Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The Crazy People Blog Post...

Well you know how it gets. It gets busy. I don't think I got up a really good representation of the Christmas photos so here is a few that are not the nicest ones or the most posed ones or the ones where everyone was looking but just photos of my family having a good time. 
You got Minion glasses for Christmas? 

You did too? 

Me also! 

There's a real Minion. 
Miguel has glowing green ball envy as Morgan explains all the features. 

All starry eyed. 

Thought she saw something on the floor.

Everyone likes the latest fashions. 

Cathy is going to need more wipes after this is all said and done. 

Kids say the darnedest things.  

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Happy Birthday Ali...

It's our favorite daughter in law's birthday. Of course it's our only daughter in law so it's safe to say that.
Happy birthday Ali! 


Saturday, January 23, 2016

Night Rider Gets Her Polar Bear Badge...

You may have noticed a few bicycle riding photos in recent reports I make in this space and on facebook posts. It's a hobby we took up after having some fun on bikes during our last Chicago visit. 

I like bike riding as exercise. Cathy likes bike riding because she likes the idea of using the bike to be a less polluting/consuming citizen. It does both. Since we live 5 miles from the loop we keep bikes at Mary and Miguel's. We drive there, park the car and use the bikes to get around town. Our adventure errands are Standpipe Coffee, Old Souls Food Truck, the bank, my mom's house and retail type shopping as we need it. Our last big ride was a visit to most thrift stores in town. 

Cathy does drive to Mary's for her bike and then rides it to and from work. She works the night shift. This morning on the way home she got the polar bear badge for a ride that was either a freezing 32 degrees or a chilling 27 depending on which phone app you use. After some feed back about her visibility here is Cathy saddling up for work and the new lights that were a Christmas present from the PK.
Hey wait a minute. I just noticed that no one gave me bike lights for Christmas. 

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Thanks For All The Birthday Wishes...

Three things gonna happen in January. There is going to be a State of the Union Address by the President of the United States. We are going going to celebrate Martin Luther King Day. I'm going to have a birthday. I hope those first two things are going to be around for a very long time because they are very important. I don't know how long I'll be here but so far I have wracked up 21,535 days on the planet. They have been good days and I would like to thank all the folks that wished me a happy birthday today. It's made me feel all important and loved. It's easy these days with social media to send a quick birthday greeting but as I note all the folks sending me greetings I can surely say that in all these days on Earth something has passed between us that was real and meaningful. 

I had to work today but got off early and my co workers took me out to lunch. I had dinner tonight with my mom and I while I was off over last weekend I did not do any great things other that read the books and listen to the music my wife gave me as gifts, fish a little and bicycle around town at a leisurely pace. In fact I looked pretty much this weekend just like I did in this old photo. 

I do have a bit of a get away scheduled for the next weekend I am off work. A lot of planning went into it a couple of months ago. We kind of imagined a getaway to Galveston in the winter months. A nice hotel with a heated pool, quiet dinners, and browsing the museums. Something to recharge the batteries with no distractions of dawn patrol surf fishing like in the summer. 

Well it looks like that might not happen. Come to find out it's Mardi Gras in Galveston. Into the belly of the beast. I might be old but it looks like I am not through yet. Besides, if I slow down what will I write about for the blog? 


Sunday, January 17, 2016

Rain Day Canoe and the Hunt for an Elusive Big Screen...

Me and Mary went on another of our duck hunting trips. We may have to call it something else because while ducking hunting this year no ducks have been harmed. We did have some fun and found a great creek to canoe on. 

I have often enter Pophers Creek from Sam Rayburn Lake and it's a great fishing area. I have not been down there lately but I bet that area is clogged with the invasive species Giant Salvinia.  We launched at the bridge crossing FM 2021 and first headed down the creek and is was not long before we ran into some sparse floating mats but as the flood waters of the lake spread out over the banks we headed upstream and away from it as I was not sure ducks would find good open landing surfaces. 

Here is someone's old camp catfish. It's a tarp and some other framework from a primitive camp campsite. It's flooded and hard to tell when last used. 

Mary stalks up on an elusive big screen. It s is a good way down the creek and we sighted it not far from the dorm room sized refrigerator ( I did not make a photo, my hobby is photos of abandoned TVs) floating all white and pure against the dreary winter landscape. These items were located just past the various ice chest parts (may be with the high dollar Yeti Coolers people won't loose the lids so often) that were stranded by the current against every log jam. I don't know how these items got here but it could not have been real easy. As a public service I announce there are quality recycling services available from the City of Lufkin and the unloading of unwanted items is much easier than hauling it down this creek. Who is alive right now that does not know littering is bad? 

By the way as long as I am raving this creek is named after a native American Chief Popher. I was familiar with the legend and it is documented in Bob Bowman's book "Land of the Little Angel" that the Chief's son was convicted of murder by white settlers. The son fled. Popher offered himself in the son's place and the settlers were just as happy to hang one Indian as another so somewhere along this creek I imagine the Chief's unsettled spirit drifting through the pine woods troubled by injustice and every now and then saying to himself "and just how in the hell did that TV get there?"

Heading up creek. Nice high banks and rolling terrain makes for an interesting trip. I just knew we would find some wood ducks on the creek but as it often is with duck hunting I am here, they are there.   

We squeezed through a few log jams and actually Mary got out on this log and pulled me and the boat around one end and over the log. Mary the muscle! 

Every so often along our paddle back (the Texas State Historical Commission list the creek as three miles long to the lake) I spotted a green switch cane stalk floating in the water. I did not remember those on the way up. With recent big foot sightings in Rusk County those canes looked chewed to me.   

Big foot, the ghost of Chief Popher, rain, cold, no ducks. Let's head home. 


Sunday, January 10, 2016

I Guess I Was Not Home When He Came By...

Judging from the uproar on the internet Obama took up yawl's guns last week. I was gone duck hunting so I guess I missed the call or whatever it was everyone else responded to and I still have mine. I did vote for him and I think maybe I was the only one but I really don't think this is some kind of special treatment or surely I would have been invited to the White House or received an ambassadorship to a wretchedly ethnic country where it's too hot to wear clothes and the national anthem is a cumbia. 

Maybe we were overlooked because we were up early trying to catch the worm so to speak. Here's Mary navigating the canoe before dawn. Thank you Mary for helping old dad watch where he's going, backing him on drums and otherwise keeping ,me safe and respectable. The other kids do their part but Mary is handy to keep a thumb on me. 

I don't know whose reflection that is but that's Mary stalking the backwater carrying the old Winchester single shot shotgun my dad gave me when I began my hunting career. It has seen a lot of action and I expect it always will. It's a good all purpose item. I once saw the same model in the military museum at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. Shotguns like this were apparently issued to various isolated mountain tribes in the Vietnam/Laos/Cambodia region during the Vietnam War so the locals could harass the Communist backed troops in the region. That does not seem to have made much of a difference in outcomes of our interventions in that area but I bet these old shotguns brought plenty of monkey meat to the table and there was no worry like happens when some insurgent group you just gave shoulder fired anti aircraft missiles to changes alliances.  

We stashed the canoe under a bushy tree. One bunch of about 15 ducks made a circle looking at our decoys but went on their merry way. Maybe they spotted us or the canoe. I don't know. I do have some camo tank netting but it's a bit bulky for the stripped down operation we are running. 

I got about three good photos of this(not swimming in my belly) hawk.  I used one on facebook and here is another. I can't decide which one is the best. He's kind of like Obama I guess. He did not see me. 

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Friday, January 08, 2016

Is It Art?/Not Art...?

While thrifting at the local stores the other day I came upon an oil painting on canvas with a home made frame. None of the proprietors spoke much English and the item was unmarked price wise so they made a telephone call to an unknown person to find out this info. While trying to make the call I made an offer and lucky for me the unknown person and myself were in agreement to what this thing was worth. I bought it. Here's what it made.

It made a pretty good guitar. Note to prospective buyers, the neck is a little off kilter and the strings angle along like a three cell flashlight beam shined up into the stars on a dark summer night. There are no rules on homemade instruments. If you can't figure out a way to live with this then you aint a liver. 

Colors show up a bit better in this photo. That's oil on canvas over a home made frame. It's not real delicate but this might not want to be the guitar you want to play fish fries and crawfish boils with.

It's signed by the artist, Looks like "Alicia Tayette" or something like that. Good thing she is not on facebook. I think I am in love with her. 

Plays with a slide and has a bit of higher than normal action. No big deal if you are a slider. You aint going back to fingers anyway. 

The back was open and I made a back to be able to mount the pick up jack. Yes it is electric. I recommend an angled guitar plug but played sitting down a regular straight plug does not get in the way. 

A close up shows the almost three D paint job. 
I have recently been accused of shameless self promotion on this page but this guitar is for sale. It's $75. If I have to ship I'm charging $25 for shipping expenses.

I don't know is it art/not art? 

There was some pretty fertile ground to plough at this particular thrift store. I got a blue rayon shirt. Mary says it's going to make me sting when I sweat while wearing it. Peter, who's harmless hobby is puppets, found a complete set of N Sync marionettes. Not life size or nothing and I don't know how they make him smell.   


Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Sorting Through the Christmas/New Year Festivities...

The kids were all in his past weekend and between DPS Holiday and border guarding duties Juan met us at Pop's and we got some of the best family photos. Least painful anyway because sometimes getting this bunch to sit still is a challenge. 

The kids. I'm proud. They got together and made this themselves. 

Here's Bessie and all the grand kids and great grand-kids. 
Bessie and the big kids. 

All the gang at Bessie's for Christmas.

All the gang including Juan at Pop and Geneva's for Christmas

This is official 2016 family photo.

And of course the official "goofy" family photo. 

This was a good Christmas and not just because I got a lot of presents but because of the family we have. 


Sunday, January 03, 2016

We Got TV....

That's right the kids gave us a TV for Christmas. There is a long resistance to TV around here, tempered somewhat by the new age of the internet where you can watch what you want on a lap top or phone but the house has been without a traditional cable hook up for 30+ years and have had no channels whatsoever since things went digital. Some of you regular readers may be aware that the way the blog supports itself is through big screen giveaways. Before I knew I had a new TV that day I had been pleasantly driving across town photographing big screens for my next giveaway. Here's the photos.

Good Christmas at this house. They got a present that just killed this big boy and brought about it's deposition to the curb. I mean what could be better that this monument to American culture? 

Must have received two tvs for Christmas to replace these two lonely soldiers. 

I think the first TV I had as an adult in the late 1970s was a small black and white that was given to my dad as a service award from his work. Before I had moved out of his house we had had a black and white TV and no cable. My dad was not one for frivolous extras.  I guess I inherited some of that because as I got out on my own my parents opened a new bank account and as a prize they received a 19 inch color portable. They had bought themselves a color console and hooked up cable and at the house I rented I also got cable and at the age of 22 I learned that Bonanza was filmed in color. 

Soon though I bought a house out of town. Cable did not reach in those days so back to one channel. Soon kids came along. We let them watch videos but trying to be good hippie parents we limited the viewing. The kids grew up, moved out and have their own TVs the internet came along and we did acquire habits like binge watching Game of Thrones and Netflix. 

Recently our Granddaughter, Coraline, asked Cathy, "Grandma can we watch a little T, just a little T?" Even the Grand kids have caught on that TV is not the center of life.   

So this Christmas the kids went together and got is a TV. It's a modest 32 incher that does Amazon, youtube, netflix and I don't know what else. We did not even have to adjust the living space to much to absorb the new size. It may change the focus of Cathy's art installations that sometimes occupy the box window. 

So that leaves me to make a photo of my own kicked to the curb TV. It's a handy little devil. Got a built in VCR player. It's color. Call me 707-9211 and I'll give it to you. Will not ship but I'll deliver local.  


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