I made outside a bar in the French Quarter a couple of months ago. It's young adults with their bicycles.

Not just any kind of bikes but custom built jobs, elegant with big wheels and high handle bars. Fancy in an industrial sort of way but not flashy and colorful like the bike a little kid might ride with shiny chrome and streamers from the handle bar grips and bling such as that. 

These folks seemed to be a certain type, a club maybe, with dark clothes, toboggan hats and t shirts. They don't give a mean or loud vibe during activities. Seemed to be strong in numbers. Seemed to have chapters in various cities because I noticed several of this type on my last Houston trip. I saw them wheeling around the cool hip neighborhood near Fitzgerald's. 

It's a thing I noticed. I don't know what it is. Is it still cool if they are doing it everywhere? 
  Posted by Picasa

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Holy Mackerel...

If I ever needed a sign from above I got it tonight on a nice piece of fish I grilled for supper. Yes that's the sign of the cross making it's appearance on a fish fillet right next to the stuffed mushrooms. You are welcome to come over and see it before I put it up on ebay, eat it or feed it to the cat. 

My faith does not need signs like these but it's nice and may portend that things are moving along right nicely in the correct direction since another great happening today was the meeting in New Orleans of Dr. John, the Dali Lama and Allen Toussaint. They did not jam or anything but I would imagine they talked about nice stuff which is what we all should do.     Posted by Picasa


Thursday, May 16, 2013

Some Creative Dissonances...

I guess you could finish that sentence as you pleased. Such as some creative dissonances are terrible. I actually recorded this some weeks ago and thought I would redo the lead guitar but after sleeping on it (for several weeks, a great nap) I decided what the heck here it is. 

I named the tune Katherine Arrives By Camel because of a weird Indian pipe instrument she gave me as a gift one time. It's the dissonance you hear on the "1" of each measure. First time I have used this in a song. It's the kind of like a tuba. You know the sort of thing you usually use to drive other people mad. I was either trying to get some type of Middle Eastern groove going or have just listened to the new Baba Zula cd to many times. Any way thanks for the gift, Katie. I am still playing with it. 

Anyway all instruments are me, bongo cajon, two layers of baritone guitar, ringing belly dance bells, the weird thing and who knows what else I may have forgotten

Here's a photo of the instrument. Hard thing to play, hard thing to get a good picture of. The backdrop is the new curtains Cathy made this week. They are not dissonant but look real nice. 


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Get in Shape for Music...

I'm not talking about being able to play your scales fast. I am talking about the physical side of being in shape for music. For the performance to look effortless you got to work out.

There is a lot that goes into gigs. I'm talking the strength and stamina to haul big closed back Fender speaker cabs up onto stages. There are heavy tube amp heads and P.A. gear. It all has to be set up and ready to go on time. Then there is the standing, singing and jumping around under hot stage lights. With summer coming there will be the occasional outdoor gig under the 100 degree Texas sun. Don't want to be out of breath when you hit the mic for those sweet harmonies or have sweat running in your eyes while you try to read the song lyrics scrolling on your I Phone. 

All this has lead us to develop the musician fitness center or MFC for short. In the photo Miguel demonstrates use of the MFC. It consists of an exercise bike to build generalized strength and stamina which is pedaled while blowing on an Australian didgeridoo for diaphragm strengthening to improve breath control  for improved singing and musical phrasing. The first tests have shown amazing results. 

We foresee one of these as a helpful addition to any rehearsal room. Works no matter what instrument you play. Unfortunately at this time we only have this one model of the MFC so for now you'll have to come over to my house to use it. Call now to arrange a time. Cash only please.   .    Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Just a Little Reminder...

No matter who you are with today, stop and smell the flowers.  These two fellers did.
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mary's Graduation...

Mary graduated from Stephen F. Austin with a BSN in Nursing. This is half the spring graduation class. For the first time SFA had to split the ceremony because there were so many. 

Mary and my mom. Happy mother's day mom. They always make a good picture together. 

We make a pretty good photo with Mary ourselves. 

This was a prize Mary made for Cathy. It's both of their student nurse badges hanging in a frame. 

A very good party with food and friend and family capped off the day's events.   Posted by Picasa

Friday, May 10, 2013

Mary is a Nurse...

Mary's pinning ceremony was tonight. She is a nurse. In this photo she receives her nurse pin from her mom. Her degree is BSN, bachelor of nursing.  Tomorrow she will walk the stage as a graduate from Stephen F. Austin State University. 

We are proud parents.   Posted by Picasa


Thursday, May 09, 2013

Just Before the Storm...

Just cast right over there by that lilly pad. That's not me saying that. Cathy tells me to cast there. I think she caught the most and the biggest catfish. We had 16 cats and 2 bream. We got home and cooked them just as the storm hit. 

Here's the big one. Lots to see at the lake with the unsettled weather approaching. Fish hitting the top of the water and birds of all kinds flying around. Even saw a bald eagle and heard wood ducks calling. 

I caught the big bream, a smaller one and then something broke my 4# test line. It was pretty frayed. You know I never did write a blog post about the 4' gar I hooked recently on 4# test. I kept him on for 5 minutes and then the line broke. Too much fast excitement in the boat to take pictures. 

Any way these boys are swimming in my belly. We cooked them up in hot grease and stood by the fish cooker and ate them. Fried fish, nothing else. 

 Posted by Picasa


"...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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