Monday, August 28, 2017

Storm So Far...

My prayers certainly go out for those most affected by the storm but so far things have been slow and wet here. That may change because things happen slow after a hurricane. It's a long playing event and my time may not be here yet.

So far immediate family is fine. Morgan and Ali are in Pearland with some water in the street but the house is dry and they have power. Rose and kids stayed in Lake Jackson till last night and then decided to hold out at boyfriend Tim's two story house in Alvin. Lake Jack did not take a hard hit from the storm compared to other places but there is going to be a lot of water coming down the Brazos River and the danger will be isolation with all roads out closed from this flood. 

Here's a couple of photos of my property. I am down hill so this water runs across the yard and down the road and collects along the property line. It then flows out the back of the property into a ditch beside the church and on into roadside ditches to the creek. The creek seems to run off pretty quick. At midday yesterday it was not even full banks. The occasional break between rains lets it flow on out. This might not be the most water I have seen in this spot.

This is not a tree no matter how the photo looks. One time years ago, must have been last century a small twister or something came through and took the top out of a cedar tree right by the house and leaned it over on the chimney. I hooked a rope on it and pulled it off with the truck. Slight chimney damage had to be repaired and I had a big log in the yard. Actually come to think of it there was also a cedar that fell across the road and I had to move it so I can't really remember which tree this was. It was, after all last century. 

What I ended up doing was I took a chain saw and from one piece sculpted a bench of sorts. It's still here but got grown over by Chinese Juniper used as a ground cover. Some how and I don't really remember ( I was younger and stronger in those days) I stood the rest of the tree up, concreted it in and it has been used as a sort of a totem pole, a bird feeder hanger, Christmas light display and I don't know what else. Current the greenery you see is one of those vines with the orange horn shaped flowers. Probably an invasive species but they do seem to draw humming birds so they can't be all bad I let them have the run of the place in accordance with my southern rot and decay gardening style. Boy that would be a good blog title, southern rot and decay. I have used that line in a song I wrote.       

We did get one report that Cathy's uncle and Aunt, Dave and Peg had some water in their house in the Houston area but have not verified that. Brother in law Matt is reporting water almost crotch deep but not in his house yet. 

Hope all stay safe

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Lyle Lovett in Concert...

Last night the Angelina Arts Alliance hosted Lyle Lovett and his Large Band. It was a great concert in a really great hall. We had balcony seats and they gave us a fine view. 

Lyle gets lumped in with the music that's called country. He might actually be a real cowboy as he owns and competes quarter horses but I doubt he gets played on the radio and you probably won't see him dancing in the back of a pickup wearing a cap and sparkle butt pants for a music video. His music is a combination of Tom Waits style night club, Mose Allison, Bob Wills western swing, blues with touches of bluegrass and jazz. If you don't know bout all that kind of stuff keep on dancing in the back of the pick up.  

I got fair photos from the balcony. Not really a stand up and wave your cell phone type venue but then I did not get hit in the head with a beer bottle so there are some pros and cons but I managed  a few quick picks with my trusty canon.  . 

The bluegrass part of the show. The mando and fiddle player were featured on a couple of their own tunes that were great. Each band member kind of got a little solo or had a little entertaining interview with Lyle. Most have been with him since the early 1980s.  

This photo of the horn section is a bit blurry but notable because the sax player on the left, Harvey, played with Jimi Hendrix and Billy Cox in Nashville on their discharge from the army in the early mid 60s. Those guys went on to play Woodstock, formed the group Band of Gypsy and you know the rest. Harvey's resume reads like a who's who of the music business playing with anyone and every one.  

There is also a trombone player not shown. I could not see him from my seat I don't know, maybe a mysterious guy. Trombones are like that. 

We have some tickets for another big concert type show next month, the Tedeschi Trucks Band with Todd Snider and the Hard Working Americans opening. If you don't know these guys check them out. I hear people say, "there's no good music." They are wrong. 


Friday, August 18, 2017

Ok This Solves Everything...

The other day I stopped in to what woman pleasing singer songwriter Shiny Ribs calls "The Po People's Sto." It's got all the stuff you need to make life comfortable like extension chords, disposable batteries and cheap toilet paper. And the great thing is that usually there are two of these stores, different brands, different vibes right across the street from each other. Some kind of competition thing but what the hey why not stop at both of them?

At my recent stop in I spotted this item on the isle of various remedy type products. I can't help but note that it's right there by something called Focus and down on the lower shelf you can grab a six pack of Boost.  Now to quote or maybe paraphrase another notable singer songwriter, Jason Isbell, I don't drink likker or keep beer or wine here and that job with the county "keeps me pissing clear" I am not needing this product. Thankfully for those that do need such as opposed to the cost of most health care services this one is cheap at $1 per test. I think my investigative reporting skills are slipping because I should have checked the other end cap to see if maybe a test for a different drug hung there.     

Now if this sells for a buck capitalist economics or any economics for that matter tells me that it costs very little to produce. The difference in those two figures is called profit and given that  marijuana is completely legal in some states and decriminalized in many more (better heads than me are welcome to provide the statics in the comments section) I'd say this is a short term business opportunity. 

I can't endorse marijuana use. I see it as kind of like fried catfish. Not really bad for you but too much can certainly cause problems and if you know me very well at all I keep a catfish jones on that requires my full attention and after all weed is illegal here.

My thoughts on the legal thing is that here in Texas there is a market for drug testing yourself. In some states right now as folks stopped in the store for their weekend fun just like I stopped and bought a shave ice on the way home from work. Down in Louisiana in a bend of the Mississippi River on the site of the old Angola Plantation is Angola Prison. For those locked up there things have not changed very much at all since the plantation days and there is a bunch of old boys locked up for the same thing that other states have pronounced legal. That's the real crime just like selling a $1 drug test that is legal but somehow is taking an vantage of people who end up paying dearly for everything. 

Let's listen to the guys sing. 




Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Statues have been a big topic. On my last trip to Chicago I made photos of these works that celebrate men of historical importance who made a difference in the world without leaving a trail of hate, oppression, death and myths of lost causes. 

In Humboldt Park there stands a statute of Leif Erickson. Many think this Norse explorer discovered America and was the first European to set foot on the continent. Columbus is generally heralded as the discoverer of the New World but it's thought he may have heard of Leif on a 1477 voyage to Iceland. 

While Columbus has had his reputation tarnished due to some questions about treatment of indigenous people Leif stands tall in statues erected in cities all across the USA. This one has been standing in Chicago since 1901 and was commissioned from  Sigvald Asbjornsen for the price of $10,000. Leif was apparently a pretty good fellow, reportedly blown off course and finding the continent on a mission to preach Christianity. One thing I found funny is that these various statues around the city is they have a phone number. You call and a recorded message plays telling their accomplishments and gives a few tips on interesting things to see in the city. When Leif was floating around out there off the foggy New England coast he probably wished for such a service.       

Next up is the grand kids posing at the foot of a statue of Hans Christian Andersen the famous Dutch writer of children's fairy tales. This is what he is best remembered for although he is known also for his adult writings that transcended age and nationality.  He was friends with Dickens and they both wrote on themes that affected the underclass of the Industrial Revolution. Apparently attracted to both sexes he is reported to have remained celibate his whole life and had high moral and religious values. This statue was shown at the 1893 World's Fair and later moved here to Lincoln Park. The sculptor, John Gelert also did a bust of Beethoven for the park but it was stolen in 1970 and never recovered.    

This statue of Shakespeare was done by William Ordray in 1894. It's a low pedestal as a remembrance that Shakespeare belongs among the people. It's also in Lincoln Park and you can imagine the problems this sculptor faced. No one knows what Shakespeare looked like. I do know that one of my favorite Shakespeare quotes is from the Macbeth soliloquy "A tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury signifying nothing." I know all have heard things like that.  

Next up is this statue of a women with breast exposed that stands along the lake shore. We can tell this is in the USA because in Europe, if you remember a previous BLOG POST (looks like I have written about staues at least 6 times on the blog) breasts on statues are fondled for good luck and are polished a shiny bronze from the many touching hands. I guess with the fountain it's kind of a deterrent to this behavior but we all know that there are people in the world whose ideas are all wet.  

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Sunday, August 13, 2017

A Mixed Bag...

Just so we keep the fishing log accurate I will submit this report. We went to the lake and spent a cool morning tied under the 147 bridge in the shade. It was very nice. Not a lot of fish caught and the grand total was 7 keepers with a few throw backs. It was a mixed bag of two crappie, two cats and three bream. They are going to be tasty for my lunch in a very short while. 

Lots of little birds which given no other info or knowledge I'll call some kind of terns seen on the lake today. As I motored along these white ones stuck out like a sore thumb against the dark of this old stump rearing up out of 35' of water. Lake level is just shy of one foot low. One foot high and this old stump would be just under the water and a solid hit to a boat hull or lower unit.  

This was a morning trip and after a cool swim we headed home for a relaxing afternoon nap. I like summer time. 

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Thursday, August 10, 2017

More River Photos...

Here's a few more photos and a little river history of our recent cruise on the Angelina River. In this photo Coraline remains unimpressed by the engineering marvel of the Sam Rayburn Dam. Later after we loaded the boat we drove the kids across the day where you could see the scenic lake view on one side and the river stretched out on the other.  Still not a lot of reaction but I can look at a lake all day long. One day they will do this and wonder why they do it. 

Little closer shot. Saw no one fishing this area today but it was a week day. 

Cathy and Kids float with the current generated by the dam release. There is a bead and breakfast on the river, La Paz and on their facebook page this past week they recommended a tube float from their dock, not far from the dam to the highway 63 bridge as taking two hours. When some one inquired about alligators they replied "outlaws shot them Saturday night." A river float should be safe just watch for speeding boats.  

This is a shot of the Bevilport boat ramp. Lot of Texas History History here. The town Beviport was established in 1830 and had a plaot owned by Sam Houston at one time. Flatboats floated cotton down the river to Beaumont and were then cut up and the timber sold. Soon keel boats and then steam boats plied the river trading with Galveston, Beaumont and New Orleans. River traffic declined when the river became clogged with logs due to sawmill operations on below where the Neches and Angelina Rivers join at a place called "the forks of the river." There is a photo in the Cedar Tree restaurant in Jasper, Tx of the steam boat Laura halted by a log jam. 

Beveilport is described as a "bustling" town of docks in various histories with one of the old houses built by Randolph Doom  still standing but moved from it's former location to a few miles north of the river. Doom was a player in Texas History from the 1830s to the 1880s and legend has it was the violin player that accompanied the charge at the battle of San Jacinto. LBJ and Speaker of the House Sam Rayburn stayed at the old Doom house several times but I don't know at what point in their political careers. I bet it was a pretty isolated place to get some deals and plans made without leaks to the press. Ano ld Doom store ledger records that Sam Houston once bought a gallon of kerosene on credit and never paid. 

Earlier this year a woman drove straight down the farm road into the river and drowned here. 

Lot of history on a river.   

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Monday, August 07, 2017

Things Seen in the Woods...

I spend a good bit of time out and about in the great outdoors. Bad thing about that is so do other humans. If you follow on these pages you have seen things I find. I don't make photos of out and out garbage because face it, it is there to be seen on most Texas Highways and country roads and we have all seen the fast food wrappers and big giant soda cups that are 20 miles from the nearest outlet of hunger gratification. I like to make photos of things that seem like people have gone to a good bit of trouble to dump in the woods. Things that might well have been disposed of very easily in the proper way. Last week we took a cruise on the Angelina River after it comes out of the Sam Rayburn Lake Dam and I spotted a couple of things that while they may not be out and out litter certainly were worth the photo. 

Here is the first thing. Looks like a 1972 walk through windshield Glastron boat. Walk through windshield is what we called these boats when I was a kid. Looks like Glastron still makes a boat like this and it's much sleeker, cooler and they call it a bowrider. My best guess is that a raging wall of water 40 to 50 feet higher that the level you see here lodged a boat swept from it's moorings high on this river bluff. I might be wrong. It could have been a late night drunken boat launch plan that that was meant to avoid the possible DWI a drive to the boat ramp would court and then just went all wrong from there.   

You still see one of these tubs now and then on the lake. I have even seen one tied up to an oil rig snapper fishing a windless late summer Gulf of Mexico day. With the price of a modern bass boat running 60 thou I bet you could have this up and running $10,000 easy. 

Warren keeps a look out on the river cruise. 

Ok what's this? I guess you could say maybe it was a frugal man's attempt at some erosion control. There are quite a number of nice looking houses all along the river and there are various ways that land owners have protected their property. This installation looks like 75 toilet bowels exploded.     

I mean if this was in a third world country would we applaud the resourcefulness of the wretchedly ethnic people? Does it look like a good idea to you? 

Somehow I could not make a photo that really did this justice. 

Cruise on, see what you can see. Haul your trash out. Tie your boat up well. Use and reuse I guess. 

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"...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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