Monday, August 31, 2015

Quick Canoe Fishing Trip...

I took the canoe out the other day for just a quick fishing trip. Actually it was a bit of a paddling experiment as I covered a bit more water than I have so far and more of the water was crossing open lake with a bit of wind. I got some good exercise keeping the boat pointed into the wind and I had hoped that there were some bass to be caught shallow on top water lures but this did not seem to be the fishing pattern. I did manage to keep my string of catching a fish each time I have taken the canoe out intact. 

Except for the shoreline in the background this looks a bit like someplace on Galveston Bay where you might do some fishing for redfish or specks. 

Here is a great egret I photographed fishing in the shallow water. There were at least 5 of these birds in the area. If you follow this blog I post photos of my favorites, the blue heron and the osprey but I saw neither of these species on this trip. Maybe I'll start liking these egrets a bit better. A quick look up on google tells me they were almost hunted to extinction for their plumes in the late 19th century and that the name of one of Buddha's best know followers, Shariputra signifies "son of the egret."

These egrets are meat eaters with fish, frogs, small mammals, reptiles and snakes on the menu. 

Here's a photo of my lonely fish. Nice sized green sunfish also known by the names google eye, rock bass or branch perch. That's some vintage fishing gear. The lure is an early 80s Cordell "little O" and that brown rod probably dates from the 70s. Folks that read here know I catch a lot of fish. I'd guess in a world of specialization they might not know that my fishing utilizes well proven, well used, multi species attracting techniques and equipment. 

The place I launched from was a remote forest service road that looks to have been flooded with all the spring rains. There were muddy spots and I only dared to park 30 yards from the shore. I was by myself so the canoe was an easy drag to the water. 

Stay tuned. With cooling temperatures fishing reports should get hot.  

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Sunday, August 30, 2015


Last night was Mary's sister in law Selena's Quinceanera. If you don't know the custom quinceanera is a celebration held at age 15 marking the transition from childhood or young womanhood and full participation of all the responsibilities of religion, family and social responsibility. Here's a photo at the Mass which was celebrated by Father Raymundo. 

A lot goes into decorating for a Quinceanera.

Here are the table decorations 

Food is good at a Quinceanera. Mary made a lot of these treats. Lupe cooked the brisket and it was melt in your mouth tender. At a Quinceanera friends and family all pitch in together to put it on. 

Not sure how it was decided to be a masquerade. I don't think that's a traditional part but it makes a party fun when no one knows who you are.  

Some people just know where to put a feather. 

Here is the Zamoras, Mary's inlaws. We played the music for the Mass and we also played the music for Crystal's Quinceanera Mass. In a few years the youngest Ashley will have a Quienceanera and  we will play for it. Maybe we will get to do some music for their weddings. I might be able to make a whole career playing music for different events the Zamora girls are involved in. 

A touching moment, Don Miguel dances with his daughter. If you recall almost two years ago Miguel had a devastating stroke. He has come a long way. As a Physical Therapist Assistant I often rehab stroke patients so I have much experience in this area. I don't think I have ever seen a man give a stroke a good butt kicking like Miguel has given the one he had. He's a tough guy. 

Traditional dances with the boys who are called chambelanes. 

Then there was not so traditional dancing for the rest of us. 

Some people got tired at the Quinceanera. It's excusable. Mary was an engine of energy decorating, cooking, dancing and singing in the choir for Mass. I think she did a bit of it all to make it happen. 

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Am I Too Late for National Dog Day?...

I just flat missed National dog day. I was busy. I went to the eye doctor, got new glasses, followed the news of more senseless gun violence, tried to get my head around the rash actions of presidential candidates who then tell us that rash action is just what we need (see gun violence) and otherwise just spent a lazy day watching, doing nothing really important. Hey I think I am the dog.   

It's good to be the dog. I don't have a dog right now. I have had a bunch through the years. They mostly died out from eating too much steak and being too free and I have been ok with that. I now have no responsibility, no feed bills, no vet bills. I am now the one that's too free but I do take myself to the doc when I need it and I had a midnight supper at IHop last night. I did not eat the steak but I understood why the coffin nail was in the coffee. When you are less free you don't have midnight suppers at IHop.

So for my late dog day celebration I choose a picture of an old dog I had named Buckwheat. Best I remember Buckwheat passed away peacefully in his sleep in the early to mid 1990s. Maybe not the best dog (definitely makes the top 5) I had but good genes under that shiny black coat. With that strong heart it took some years for all the steak to kill him. He howled and sang when I played the harmonica. He was always on pitch in the key of E. He knew how to drive the boat when I was too drunk to and all he asked was that I always keep plenty of cold Schaefer beer on hand. 

And best thing of all was he never shot anyone or had a rash. Happy National Dog Day Buckwheat. May you rest easy in the warm summer East Texas ground. He's buried out back somewhere but I don't remember exactly where. Hopefully the kids will remember and put me at least in the vicinity so we can rest easy together.  

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Black Joe Lewis at Red 7...

We saw Black Joe Lewis at Red 7  in Austin, Tx last weekend. It was a benefit for a former band member, David McKnight  that has passed on. It was the first Austin gig for Black Joe in awhile and was a homecoming of sorts since he is from Austin. 

Joe picked up the guitar while working in a pawn shop in Austin. He plays in a sort of blues/punk/garage/funk/soul style that is an original sound. We all need to keep that in mind when we pick up an instrument. Screw a bunch of covers, play like yourself. That's what Joe does. We last saw Joe in Chicago almost a year ago at Riot fest and while they were maybe the loudest band I saw there (good club volume this no earplugs required for my already ring ears) I think this was a better show. I think on that COLD (I got better photos in Chicago click the link) damp day those Texas boys were a bit hunched up against the wind off Lake Michigan much the same as I was. They liked the 96 degree heat of a Texas outdoor courtyard venue much better. 
Great horn section. I bet these guys are all junior high band directors on their day off. 

Black Joe. 

That bari sax is a weapon of mass destruction. 

Other bands on the bill were Sweet Spirit, kind of a power pop Big Brother and the Holding Company and Mama K and the Shades.  
We did not stick around for Mama K as the natives got restless for Austin night wandering so away we went. Looks like all the cool bands are on Redriver and 7th street. Sixth street is everything I hate about the good old USA. 

Some photos by Rj Aromaz A Leguim

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Thursday, August 20, 2015

The Texas Tornados...

This past weekend we saw the Texas Tornados at Gruene Hall. If you don't know this was a group that had the now deceased Texas legends Doug Sahm and Freddy Fender. Now guided by Doug's son Shawn the band still has a couple of legendary members Augie Myer and Flaco Jimenez. The Tornados have a rock/country/conjunto style of music that represents a great blend of the styles of music found in Texas. 

I think the last time I saw Augie in person was at the old Party Center in Nacogdoches sometime in the late 70s. Augie and Doug Sahm actually made a minor challenge in the mid 60s to the Beatles and their hit record success with several mid 60s hit records of their own pro-pulsed along by Augie's Vox organ. Since then Augie has been a member of Bob Dylan's band and has played with the Allman Brothers and Tom Waits. Those mid 60s hits have been evergreen often being used in movies and TV. He's 75 years old. 

Flaco is a legend and is known as the father of conjunto music. He is 76 years old and has played with the Rolling Stones, Ry Cooder and Dwight Yoakam. As I think about it I have seen many of the accordion greats now including the late greats Clifton Chenier, Boo Zoo Chavis, Rocking Dopsie, Rocking Sydney (the toot toot man) the still living but retired Queen Ida and many others such as C.J. Chenier, Buckwheat Zydeco, Yuri and Peter Tulloch.  

That's Jr. on vocals with Flaco. 

Shawn Sham is a great entertainer and maybe one of the youngest people to get his photo on the cover of Rolling Stone Magazine with his dad at age 3 in 1968. That's Ernie on drums. 

Shawn and bass player Speedy Sparks. That looks like an early 1950s Fender bass. Probably worth as much as your house. 

Better bass photo, maybe not as much as your house but your car for sure. 
Good trumpet, did not get his name. 

Don't know this dude either. He was kind of a roadie guitar tech person but got up and played and sang real fine on a few songs. His guitar strap is made from a pattern we have used around here for clothing, furniture covering, amp grill covers and tattoos. 

I almost had a great photo of Cathy and Augie but wait a minute let's get Miguel in there.  

OK, now we are ready. Cathy recalls waiting tables at the Hot Biscuit in Nacogdoches late 1970s when Augie and band came in for a meal. She was their waitress. She did not ask if he recalled their meeting. He probably would have said he did as he was a gracious star very patient with fans.   

Miguel crosses one off the bucket list. A photo of him and Mary with Flaco. I did not expect Flaco to meet and greet as he seems a bit frail but he was there and the people love him. 

Ok, get out there and get some Tornados. Their reissue recordings have recently gone platinum in Europe so don't be unhip. Get to rocking. 

Sunday, August 16, 2015

A Reunion of Old Friends...

We made a very nice weekend in the Austin area. We met up with Morgan and Ali and Mary and Miguel went with us. We did the town up right but one of the things we planned was to meet up with some old school friends of Cathy's that she had not visited with in 20 years. I had met them but I think Cathy has seen them since I have so it's been a bit longer for me. We won't make it so long before we get together next time. 

Here is Cathy and (These folks use made up names for facebook and I'll use them here. Makes things so much more fun and mysterious and makes you wonder who these folks are with names like these when they send you that friend request) Colors Magika. They go back to like senior year of high school but we will just leave that to be that and look to the future.  The wet hair is a result of a late night swim in Lake Travis. The paintings in the back ground are her originals and there are more on all the other walls.

Here's me and Colors Magika's husband Lostin Austin. We did not swim. We talked about music, the things that nobody else wants and the two items that Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top carries in his pocket. Lostin Austin knows because he has done some driving and riding  for and with the little old band from Texas. Don't worry, they are not scary or bad things and you probably have them in your house. It's simply one of those things that separates the men from the boys, the light from the dark and the blues from the black.  You won't have them when you need them if you are not carrying them. Now go on, get your own two things to carry around. 

Ok They still goof like high school girls when they get together. Colors and Lostin have been a couple for 42 years. 

They kind of still look like high school girls even if they got a bunch of kids and grand kids between them. 

So in case you think I just got a bunch of photos of the girls here's a photo from the movie set of the 2004 film "The Alamo." That's Lostin and Dennis Quaid. Cathy says he aint changed a bit, not for the movie, not for anybody. 

Sunset over Lake Travis. It was a great evening and they say Willie Nelson is just three miles down the road. Maybe the girls need to come in from swimming. 

Monday, August 10, 2015

This Blog is 10 Years Old...

Here is what I wrote on the first post:

Just a little web space where you can see what me and mine have been up to. I just know there are people everywhere that think what I do is really interesting. I think it is really interesting so life as I live it is bound to strike a similar chord in the hearts of others because we are all brothers and sisters under the skin.

Durn, that's some sensitive stuff.

It apparently has been interesting to some. Here are the stats after 10 years:
Page views total 73,440
Page views today 35
Page views last  month 1078
Comments 646

Page views by country
USA 49,641
France 3199
Russia 2494
Germany 2219
Ukraine 1190
UK 977
Netherlands 828
Canada 820
Turkey 498
China 484

Internet Explorer has been used by 32% of the visitors and 66% use some kind of Windows based platform. 

My youngest kid was 14 when I started this and my oldest was 24. The other two were 22 and 18. You do the math. 

Some think this should be a book. I consider that high praise and thanks to those that say that. I think we have used this space well. I hope I can keep finding something interesting to write about or take a picture of. 

If you have not figured out the name of the blog keep reading. 


Tuesday, August 04, 2015

I'm Good With People So Let's Do This...

One time I went to a marriage encounter workshop or some sort of thing like that. It's been so long ago I forgot what they called it. I did take my wife. We went not because there were any problems but seemed like a nice thing all sensitive to do and then feel all good, go out for a nice dinner (it was not local) in a different town at a new place and well you probably have been in some sort of situation like this before yourself. 

To this day I think about that weekend occasionally and the married couple that taught it. I don't think it was the first marriage for either one of them but they were trying hard and trying to get other couples to try hard also.  I remember that the woman, and they kind of sold this to me at the time, got the man to show that his love was so strong for her that they picked the opening day of dove season to marry. The man loved dove hunting and the way they put it was that he gave up something very important to marry her and so henceforth would never have the pleasure of an opening day hunt because he would always be with her celebrating their anniversary.  

This seemed pretty cute and as I sat in a room full of people who were all trying to get something or other out of this I just went along. Now I think back on this and see that there are 364 other days in the year to get married on and there is no way I would take away something that was important to my wife as that woman took away the man's opening day dove hunt. 

So I think I can run this marriage encounter thing a bit better. It will take place at the lake. I'll supply boat, gas and sunscreen. You will pay a small fee and bring cold drinks. It will be a team work exercise involving cooperation, communication, patience and understanding. You can cuss a little bit but not at each other. Your goal will be to mount an inner tube together to be towed behind a fast moving boat. Here's how we do it. 
Some one has to be the anchor. The tube swings outside the wake better with the heavy on the bottom. 

You know the foundation. The bottom. Note the skilled handlers we have on our staff to assist you with your every team building need. 

Then you have balance things. 

and when you think you got it...

Away you go. 

After a while it get's easy and you can be silly. 

and you really start having fun. 

Then you want other people to have the same fun even if it involves some growing pains. 

Looks like one of those Hindu dancing fertility gods. 

One thing to member is you should never hurt your team mate. Don't step in his back. Don't push his head under the water. Remember cooperation, communication, patience and understanding. It will serve you well. 

I think our services will be of use to you. Oh yeah, you need to be able to swim just a little bit. 

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