While on our recent camping vacation we spent an afternoon looking around the town of Brenham, Tx. That's where the Bluebell Ice Cream factory is and they are shut down right now because of health problems. In the trendy little shops and restaurants that made up the old downtown area there were quite a few signs "We support Bluebell" or something like that it was a patriotic duty and they were oppressed and neglected. Somehow that never caught on or got eclipsed by all the other voices hollering and raging over this and that. There is a lot of that these days. I did take this photo of a photo that was posted in a shop window of the Brenham High School Band. It's old, I don't know what year. I think there was a historical note and I did not even read it but I sure like the three tuba players in this photo. If you want to talk about neglected and oppressed I know from long experience, three tubas, a band that size and all having bell front horns they got yelled at a lot for playing too loud. All they ever wanted was to be noticed, liked, and appreciated. It's all any of us ever want.
Ok. I know the Grateful Dead have a big show planned this summer and I am aware that in their absence from the touring scene some Phish fans have taken up the follow the band around from show to show thing. Phish are just ok I guess and I got a bunch of Dead albums but for some reason that time I saw them at the old Astroworld amphitheater was a bad vibe and kind of queered (can we still say that?) Deadhead thing for me. Instead I follow Texas singer songwriter Ray Wylie Hubbard around. Ray don't know that. And I am ok that he don't know it because it would seem a bit weird in a stalking kind of way on middle age man following another slightly older man around and watching all his shows. I really don't watch all Ray's shows but I do manage to catch him each time he puts out an album and he was in fine groove at the Liberty Bell in Nacogdoches Monday night.
I became aware of this show while on our camping trip. One morning while having coffee I note the Liberty Bell posted the show and through the marvels of technology I immediately bought tickets. Must have been first because we had the best seats in the house. That's Ray's son Lucas on guitar, Kyle on drums and Ray.
I took this gearhead picture of their pedal boards while I munched the stuffed snapper dinner. They also had a couple of cool old Fender amps, one mid 60s blackface and another early 60s brown. I think I had the beginnings of hearing loss back in the early 80s one time when Ray and the boys from Jerry Jeff's band, the Lost Gonzos, played Communication Breakdown at the old Cross Roads Club. It was the first time I remembered my ears ringing for more than one day after the show.
You might not think poor people ought to have health care. You might think gay people should not get married. You don't have to think when it comes to the stone groove and cool gear Ray will show up playing. Ray is well known for an old song he wrote 40 years ago "Up Against the Wall Redneck Mother." He still has to play it every night but lately he says the E in redneck is for enough. His new stuff is deeper that than that old beer drinking song.
As I say we had great seats but be aware this venue has a good bit of people noise and I think that's because it has a bit of a wine bar atmosphere. It does seem to surprise the performers I have seen there because it's small and I think they are expecting a respectful listening room type place. Those may be long gone.
Ray was on Conan this week. I can't find a clip but this is what he sang:
After a week of so of tending to family health concerns maybe we can get back to blogging topics of leisure. Like fishing. The lake has risen more from our last fishing trip a couple of weeks ago. We did not fish particular hard, landing 4 keepers and a bunch of throw backs but as the lake settles into a hot summer time fishing pattern the fish are not going to be in our traditional spots. For the hot summer these spots are usually deep and with the high water the tie ups we use are underwater. .These photos are of our spring time fishing spot which is usually less than 5' by now. It's 15' deep.
Looking over Cathy's shoulder at the spot we call "the place." Usually there is a tie up we use to the right of those bushes, especially if the wind is from the south. It's either washed away or underwater.
This is the tree with the osprey nest that overlooks our spot. Usually taking photos I'm looking up at it instead of level with it. Birds nowhere in sight today. I have seen these nest closer to the water than this so I don't know if rising water spooks them or not.
I think I need a more colorful swimming suit.
Supper on my new Father's Day tailgate grill. It's the Academy Gamewinner brand. I got the Coleman version of this but on arrival it was missing the regulator for the propane tank attachment. This one the same price so I swapped them at the store. As long as I have fire I can cook anything.
So it's been a busy few days. Many on facebook know my brother Glenn had a quadruple heart bypass. He is doing fine. They extubated him this morning and he will be in a regular room possibly tomorrow and surely by Sunday. I knew something was up about a week ago when I went to Glenn's house and he had hired a guy to mow his yard because he was becoming fatigued during the exertion. Like many big strong men they blame situations like this on sore muscles, a chest cold, all kinds of things. Wednesday morning I am at work he calls me and tells me he is having a heart catheterization. If you don't know Glenn works in the cath lab as a rad tech at St. Luke's CHI. It was all his co workers doing the procedure on him. The cath pictures were the worst Glenn has seen in 8 years of cath lab work. By that afternoon Dr. Mohammed called me at work, told me it was very serious and had decided to take no chances and shipped him to Houston to have his surgery done by Dr. Ott. Fortunately his arteries were not as bad as the pictures showed and apparently Dr. Ott had no trouble. Glenn had a bit of breathing difficulty with his oxygen saturation being a bit low, 90% on 100% pure oxygen at first with him gradually weaned to 90%, 80% to this morning's 96% saturation at 70%. Progress should come faster now.
So with things are looking good let's have some fun. My wife thinks I put pictures of people they don't want public on this blog. When they shaved Glenn's chest they took the hair and transplanted it to his head. Just one of those little perks you get when you have a surgery at one of those high powered Houston hospitals.
In this photo Glenn holds up a present from last Christmas. I am sure his cat, Molly is holding up this right now and wondering where he is.
Thanks again for everyone's prayers. Many of my friends and family have been keeping track of the situation, Glenn's coworkers, my mom's friends have also been very supportive. Doctors Mohammed has called Houston and Dr. Bachireddy who in addition to doing my mom's bypass about 8 years ago is checking on him.
Ok so just face it. If you are a musician you know there are days that the world was not beating down your door to hear your music. I been having a day like there more often than not lately. There is only one thing to do. Gather up your friends and jam. Here are some photos from fish frys, camping and church over the past few weeks.
Morgan, Danny and Mike jam
Mary and Runt join us on the garage stage at the fish fry.
This photo is a bit blurry but with a little bit of the treatment it looks ok. I like it cause it shows lots of people getting into the act.
Another Blurry one but does not look to bad with a bit of treatment.
Snarling the blues.
Cathy and her dad jam on a camping trip.
The smoke in the photo is coming off the banjo.
This is a combined group from several St. Patrick's choirs that came together to play for Father Gavin's 25th anniversary of his ordination Mass.
Thanks for this photo. I like it a lot.
Oh yeah during all this I did sell a cigar box guitar. If I remember I try to take a photo with customers for publicity purposes but this person assured me they were very private and did not want their photo all over the internets. That's nice they told me. Been a lot of ugly scenes where I have taken people's photos, put it on the blog and made them famous only to have them angry at me when they find out there is a $39,000 fee for me performing services like that. we avoided something like there in this situation by having all lines of communication open. Thanks for the purchase!
Only six fish yesterday but they were pretty nice size fish which is not bad for a day where we launched at a different spot than usual because our normal spot is closed due to high water. It was nice to scout around new places and in addition to that it is swimming time with the surface temps reading 91 degrees.
As you can see from the bridge the lake is high. We could not pass under with the top to the boat raised.
Pretty nice channel cat.
We launched at the Bill and Emily Shelton Pavilion. I love this view of the lake looking toward the old Pophurs Creek drainage. I bet with the high water there is some good fishing in that area.
We checked out the fishing pier. Looks good and is situated over deep water. About 10 people fishing last night. Did not see any catching. Might run out there sometime and take them to the Carl and Cathy school of catching.
Happy Birthday Katherine or an Examination of Regional Cultural Differences...
Happy Birthday Katherine. Hope you have a good one. As a regular blog character you know Katherine lives in Chicago. They do things different. When you have a birthday you give the birthday licks instead of the other way around. Here Katherine gives her husband one of her birthday licks. I think maybe you only give out as many as you are old or something like that. Be careful and don't give away too many, too quick. You aint the older you will get yet...
Last thing I thought I would do yesterday is buy a new car. I certainly was not thinking about it when I woke up that day as I usually do with bullfrogs on my mind. It was a deal that we just could not refuse on a used 2013 Ford C-Max with 28,000 miles.
That's not white, I'm calling it Pearl. New cars are not real colorful. A salesman on the Honda lot explained it to me yesterday is that Americans don't. want color, they want comfort. That is exactly the opposite of what I think. I'll ride down the road on a bucket if it's red but I will expect the bucket to have a good stereo.
It's a hybrid. Ford shares a patent on the hybrid technology with Toyoda. They are the second best selling hybrid behind Toyoda. I traded in my old Toyoda which has been a great car getting me through some leaner times about 10 years ago when I needed a cheap car with good gas mileage. I can't talk bad about Toyoda but this Ford is made in the USA by Union workers with the same features and value as one of the best selling foreign cars.
As I say, I would have liked a bright color but it does have a cool name. That stands for Carl Max. It was a car originally sold by Al Meyer in Lufkin, traded in and I bought it off the used lot there. As I say, a good deal, easy and Jordan was the salesman. First car I have bought in Lufkin in 15 years as I have usually found better prices and easier deals out of town.
I was looking for a hatch back type car with good gas mileage. I need the hatchback room for musical gear hauling and this more than fills the bill on that. I want the gas mileage because it makes me feel all warm inside and like getting up and dancing around in my underwear. A trip across town this morning shows that driving 7 miles I used 0.1 gallons of gas.
I did not shop Toyoda yesterday as I kind of knew the pricing and was familiar with the features. I did stop at Honda, Nissan and shopped Mitsubishi which are on the Ford lot. I liked the Honda Fit. Fit my needs for a hatchback, liked how the back seats folded up or down for cargo and acceptable gas mileage. There was also one model upscale and I forget the name that also looked promising. Mary was with me taking some car buying lessons as she will soon be shopping and she thought that lightweight floor construction on the Hondas would not hold up to my big stomps. Nissan hatchbacks were good on the price but back seats did not fold completely flat for sliding in a big closed back Fender Amp cabinet. Mitsubishi hatchbacks are made in Thailand. They are a part of the Ford family but are very welterweight autos. I don't think the will take a hit by a deer like my Toyoda did with only one small fist sized dent. Larger than life Americans probably need to steer clear.
I wrote a song one time about a Delta 88 Oldsmobile I bought in 1984. I have not wrote meany songs since then so while the Rocket 88 is a legend it was not my muse. No car since then as had a song. What rhymes with C Max?
Waters still run high at Texas lakes. My usual ramp on Rayburn is closed but I get lots of reports of catfish caught on the rock rip raps and the concrete boat ramp parking lots. We never got to launch the boat during our Lake Somerville camp out and if you check out the Birch Creek Campground facebook page you will see that the water has still been rising there. We did manage to find some good fishing at a "family Fishing Pond" as it was called located an easy walk just down the road from our camp site.
Sign on the Nails Creek Ramp which was across the lake from us. It just closed that morning. If I had launched the day before, motored across the lake to camp I'd be renting a marina stall and calling this lake head quarters till August.
Of course Warren thinks he can launch and I remember when I used to be the same way.
Matt holds up a basket of catfish he and Cathy caught. The pond was stocked with just keeping size very pretty spotted channel cats. We probably caught about 40 of these plus some throw backs with Matt doing most of the damage. .
Pop holds up a catfish from the lake. He's swimming in Pop's belly right now.
What's that in the water?
It's just BD. Surprisingly enough we caught catfish with BD trying to retrieve our corks.
This is BD's "did I do something?" look.
Morgan and Ali put hard eyes on their child. They are going to be good parents.
No Cathy is not on a mission trip to spread the catfish gospel around the world. She is just showing off her catch and letting the kids have fun holding a fish.
Next day I awake to 25 Asian people walking down the road with fishing poles toward the pond. Pictures of Cathy the kids and the fish are out there on someone's facebook page. The power of social media. After a while I walked down and check to see if they were having luck. They were using minnows and little girl about waist high to me looked up and said, "how long for bites? Hours, minutes?" Guess I should have gave them some cat bait so the kids could catch some fish. Or maybe let BD come down and splash around for a while.