Wednesday, December 30, 2015

The Wild Christmas Rumpus is Really This Weekend for us....

Ok, so Christmas was pretty quiet for us. The wild Christmas Rumpus is scheduled this coming weekend. Out of towners are in and outlaws and inlaws will be in attendance. For those convinced I do not spend my time constructively I have photos of a Christmas Morning Catfish trip by me, Cathy and Matt. 
It was a warm morning on a cloudy day. Notice Cathy's East Texas winter fishing outfit jacket and flip flops. I expected to find sme shallow fish but this is the only one we caught. 

Moving out deeper we found them. With the high lake levels due to an abuandace of rainfall I have caught fish deeper than I normally do this year.  

Matt sacked up some good ones. total was 20 fish in two hours of fishing. A few of them swam into tortillas as we grilled them up for fish tacos.  


Monday, December 28, 2015

Cigar Box Guitars I Sold for Christmas...

Santa left a few cigar box guitars under the tree for folks this year. Thanks again to all the family, friends and strangers who have supported my art, my hobby, my what ever you call it. Look at it this way. Building cigar box guitars and experimenting with Chinese made modulation effects pedals are a fairly harmless late life (not mid life, I am well past that point) crisis. 

Here's some of the ones that sold. 

There was also a guitar that sold through the Museum of East Texas. I have several in the gift shop there. I don't know which one it was. I just went to mailbox one day and they had sent a check. That's real nice, checks in the mail. Remember if you buy a guitar at the museum a portion of the proceeds benefit the museum. 

Look for a slight increase in the price of shipped guitars for 2016. It's been a learning curve because it seems to not be so much the weight but the box size and a few bucks more will help me the be more consistent with the packing. 

I have been busy enough selling these cigar box guitars that I have to occasionally remind folks that I do have a day job and it kept me busy for 12 hours today. I'll get back in the workshop as soon as possible. 


Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Morning Duck Hunt...

I know this kind of looks like Drum and Tuba go to the lake but there were no musical instruments in sight as me and Mary took part in a time honored old Wallace family tradition of ducking hunting. As sometimes happens on a duck hunt, no ducks were harmed. There were few out and about even though it was a nice foggy ducky morning. 
That's not ducks. It's our decoys. I did have two ducks try to sit down on me as I waded around putting these out and Mary was stashing the boat in a good hiding place. 

Mary watches, waits. At least the temperature was pleasant. I bet next trip we freeze our butts. 

Mary did get one shot at some diving ducks, lesser scaups I believe. I think Mary has found a new calling as a shotgun canoe rider. 

Mary finds animal scat of some sort laying on the water grass. I don't know what kind of critter. This is not really near shore. 

This seems to be a good area to see lots of turtles. The water is winter time clear and they are not sticking their heads out of the water but instead as you glide along gently paddling they are easily spotted swimming along side and underneath the canoe. 

I manned the back of the boat. 

This was the first duck hut with the canoe. It performed well loaded with two hunters, two shotguns, a bare minimum of ammo to save weight and 10 decoys. I did buy a floating gun case in case of a tump and the velcro rod holders were perfect for holding the little single shot 20 gauge securely.
 Have not had the big boat out much lately. I bet today would have been a good fishing day but we have a pretty good stock of catfish in the freezer and Cathy has been on the bike riding kick lately around town to try and be a bit greener so I guess the man powered boat can be a part of that. 

Mary stands up to take a shot. Not really because the canoe was just barely grounded, barely floating so kind of stabilized against the bottom. My advise to you is to not try anything you may see here on this blog. You might get your photo in some other publication. 


Sunday, December 20, 2015

Drum and Tuba Christmas 2015...

Me and Mary want to thank everyone who welcomed us to play, came and saw us play, danced, sang or drummed with us. We played with Elton, a Salvation Army bell ringer at Sam's, a quick guerrilla concert at Sound Tech's, at Suzi's party at Miller's Crossing, and Huntington Healthcare and Rehab, Southland Nursing Home and downtown Lufkin at the Old Souls Food Truck. We actually made enough in the tip jar to feed the drummer with an Old Souls Cubano sandwich.

Oh yeah, I forgot about playing in Standpipe Coffeehouse. Objectively evaluation our performances this is one area that needs work. I was pretty out of breath after running from the food truck beside the old Angelina Hotel to the back door of Standpipe, through the coffeehouse and back while playing the tuba. That might be a part of the show that's not going to get any better. Maybe I'll hire a road crew member to walk behind me carrying a chair.

I think facebook is blowing up with video of this gig so check it out there and Merry Christmas from Drum and Tuba till next year. 

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Monday, December 14, 2015

No More Live Music?...

At least that's what I have heard. I'm talking about down at Lufkin's own Standpipe Coffeehouse where at least it went out with a bang with a show by Christopher Paul Stelling. CPS is a singer songwriter and a very fluent guitarist. He's a favorite at Standpipe and has played there several times. Sorry for the crappy pictures but I only had my cell phone. 

Very good show. He's a throw back to the days when singer songwriters did not vote for people like Donald Trump and has the songs to back up his reasons.  

Hey! look at that guitar playing! A singer songwriter supposed to be doing that? 

Opening act was Kyle. We recently met Kyle and his girl Tressa  (I think I spelled it correctly) hanging out one afternoon at Blackspot Tattoo. They were passing through but came back like a physic boomerang and  while I sat in the chair getting some work by the Tiny Tattooist Kyle and Cathy traded some songs. Kyle's songs are spooky, sad original tunes. Cathy played nearly an hour's worth of Townes Van Zant. 

Check out some CPS. I bet he will be back and I bet the Standpipe will have live music again sometime before then. 


Friday, December 11, 2015

If You Need An old Boat Trailer Welded Up...

Rose graduated from the Pipe Fitting and Welding program at Alvin Community College. She might weld your boat trailer. I suggest asking nicely. Anyway I guess it's as good a time as any to make her aware of the Wallace curse when it comes to this kind of work. 

My dad was a millwright. Growing up I helped him work on stuff. Sometimes working on stuff turned into way more than you thought it would because of the curse. And that curse is given a tool of some type and an object to be fastened, tightened or otherwise attached a Wallace will probably put so much torque into the task that the thing being fixed will be broken by the time he or she is finished. Happens to me all the time and I don't even use tools to work on stuff, it can just happen metaphysically. I have warned Mary about this also because she works on stuff and I can tell the curse is strong in her. I think it is strong in Rose also. Congratulations on your graduation and yes my boat trailer is ok for right now. 

Here's a photo. Rose was the guest speaker at this program which also graduated Nurse aides, medical assistants, dental assistants, massage, phlebotomy techs and vet assistants.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

A Few Scenes from the Lake...

Took the canoe out for a couple of trips last week. I only caught one fish, a blue cat on a red sparkle rattletrap but I had a bunch of fun and have the photos to prove it. 

A solid 23 inch long blue cat. 

This is a cell phone picture and could have been a bit better. This is a creek winding through the woods. It's very scenic place and I had hoped to paddle through finding a secret trail to a hidden duck hunting spot but it's choked with the invasive floating species giant salvina. The fall leaves are landing in it making an even thicker mat on the surface. There are no fish here. The thick mat kills wave action that oxygenates the water and the lack of sunlight kills the tiny tiny plants and animal at the very very bottom of the food chain. The big boys then have nothing to eat. I'm talking about the big boy me. No fish means I go hungry.  

This is a different area very clear water and clear of salvina exept a few spots where it is traped in the buck brush along the band of the lake. This spot is a bit further by several miles south of the first one. I think the north end of the lake where I rarely go has lots. There are some plants in this photo but they are the good kind. 

I do love something about the winter clear lake water. I don't think it's clearer than any other time but it seems like it. Maybe I'm just sad because it's too chilly to swim. 

Mud hens are not too scared of me, just nervous. 

Some kind of small duck. I need to get out the book and brush up on identification before season reopens. I probably can't shoot good enough to hit these little fast flyers anyway. 

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Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Here's a Pretty Guitar...

Here is a nice guitar. Lots of gold bling on this baby makes for a firm $75 for sale price. It's three strings, played with a slide and tuned to a major triad like I like but you can pick your own tuning. It has a good acoustic sound and a capacitor jumping the input jack for a passive tone circuit. 

There is another nice one on my work table waiting on strings. I'll post pictures later this week. 


Saturday, December 05, 2015

He's a Big Dip...

It's always good to see signs of someone moving on and doing great things. One of those signs happened yesterday when Miguel received his Senior Ring from Stephen F. Austin State University. Graduation won't happen till next August so we have plenty of time to answer the questions such as "do you say he was ringed or rung?" 

There are many college customs. I think some schools you drop your ring in a pitcher of beer and then chug it. At SFASU you make the Lumberjack "L" and dip your hand in a bowl of purple solution that makes a mark that lasts the rest of the day for sure and maybe longer. Here is Miguel doing the big dip.
I not sure how he resisted the temptation to put his face in the bowl or make war paint marks or something but then if I would have competed a degree from SFA it might be easier to understand. 

Miguel with the University President. 

He's a big dip alright. 

Miguel and family with big Miguel and Alex. 

Both are Lumberjacks. 

Did you hear that noise? He dropped the set out his ring. Speaking to college customs the one I fell victim to when I was a student at SFA was the legend that if you went inside the Old Stone Fort, a historical building located on campus dating from the early days of Nacogdoches as an undergraduate you would not finish a degree from the university. I went inside. Cathy went inside. To find success we both had to pursue higher education elsewhere to be freed from the curse. Miguel and Mary never went in the Old Stone Fort. 


Thursday, December 03, 2015

Happy Anniversary...

             Happy Anniversary to the P and the K. Married 4 years! 


Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Cemetery Crawl with My Mom...

My mom wanted to put out some flowers and clean up tombstones today. I helped her. We went out to the combined Glendale, Hillcrest and Oddfellows where there are a lot of folks from Granny Wallace's side of the family, the Nerrens and Allbritons are buried. 

The stones for Granny's parents and brother Doug were coated with some kind of a fungus and a bit of mildew. We got it pretty clean but we plan to return with some heavier equipment. This will include a trimer as there is a thorny tree that has a nice spray of honeysuckle grown up between the parents headstones. 

Meet John Quilla Nerren. They called him Quiller. 
The name Quiller derives from his Great great grandfather Aqullia Nerren who was born in 1780 in Abbieville County South Carolina and died in Lafayette County Mississippi in 1848. The 1840 census shows Aqullia in Hardeman Tenn with a household of "6 free white people and  9 slaves."   Aqullia's son John was born in Yallobusha County Miss in 1803. He married Elizabeth Mooney probably in Tennessee .Apparently John made it to Angelina County and was murdered (the name of the murderer is unknown but history records him as hung the next day) at Marion's Ferry in 1852. .All Nerren's in Angelina county are descended from John and Elizabeth. They had  11 kids and the son George Washington Nerren is Quiller's father. 

Quiller married Eliza Lydia Albritton. They are Granny's parents. Quiller was a grave digger for Gipson's Funeral Home here in Lufkin. He knew everyone. After retirement he sat on the street corner in downtown Lufkin, catty cornered across from the Perry building in front of what was then the Lufkin National Bank and hollered at every one who passed. I guess everyone needs a hobby and seems like my place downtown is going to be the alley by the Angelina Hotel.  

The headstone says Liza but my mother reports all called her Lydia, her first name. 
At Thanksgiving my mother made a jello banana strawberry pineapple dessert in this bowl, given to her by Granny before she passed that had belonged to Lydia. Quiller ate out of this bowl and I do too. 
Quiller passed in 1946 and Lydia passed in 1936. My mother never knew either. 

There is some more work to do on the headstones and I have more photos. Here is the info on Nerren descendants taken from find a grave web site:
John Nerren was murdered at Marion's Ferry about 1852, shortly after he arrived in the late 1840's. The man who murdered him was found hung the following day. John and his wife, Elizabeth Mooney had 11 children, only two were born in Texas. All of the Nerrens in Angelina County are descendants of John and Elizabeth Mooney Nerren. Their children were: William C. Nerren b. 1824 in Tennessee; John M. Nerren b. 1827 in Tennessee; Sarah Nerren b. in 1829 in Tennessee m. Thomas Hubbard on 30 Dec 1850;Lorenzo Dow Nerren b. 1832 in Tennessee d. in 1915 in Angelina County, Texas; James Bolden Nerren b. 1835 in Miss. d. 1892 in Brookland, Texas; Benjamin Franklin Nerren b. in 1839 in Mississippi, d. in Lufkin, Texas in 1930; Eliza Jane Nerren b. 1842 in Mississippi, d. ca 1878 in Angelina County, m. Oliver Perry Reynolds; George Washington Nerren b. 1844 in Mississippi d. bef. 1900, probably in Angelina County, Texas; Mary A. Nerren b. 1847 in Texas, and sister S. Margaret Nerren b. 1849 in Texas, both married Hosea Penn Traweek. 

"...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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