Thursday, September 30, 2010

Texas Tidbits : PO'ed At Some Coaches and Parents UPDATED! Again (Scroll down)

I posted this story on my other blog, Dumbass News, late last night. It made me so mad I was spittin' sparks. This is not normally the kind of thing I post here, but I wanted to get it out there to as many people as possible. At the end of the story, you'll notice that I want to do something to reward these kids for their efforts during the season since the "grown ups" messed it all up with a few minutes of being dumbasses. I'll have more information and post an update every time I can. Please consider helping these kids out. If I can set it up, it will be through a bank or whatever in Texas and ALL PROCEEDS WILL GO TO THE KIDS ON THE TWO FOOTBALL TEAMS. More later.
WARNING: GRAPHIC LANGUAGE AHEAD! What the fuck?! My wife came across this story on Aol News. Recently in Pearland, just south  of Houston, there was a Pee Wee football game that ended up looking like a bunch of pussy European soccer fans rioting over that dumbass game they are so attached to. Instead, it was a bunch of pussies I am ashamed to call Texans that did the riot thing. At a Pee Wee Football Game! Here's the video. Prepare yourself to be disgusted and pissed off. Thanks to the dumbass actions of the so-called adults in charge of these kids' football teams, both teams have been disqualified from participating in the league playoffs. What kind of dumbass sets this kind of example for our young people? I feel like flying to Houston to find these dickweeds and kicking all their "adult" asses or buying them all a plane ticket to fucking Paris where nobody fights because they are too pussy to stand up for themselves. You "coaches" and "parents" will be all the rage over there, you can kick 100,000 French asses and be the fucking Big Dogs. Dumbasses. One of the young men on one of the teams, Justin Robinson, was more adult than any of the dumb fucks involved in the brawl when he said, "I still can't believe they, the coaches actually did that in front of us because that just sets a bad example for us." Justin, you make me proud, son. You are a true Texan and a fine young man.

LET'S HELP THE KIDS! I am going to do some phone work tomorrow and do what I can to set up a fund for the kids on the teams to receive a trophy for their sportsmanship during this sad display by their elders. I want to let them know how proud of them we are for being fine young men. I'll fill you in as I get this thing rolling.

UPDATE #1: I just got off the phone with Wells Fargo Bank in Pearland, Texas and they are gathering some information so we can do something for these kids. I am waiting for their return call. More to follow.

UPDATE #2: I got in contact with some banks in Pearland, but so far no bueno. I also contacted a local (Maine) radio guy who has some pull with folks up here, I am waiting for his response.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Maine Minutiae: A Thumbnail Sketch of Maine History, Part 2

We continue our series of posts on Maine history. Last time we talked about the very early days of Maine from the time of Leif Ericson to Statehood. Today we are going to take a brief look at what was going on in Maine during the time just before and during the Revolutionary War. Just a we did yesterday, a big thanks to the state of Maine's website, maine.gov, for the material.

If you see parallels between then and now, you ain't too far off the mark. Maine.gov notes, "Resistance to the oppressive colonial tax policies of the British Parliament began early in Maine. In 1765 a mob seized a quantity of tax stamps at Falmouth (now Portland), and attacks on customs agents in the province became common."  If that sounds familiar, think ObamaCare. The similarities between the arrogance of the British Throne in 1765 and the assholes, meaning Liberals, who know "what's best for you" today, your judgement be damned, are striking. Without further editorial opinion, I'll just quote the rest of the text of our lesson for today. Again, from maine.gov: "A year after the famous Boston Tea Party of 1773, Maine staged its own version of that incident when a group of men burned a shipment of tea stored at York.

When open warfare finally erupted at Lexington and Concord, hundreds of Maine men actively joined the struggle for independence. The province saw plenty of action during the Revolution.

In 1775, British warships under the command of the notorious Capt. Henry Mowatt shelled and burned Falmouth, an act intended to punish residents for their opposition to the Crown, but which only served to stiffen Maine's ardor for independence.

The first naval battle of the Revolution occurred in June 1775 when a group of Maine patriots captured the armed British cutter "Margaretta" off Machias.

Later that year many Maine men accompanied Col. Benedict Arnold on his long march through the north woods in a valiant but fruitless effort to capture Quebec.

An ill-planned expedition by the American naval fleet to regain the British-held fortification at Castine in 1779 led to the most disastrous naval encounter of the war.

The Revolution cost Maine dearly. About 1,000 men lost their lives in the war, the district's sea trade was all but destroyed, the principal city had been leveled by British bombardment, and Maine's overall share of the war debt amounted to more than would later be imposed upon it by the Civil War."


 As you can see, Mainers were an independent bunch back then and I can assure you that today Mainers are just as resilient. We'll be back tomorrow with more history of the Pine Tree State! I hope to see you then!

Texas Tidbits: A Texas Primer

Thanks to you, the reader, Three States Plus One is growing in leaps and bounds. We are barely three months old and we now have friends in forty-five of the fifty states in the USA and twenty nine countries around the world. Our overseas readers are from a diverse group of nations, including, our newest country, Serbia. Other readers hail from Italy, Spain, Israel, Russia, Australia, Taiwan, Mexico, the Philippines, India, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, our neighbors to the north, Canada, the Mother Country, Great Britain and so many more. Thank you to you all for being a part of our Global Community of Readers and showing an interest in my home state of Texas. I was thinking that since we have so many new readers, it might be a good time to familiarize them with some facts about Texas, including a brief look at its history. So, I located a primer about Texas that has some basic information that the newer readers might find useful. It's good stuff and I believe that many of you from around the globe who have struggled and fought in order to live in a country free of tyranny and governmental control over your daily lives, will find the story of Texas an inspirational one, not unlike your own.

Texas is one of the most recognizable places on Earth, if not for the sheer size of the place, then definitely for its unique profile. Almost anyone can look at a map and find Texas once they know what it looks like and the Lone Star flag is equally recognizable as a symbol of Texas by people from around the world. Many people unfamiliar with modern Texas still think of oil wells and cowboys as the mainstays of Texan culture. And they would be right. Oil and cowboys are as much a part of Texas as the Alamo. But the Texas of today is much more than that. Many Fortune 500 and high tech companies call today's Texas home making Texas a new kind of frontier for the 21st Century.

I am not going to excerpt the Texas Primer for you here as I can't do it justice, so please take a few minutes to read it and you'll have a basic understanding of what is so special about this place called Texas.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Maine Minutiae: A Thumbnail Sketch of Maine's History, Part 1

The history of Maine is a very interesting topic to me. I thought that it might be of some interest to you as well, so I have decided to put together a series of posts that will highlight a period of the colorful history of the state in which I live. I won't go into great detail, instead I'll present the information to you in a number of short articles. So, let's get to it!

Columbus "discovered" America in 1492, or did he? It is believed that Leif Ericson and a crew of thirty or so Vikings explored the coast of Maine a full five hundred years before Columbus landed in the West Indies. Ericson and his men may have even tried to colonize Maine at that time. A mere six years after Columbus' exploration of the New World, it is nthought that an Italian sailor, John Cabot, in service to King Henry VII of England, sailed into North American waters and possibly even the Maine coast, but concrete evidence of Cabot's possible adventure in Maine is minimal, at best. In the late 16th Century, a number of ships from Europe skirted along the coast of Maine, even putting ashore for repairs and processing of the fish catch. Maine was also the site of one of the earliest permanent European settlements in America. From maine.gov comes this: "The first settlement was established by the Plymouth Company at Popham in 1607, the same year of the settlement at Jamestown, Virginia. Because the Popham colony didn't survive the harsh Maine winters, Jamestown enjoys the distinction of being regarded as America's first permanent settlement." There were many English settlements along the coast in the 1620's, but the lovely winters of the area and Indian attacks wiped many of them out over the years. Entering the 18th Century, there were only about a half dozen settlements that survived the elements and the Indians. Maine was sparsely populated as Massachusetts bought up most of the land in Maine in the 1700's. Things stayed that way until Maine broke off from Massachusetts and became a state in 1820.

I hope you enjoyed our little foray into yesteryear and we'll delve into another aspect of the history of Maine tomorrow on Maine Minutiae!

Texas Tidbits: October in Texas, Cooler Weather, Cool Events

With only a couple of days left in September, I thought it might be a good time to check out what's happening in the Lone Star State in October. The biggie, of course, is the State Fair of Texas at the Fair Grounds in Dallas, where Big Tex will greet more than three million visitors from around the world. About three weeks ago I did a write up about some of the fried foods featured at this year's fair, including fried beer! The State Fair runs through October 24.
Here's a list of a few more shindigs happening around Texas in October:
  • The 32nd Annual Festa Italiana takes place in Houston October 15-17, paisan.
  • In Fredericksburg the 30th Oktoberfest is slated for October 1-3.
  • My blog buddy, Bob Zeller at Texas Tweeties will be a busy man over the next few weeks as the approaching winter up north will usher millions of birds into Texas, making it one of the best bird watching opportunities in the world. Bob is a Wiz with his camera, so scoot by his place to get the latest on which of our fine feathered friends are migrating into the San Angelo area. 
  • Here in New England we are hitting the peek of our fall foliage viewing, but in Texas they are getting warmed (cooled down?) up for it, and there's no better place in the state to see the transition from summer to fall than Lost Maples State Natural Area.
Any or all of those events would be worth the drive to take part in, so make your plans early. Make a long weekend of it by going to the State Fair in Dallas, then down I-45 tom Houston for the Festa Italiana, then head west to the Hill Country for Oktoberfest and fall scenery viewing at Lost Maples and finally meet up with Bob in San Angelo for some birding at one of that area's lakes or the state park in San Angelo. Now that sounds like a plan.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Maine Minutiae : A Visit toThe Pumpkin Patch

My wife is a holiday freak. That's not a bad thing. She's always looking for a reason to decorate the house with whatever day is being celebrated. Her theory is, "Honey, it's National Vampire Bat Day! Let's leave some tiny containers full of blood outside so they won't have to find the neighbor's cat to have supper tonight!" Then she draws a blood sample from each member of the family and afterwards gives us a cup of orange juice. As inconvenient as this can be, especially for National Body Piercing Day (I won't go there), from time to time she comes up with a good idea. And while we were watching TV the other night and a commercial came on for a place called Harvest Hill Farms where you can go wander the countryside and pick out your own pumpkin for Halloween. We are going there this weekend. It should be a lot of fun, especially for the kids and even more especially for Bailey the 3 year old. On the property, Harvest Hill also has carved out a maze in a big ass corn field, which should be a blast for Daddy, if you catch my drift. (insert evil laugh here) I plan on taking my camera so I can capture the look of abject horror of joy on the kids' faces after our family adventure through the corn maze. Somewhere near Harvest Hill farms is a "you pick 'em" apple orchard which means lots of apple picking experience for the girls while Daddy dreams of home made apple pie. After all, the family that picks together, sticks together, or something like that. I'll post the pictures I take while we're there and will eventually post the ones of my little girls when the staff at Harvest Hill Farms calls and let's me know that they (the girls) made it out of the corn field maze. Good times.

Texas Tidbits : Miss Me Yet? Yup.

It seems like forever ago that we had a man in the White House that respected and loved this country and the men and women who served in its Armed Forces. Agree or disagree with him, there was no doubt that George W. Bush did what he thought was right for the United States and he stuck to his guns. His wife, Laura was the epitome of class, grace and dignity while representing our nation as First Lady. You damn right I miss them. Why? Read on and you'll understand.

The last Sunday in September is designated as Gold Star Mothers Day, a day set aside for Mothers who've lost a son or daughter who died in service to his/her country in the US Armed Forces. This past Saturday, George W. and Laura Bush held a reception at their Dallas home for Gold Star and Blue Star Moms. Blue Star Mothers are Moms who have a child serving the country right now. About 80 women showed up at the Bush's house for this very special occasion. Cynthia Garcia, whose son, Corporal Adam Garcia, died in Iraq, was one of those women. At the link, in her own words, is Mrs.Garcias' touching account of her time with the former President and First Lady at their Dallas home.

This is a man who was vilified and demonized by the Leftist assholes and the media, but I repeat myself, as stupid, out of touch and a war criminal amongst other "niceties". Let me tell you what, if being stupid, out of touch and a war criminal means being a man like George W. Bush, count me in. And the Left can kiss my stupid, out of touch, war criminal ass.    

hat tip: no2liberals at Nuke Gingrich

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Say It Again Sunday!

Fall has finally arrived in New England, so much so, it actually feels like football weather. It's 12:39PM as I type this post and the current temperature is 52 degrees. It's a perfect day to post a Say It Again Sunday! I went through the Three States Plus One trash can archives and found three posts that were laughed at mercilessly by inmates at the State Prison  well-received by you, the reader. Keep the Alka Seltzer close by, just in case, and read on.
If you enjoy knowing that some other poor schmuck is a bigger schmuck than you, click on over to my other blog Dumbass News. No matter how much your day has sucked, there's always a bigger dumbass than you, and Dumbass News is guaranteed to prove it to you.

Enjoy the last Sunday of September and we'll see you later! Adios, y'all!

Toby

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Plus One: Norcross, Georgia - Home of Capt. Dan Luckett, American Hero

Hero
I was just cruisin' the net a few minutes ago, when I came across the story you are about to read, on Facebook. It was posted by a good friend of mine, Marcy. I thanked her on Facebook and I'll thank her here again for bringing the story to my attention. It's the story of a young man whose courage and determination in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds, are a testament to the character of an individual of whom all Americans can be proud. His name is Captain Dan Luckett, a Son of Norcross, Georgia who has served his country far beyond the call of duty. I"ll post the first few lines of the article. Please take a moment to click the link and read it. It's well worth the time.

(Associated Press) When a bomb exploded under Dan Luckett's Army Humvee in Iraq two years ago — blowing off one of his legs and part of his foot — the first thing he thought was: "That's it. You're done. No more Army for you."
But two years later, the 27-year-old Norcross, Georgia, native is back on duty — a double-amputee fighting on the front lines of America's Afghan surge in one of the most dangerous parts of this volatile country.

I am more convinced than ever that the future of the United States is in very capable hands with young men like Captain Luckett leading the way.

Last Weekend of September "Best of..."

Talkin' With God
Did the month of September zoom by or what? They say as you get older, time seems to move faster. I guess that's true, because this month went by like time lapse photography. Personally, I celebrated the birthday of my favorite uncle, Tony, who died way too young at 58. My 54th birthday came and went and I still don't look a day over 75 and I mourned the loss of a dear, sweet friend to that hideous disease of Satan, cancer - and we've still got five days of September to go! I can think of at least three more family birthdays to come.
Here at Three States Plus One, we are gaining hundreds of new readers from all over the world each week. As I type this post, TSPO has been read by people in 41 of the 50 United States and 26 countries around the globe, with the latest being The Netherlands, New Zealand and Spain. I can't thank you all enough for taking the time to visit our humble abode. Thanks to you, this blog has shot up the Alexa Rankings from 20-something million back in June to 1,411,552 in the world as of a few minutes ago. In the US we now stand at #106,610. That is nothing short of amazing. And it's your fault! it's because we have the best and most loyal readers a blog could ask for. Thank you.

For our newer readers:  I dug deep into the dark, damp,musty bowels of the Three States Plus One archives and slogged through the muck and mire to dredge up some of the most read posts of the past three months. This is what I got stuck with found for your perusal. In other words, I said "eeny, meeny, miny moe" and these three are what you get. Hey, at least I'm honest! If it tickles your fancy (or tickles some place else, it's all good), you can search through the archives and find some real good stuff. There's a search box on upper right of each page of the blog.

Here are this week's Best of...

That's what's cookin' in Three States Ville this weekend. As always, you are welcome to express your views or thoughts in the comments or to email me at threestatesplusone AT gmail DOT com. Thanks again, y'all. You're the best! Adios!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Colorado Chronicles ; Major Moves

Number 2 Son
NOTE: I am writing this story with my Son's knowledge and approval.
 See that good lookin' young man in the photo? That's my Number 2 Son, Toby. It's come to my attention that Young Tobe is about to make a major move that could impact his life for many years to come, maybe forever. Here's the deal: A while back Toby met this young lady, Hope (not her real name), when he shared his ChapStick with her. After sharing ChapStick with a pretty young woman, it's traditional to go bonkers over said young lady. They shared, he went bonkers and that brings us to this Major Move I mentioned early in this post. Toby's relationship with Hope has gone way yonder beyond ChapStick sharing. We're talkin' serious business here. Since the ChapStick Share-a-Thon, Hope has moved to Colorado and these two young folks have had a long distance romance. After a while, long distance love is no bueno for caca. So, Toby, ever the romantic fool like his dashing, and equally handsome Father, is packing up and haulin' ass to Denver. I can't say I blame the lad. Toby and I had a discussion of this matter a while back, and I gave him the best Fatherly Advice (patent pending) that I could. Before I go on, Hope moving back to Texas was not an option. I told him that a love like the he has for Hope is a once in a lifetime thing and that, in my mind, he had two choices. Move to Colorado and be with Hope and be sure this is what he wants. If, for some reason, things don't work out like he wants them to, he and she at the very least had given it the old college try. If he didn't go, some day he'd sitting around wondering what if I had gone to Colorado. Personally, I'd rather take a chance and lose than to do nothing and never have a chance. Toby's a level headed young man, so he took what I told him, along with what his friends had to say about the matter and of course listened to what his Mother and older brother (Number1Son) thought about it all. The dude is heading to Colorado in about three weeks.  I've never met nor talked to Hope, but if she's captured my Son's heart, she's gotta be a keeper. I pray that Toby's leap of Faith (see what I did there, Tobe?) will be as rewarding to him as the one I took 4 years ago to come to Maine. Hope, I look forward to meeting you some day soon. Toby, have a safe trip, my Son. Your Old Man is mighty proud of you and I love you.

Goodbye to a Friend

Unconditional Love
I found out a few minutes ago that a close friend of mine and Heather's died last night. She had stage 4 metastasized cancer. She put up a valiant fight, but in the end, that fucking Satan's disease won out, this time. Susan was a kind and caring soul who, despite the odds stacked against her, faced each day with a smile and the determination to kick cancer's ass. Sadly, it was not to be. I'll remember her not only as a great neighbor and friend, but as someone who treated my little girls as if they were her Grand Babies - like the time she stopped at a garage sale and saw this toddler-sized lawn chair and brought it home so she and Bailey could sit out back and "girl talk", despite the fact that Bailey was only 2 years old. Susan used a cane to get around because of her illness, but it did not stop her from playing with my kids whenever she could. She once sat down on the sidewalk with Isabella when Issy was in Kindergarten and they wrote the alphabet on the sidewalk with Issy's sidewalk chalk. I don't know who had more fun, Susan or Isabella! I do know that the last time we saw Sue, she was sure to bring that up. She (Sue) knew that her time on this veil of tears called Earth was nearing an end when she reminded Issy of the sidewalk alphabet, but it was important enough to Susan to remember it at a time when she had so many other things to think about. That was just Susan - a kind, gentle soul who always had a minute (no matter how sick she was) for the kids. Thank you, Sue. It was our honor and privilege to have been your friend and neighbor. God rest you.

With deepest love,
Toby, Heather, Isabella and Bailey

P.S. Monkey is doing fine. He's fat as ever and still hangin' out with the skunks. Silly cat.

Texas Tidbits : An Almost Clean Get Away

Ted?
We've made it to another Humpday and that can mean only one thing! I have no idea what that "one thing" is, but Humpday always means "one thing". Or so I am told. You figure it out and let me know, will ya? I would like to dedicate this post to my friends in Tyler. It sounds just like something one of you would do, especially Ted. Ted is a madman. But he is our madman. I immediately thought of my buddy Ted when I saw this article about a guy practicing his God-given right to break into someone else's home while they are away. An alert neighbor called the heat when he witnessed a man, let's call him "Ted", kick in the front door to his neighbor's house. It couldn't have been the neighbor kicking in his own door while on his weekly tequila-a-thon, the neighbor was having his weekly tequila-a-thon somewhere else and wasn't at home. Besides, it was 3:30AM when this took place so the tequila-a-thon guy would have been passed out by now. Therefore, the alert neighbor knew something was rotten in Denmark. A few minutes later the fuzz arrived, cautiously entered the residence in question, Clint Eastwood cop guns at the ready and quickly spotted the intruder....in the bathtub! I now know that the bad guy isn't my friend Ted because Ted doesn't bathe. But I digress. Let's see, where was I...oh,yeah, the cops enter the house and find the burglar in the bath tub. I've heard of making a clean get away, but gee-moe-netti! The bad guy has to be from Oklahoma or something. Texas burglars are way too smart to get caught because they wanted to take a bath, passed out dead ass drunk maybe, but never to take a damn bath. Needless to say, the suspect was arrested and is now a guest of the Smith County Sheriff's Department, where he gets only one bath per week and is very careful to maintain a tight grip on the soap.

Texas Tidbits : An Almost Clean Get Away

Add caption
We've made it to another Friday and that can mean only one thing! I have no idea what that "one thing" is, but Friday always means "one thing". Or so I am told. You figure it out and let me know, will ya? I would like to dedicate this post to my friends in Tyler. It sounds just like something one of you would do, especially Ted. Ted is a madman. But he is our madman. I immediately thought of my buddy Ted when I saw this article about a guy practicing his God-given right to break into someone else's home while they are away. An alert neighbor called the heat when he witnessed a man, let's call him "Ted", kick in the front door to his neighbor's house. It couldn't have been the neighbor kicking in his own door while on his weekly tequila-a-thon, the neighbor was having his weekly tequila-a-thon somewhere else and wasn't at home. Besides, it was 3:30AM when this took place so the tequila-a-thon guy would have been passed out by now. Therefore, the alert neighbor knew something was rotten in Denmark. A few minutes later the fuzz arrived, cautiously entered the residence in question, Clint Eastwood cop guns at the ready and quickly spotted the intruder....in the bathtub! I now know that the bad guy isn't my friend Ted because Ted doesn't bathe. But I digress. Let's see, where was I...oh,yeah, the cops enter the house and find the burglar in the bath tub. I've heard of making a clean get away, but gee-moe-netti! The bad guy has to be from Oklahoma or something. Texas burglars are way too smart to get caught because they wanted to take a bath, passed out dead ass drunk maybe, but never to take a damn bath. Needless to say, the suspect was arrested and is now a guest of the Smith County Sheriff's Department, where he gets only one bath per week and is very careful to maintain a tight grip on the soap.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Maine Minutiae : Message in a Bottle

RSVP
During the three months I've run this blog, I've posted almost 250 entries, but this one is amongst the coolest of them all. It involves kids, so what's not to like? I mean these are somebody else's kids, so they are the kind of kids I like most. :) )  These somebody else's kids were 6th and 7th grade students at Adams School in Castine, Maine. The students were involved in a school project that, for whatever reason, involved putting a message in a bottle and setting it afloat in the Atlantic Ocean. A couple of these students put their message in a bottle and gave it to a fellow student's Dad. The Dad was on his way to the Bahamas and promised to chunk the message-in-a-bottle into the sea. He did and the kids got a response from the bottle's finder....two years later! In the Azores! 2971 miles away! I have done this before. I put a note with my name and address on it in a bottle then threw it in the Trinity River near downtown Fort Worth. About a week later, I got a response! From the Fort Worth Department of Sanitation. With a summons. And a $250 fine. I am certain that the kids at Adams School were much happier with their response than I was with mine, unless they have since dropped out of school to follow Miley Cyrus on her "Hannah Montana Sucks 2010 Tour". Congratulations to the students at Adams School for such a great ending to their story. It's way cool.

UPDATE: The students at Adams School in Castine, Maine are holding a fund raiser this weekend in order to pay the fine for littering in the Azores. And the bottle deposit.

Texas Tidbits : The Oldest Town in Texas

Thick as a Brick
Snuggled tidily in the massive pine forests of East Texas lies the state's oldest town, Nacogdoches. I heard a tale many years ago of how Nacogdoches got its name. This Indian Chief, whose tribe was settled on the Sabine River on the Texas-Louisiana border, had two sons, one named Natchitoch and the other, Nacogdoche. When they became young men, the Chief sent his sons in opposite directions to create new settlements for the tribe. One son was sent eastward into Louisiana and the other to the west further into Texas. Hence, the settlement in Louisiana was named for Natchitoch (Natchitoches, LA) and the settlement in Texas was named, obviously, Nacogdoches. True or not, it's a nice story. Nacogdoches is one of the most historic cities in Texas. Inhabited by the first Texans as far back as 10,000 years ago, Nacogdoches has a rich history of Indian culture. "Nacogdoches County is located in an area that has been the site of human habitation for several thousand years. Archeological artifacts, which date from the Archaic Period (ca. 5000 B.C.-A.D. 500), have been recovered from the area around Sam Rayburn Reservoir to the south. During historic times the area was occupied by the Hasinai Indians of the Caddo confederacy, an agricultural people with a highly developed culture", says Handbook of Texas Online. Click on the link to the HTO link and they have a very good synopsis of the history of Nacogdoches. Today's Nacogdoches is home to 32,000 people and 12,000+ students at Stephen F. Austin State University. Go Lumberjacks !! Many famous athletes and entertainers have ties to Nacogdoches - Don Henley of the Eagles went to SFASU, All Pro NFL players Larry Centers and Jeremiah Trotter also attended SFA.  US Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison and the discoverer of plutonium, Joseph W. Kennedy, also can point to Nacogdoches as, at one time, their home. I have spent time in Nac so I can tell you firsthand that it's cool little place and you don't have to go very far to decimate the local fish population. nearby are Lake Nacogdoches, the Angelina River and Lake Sam Rayburn. Fish.Fear.Me. Trust me on this one, folks. Be sure to check out the info at the links provided in this post. There's a ton of stuff that time and space prevent me from sharing with you. If you're in the Metroplex or somewhere near it, Nac would make a nice place to take a Sunday drive to, have lunch and see the sites. The brick streets of downtown Nacogdoches await you.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Texas Tidbits : Thomas Wade Landry

Any football fan worth his salt knows the name of the first coach of the Dallas Cowboys. The word "legend" is over-used on most occasions, but Tom Landry is a Legend, with a capital "L". He is the third winningest coach in NFL history with 270 lifetime wins, 2 Super Bowl Titles, 13 Division Titles, 20 consecutive winning seasons, an NFL record that may never be broken, a record 20 playoff wins and two Coach of the Year Awards. The man was a star player for the New York Giants and before that was a defensive stand out for the University of Texas. To bestow
"Legend" status on Tom Landry simply because of his achievements in football would be insulting to a great man off the field as well. Landry joined the Army Air Forces in World War II and as wikipedia.com tells us,"Landry earned his wings and a commission as a Second Lieutenant at Lubbock Army Air Field, and was assigned to the 493d Bombardment Group at RAF Debach, England, as a B-17 Flying Fortress bomber co-pilot in the 860th Bomb Squadron. From November 1944 to April 1945, he completed a combat tour of 30 missions, and survived a crash landing in Belgium after his bomber ran out of fuel." Thomas Wade Landry was a True Texan, a man forged of a hotter fire. He was also a devout Christian and was a not ashamed to say so when asked about it, but he was not one to push his religious beliefs on others. Coach Landry demanded excellence and dedication from his players and coaching staff, but he also demanded the same, if not more, of himself. The stoic man you see in the photo above is of a Coach who not only set records in the NFL, but left a lasting impression on many of the men who played for him as well as just plain old folks who came into contact with him in daily life. Quick story : my sister wanted to give her then-husband a special gift for his birthday one year, an autographed football from the Dallas Cowboys. She called the Cowboys' office in Dallas and set up an appointment. When she got there, she was invited into Coach Landry's office, where he talked to her for a few minutes then handed her an NFL football signed by the Dallas Cowboy players and Coach Tom Landry. That's the Tom Landry I know about. And before you get the idea that I am a fanboi  of the Cowboys, stop right there. I am 54 years old and have been a Green Bay Packers fan for almost 50 years.I salute Tom Landry not as a Coach, but as a Man. A good, decent man of Faith. Football is secondary considering the Man.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Texas Tidbits : The Six Flags of Texas

The Lone Star flag of Texas is instantly recognized by people all over the world as the defining symbol of our state. However, the same people probably don't know that the flags of six sovereign nations have flown over Texas, dating back to the 1500's. I would imagine that that is true for the vast majority of non-Texans. If you were to mention "six flags" and "Texas" in the same breath, non-Texans would say something like: "I've been there and I rode the roller coaster eight times!", thinking of the amusement park, Six Flags Over Texas, not the history of the state. Even if ignorant of our history, non-Texans (or "foreginers" a I call them :D) know the state flag. Here's a quick primer for our non-Texan friends. Study up and soon you can impress even Native Texans with your knowledge of the rich history of Texas.                                                                                                                                                                                     Spain was the first European country to claim Texas as their own, way back in 1519 by Hernando Cortez. The Spanish flag flew over Texas until 1685 when the land was claimed by the French. The French had control of Texas for only five years, when in 1690, the Spanish took over Texas again, this time until 1821 when Mexico declared independence from Spain.

From 1685 to 1690, the nation of France took over Texas from the Spaniards. But, the French ruled over Texas for only five years, then, as what has come to be expected of the Frogs, they tucked tail and ran, allowing Spain to once again call Texas theirs.

The Spanish rule of Texas this go 'round lasted until 1821 when Mexico declared its independence from the Mother Country, and Texas became a state of Mexico. The citizens of Texas didn't cotton to the iron-fisted rule of Santa Ana and on March 2, 1836, told him to shove it up his sombrero.

From 1836 to 1845, Texas was an independent nation and in 1839 the Lone Star Flag as we know it, became the official flag of the Republic of Texas. Texas gained statehood on December 29, 1845 and became a part of the United States.

With the advent of the Civil War in 1861, Texas seceded from the Union and was a member of the Confederate States of America for four years. After the War of Northern Aggression ended in 1865, Texas was eventually re-admitted to the United States.

And the rest , as they say, is history.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Texas Tidbits : Lost Maples No Longer Lost

The world today is a rat race and the rats are winning, as the old saying goes. From time to time we all need a place to escape to, to recharge the old batteries and not have to travel too far from home. I have found such a place. Lost Maples State Natural Area near Vanderpool in the Hill Country. It's a 5 to 6 hour drive from Dallas, depending on the route you take. Personally, I would take I-35 South to Highway 16 and head west to Vanderpool. Wild Texas' website tells us that "Lost Maples is "Located along the Sabinal River in the heart of the Texas Hill Country, 2,208-acre Lost Maples State Natural Area is an inspiring mixture of sheer limestone cliffs, deep canyons, dense woodlands, and numerous clear streams." Numerous clear streams? I'm in. FishFearMe. As I was looking for info on Lost Maples, I came across a website belonging to Brian Greenstone. Brian has some great tips for you so you'll have a game plan before you leave home. Remember, luck favors a prepared mind. The mad rush of summer vacation season is over, so a trip to Lost Maples during the week (weekends would be too busy for me) would be ideal for fishin' and camping in the 2200+ acre park, especially if the kids have a break from school for a few days. On the way home you could make a planned stop in San Antonio for some Mexican food and a visit to Texas' version of the Vatican, the Alamo. What a great trip to make. Lost Maples State Natural Area ain't so lost after all.

Three States Extra! A Blog is Born


A Home for Dumbasses
I am very happy to announce to the world (or at least to you and the other guy who reads this stuff) that my newest failure to be blog, Dumbass News, makes its who gives a damn much-anticipated debut today! I have written something really lame an introduction post to that gives you the Cliff's Notes version of what the deal is. I'll have an honest-to-goodness Dumbass News story up later today that will that'll make your chin hit the floor when you read it, especially if you are married or are in a committed relationship. It's that stupid. I guarantee that you'll laugh, cry and wonder why the heck you clicked the link to the story, which is the purpose of the link anyway. I think it's only fair to warn you before you click over, that Dumbass News makes liberal use of "colorful metaphors" (cussin') and may not be safe for work or kids or those who are offended by such language. If I had to rate the site like they do movies, Dumbass News would be rated PG-13, R at worst. In my dumbass professional opinion, it's pretty damn funny, too. But then again, I wrote it and I'd lie like a cheap rug in order to get a few blog hits. Click on over and have a look and let me know what you think.If nothing else, we'll have a boatload of fun. I'll see you there!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Working On the New Blog & Best of TSPO Sunday


Vs TCU for the Title?



Yesterday I made a Big Announcement about a new blogging endeavor I am undertaking. I am gonna spend some significant time today watching football tweaking the new digs (<----hint,hint) and gathering stories for the Big Debut tomorrow. Taking that into account, I have picked out some of the "best" (I am trying hard not to laugh here) and most-read (that is, somebody  besides my wife actually read it) posts from the past for you. So, grab your Pepto Bismol and enjoy endure what you can on a Best of Three States Plus One Sunday!
A couple of football notes : Three words : Texas.Longhorns.Defense. Those guys are brutal. Holding Texas Tech to less than 200 yards total offense? And they are a very young defense. I'm sure the rest of the Big 12 is just thrilled to hear that. Texas 24   Texas Tech 14  Hook 'em! Next victim, UCLA at DKR-Texas Memorial Stadium, Saturday, September 25, 2:30 (CDT) on ABC. In the NFL, the Dallas Cowboys are home at the House That Jerry Built to tangle with the Monsters of the Midway, the Chicago Bears. Kickoff is at Noon, CDT on Fox. Here in the Northeast, the New England Patriots are in the Big Apple to battle the Jets in the late game (4:15 EDT) on CBS. The rest of the NFL schedule can be found here. Have a goodern, y'all and thanks for reading Three States Plus One!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Plus One : Christmas Comes Early! Or Not.

I have some sickening exciting news for you today! I am putting together another blog! There is a reason for this. I find myself at times drifting away from the original purpose of Three States Plus One, to the point where it was morphing into a whole other animal. Add to that the fact that I wanted a bit more "flexibility" to cover more material and be able to add some more "me" to the posts. As you may have noticed (clearing throat), I have some pretty strong opinions on life and the issues that it entails, and I feel like I could better express those opinions in a bit more "open" format. You'll also note that I have leaned a bit more towards what I call "Dumbass News", like this or this. Posting "Dumbass News" is all well and good but I'd like to keep the content on Three States as close to its format as possible. That doesn't mean that the occasional "dumbass post" will ride off into the sunset, it just means I am gonna try to refrain from posting them so often. HOWEVER, the new blog will cover all sorts of "dumbass topics", like stupid news (the guy who found a rocket launcher in his garden), some political dumbassery (anything about liberals) and just every day ordinary dumbass-itis. I feel that in the new format, I can cut loose a little more and air my thoughts on just about anything. I want Three States to still be a place you visit and I'll work my ass off to keep it a place you want to visit. The new place will be more of  no-holds-barred atmosphere, where I can, maybe, make you laugh out loud, provoke you to think, and get you (or somebody) mad as hell. That's the way I roll. I also have a surprise for you. Close your eyes. Now open them. Surprise!!! A sneak peek at the new place!!! Remember, the new joint is still under construction and won't be ready for launch until Monday, I hope. There are no posts up yet, just the makings of a Home Page, but it looks pretty cool. Let me know what you think in the comment section here on Three States or on Facebook. I am not averse to criticism or new ideas, so lay it on me! If I can get the new site up and running before Monday, I'll be sure to post about it on Facebook, Twitter, Buzz, etc. Stay tuned!!! And Merry Christmas. Kind of.

Thanks,
Toby

Friday, September 17, 2010

Plus One : We the People...

Visions of Freedom
On the heels of my 54th birthday yesterday, I had planned to get back to a regular blogging schedule. That is until Jerry Hunt reminded me on Facebook that today is Constitution Day. On this day in 1787, thirty-nine brave men signed what is, arguably, the most important piece of paper (other than biblical documents,etc) in the history of mankind. A document so powerful, that it changed the course of human history. The thirty-nine men who signed the Constitution had, like the signers of the Declaration of Independence, said in essence, "And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor." Read these words and digest them for a moment : " We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.". When strung together, those fifty-one words have been the beacon of freedom, liberty and self-determination for literally billions of people throughout the world, people yearning to experience these most basic, yet most instinctual of human rights. It is ingrained by God in the soul of man that man live his life without government intervention into the minutiae of its citizens' daily lives. In reading the Constitution, I see nothing about the Federal Government being the National Daddy for the American people, yet our elected representatives time and again ram through/or try to ram through legislation that an overwhelming number or a clear majority of Americans oppose (Obama Care or amnesty for illegal aliens, anyone?) The Founding Fathers, I think, would be most unhappy about such things. Thomas Jefferson said, "A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned - this is the sum of good government." But, that's an argument for another day. My whole point here is that we are a damn fine nation founded by some damn fine men, whose vision of their newly created country was, indeed, visionary. To those men, we owe nothing less than our " pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor." God bless our founders and may God continue to bless America.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

If I Knew I Was Gonna Live This Long, I'd Have Took Better Care of Myself

Today is my 54th birthday. It's 8:30 AM on the East Coast and I have gotten probably a dozen Happy Birthday wishes from my friends around the country on Facebook. And better yet, I have received birthday wishes from the three most important people in my life - my wife and two little girls. I don't say this to brag or toot my own horn, I say it because I am a lucky man. Lucky enough that when I came to Maine four and a half years ago, I had planned on staying a week, maybe two. Heather and Isabella shot that plan to hell. And I'm glad they did. At age 49 I found the woman who would become my wife and the daughter I thought I'd never have. It was love at first sight.......with Isabella. (it took me a while to get used to Heather :) ) Isabella was then a little girl without a Daddy and I was a Daddy without a little girl, so it worked out just right. The Lord works in mysterious ways and all that...The Lord continued to bless me when about a month after I got here, I had a premonition. I told Heather that she needed to go get a home pregnancy test. She did and she was. Nine months later, February 1, 2007 to be exact, Bailey Elizabeth came kickin' and screamin' into this world. All 8 lbs 10 oz of her. That's her in the photo above - Daddy's little girl reaching for life and I was right there to see it all. Don't tell anyone, but I cried. Tears of joy. Here I was at 50 years old with not only one little girl, but two little girls. Talk about your Lord working in mysterious ways! Why would the Almighty God bless me of all people when I had done so little, if anything for Him? I failed Him in so many ways, yet He loved me enough to give me a such a gift as my new kids and Heather. Fatherly love, I suppose. And I ain't complainin'. What's to complain about? Not a damn thing. I also have two adult sons, Trey and Toby, who have grown into young men that any father would be proud of. And nobody is more proud of them than dear old Dad. Now we get to Heather. Heather is 19 years younger than I am and somehow she saw something in me that she allowed me to marry her. I was a single, middle aged man with no intentions of ever getting married again, but Heather changed all that. She took an old, worn out heart and gave it life and purpose.Thank you, Heather. I love you. Dearly. She even let's me go fishin' sometimes! :) Many of you who read this blog know my Mom, Sharon. She's a firecracker, that one. She's now 72 years old and still kickin' ass (mostly mine) when needed and she's always taking names.She has been the most influential person in my life. There for me when my life was, shall we say, a mess? Every.Single.Time. She gave me a soft place to fall when I could have easily crashed on the rocks. At 54 now, I'm still her bouncin' baby boy. I love you, Mom. Dad, it's hard to believe that it's been six years. I wish you were here to see all the new grand kids. There's a passel of 'em. I love you, Dad. And friends? I have so many friends who've stood by me through the tough times, I can't name them all. A few names , do however, stand out in the crowd. First and always first is Tommy Thompson. Tommy was my brother. Not by blood, but by spirit. Tommy, I miss you , man and I love you. Save me a seat at the Heavenly Bar, will ya? Mark Duggan, you're the best. I love you , brother. And there's Doreen Bob. The only Italian-Jew (inside joke, right Miraglia-berg?) I've ever known.I love you, Doreen Bob. It has been my good fortune and privilege  to call you friend. I know are many more friends I don't have listed, but please know that each of you have touched my life in your own unique way and I thank you for it.  I have tears in my eyes as I type this now. Not tears of sadness and despair as I have felt so many times in my life. Tears of gratitude and humility. Thanks to God, Who for whatever reason, has given me so much more in this life than I deserve. I am a blessed and humbled man as I survey all the treasures in my life. God bless you all. You have my undying friendship and love.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Maine Minutiae : Pumpkins Ahoy?

The state of Maine has a long (and I mean a long) history with boats and boating. Bath, Maine is called The City of Ships for cryin' out loud. One reason why this is so is Bath Iron Works. BIW built 83 destroyers for the US Navy...and that was just in World War II! You take that kind of boat building skill and a giant pumpkin and what do you get? The Damariscotta Pumpkinfest and Regatta! I'm sure you get the "pumpkinfest" part of that, but "regatta"? First to the "pumpkin" part. I got this from the event's website with the results of the 2009 Damariscotta Pumpkinfest and Regatta :

"Highlights of last year’s festival included a big parade complete with Maine’s new record pumpkin (weighing 1,210 pounds!) and its grower Elroy Morgan and Togus the Cat.  The Pumpkin Dessert Contest had 18 fine entries – all available for tasting.  There were tons of children’s games and a free matinĂ©e.  24 giant pumpkins were carved, painted, or both, by artists of all ages.  Pumpkins of various sizes were thrown, hurled, shot, and dropped thanks to record-holding punkin chunkers and catapulters, and a 150-foot crane taking aim on a retired police cruiser!" Imagine the fun! I mean, you've got kids' games, a parade, punkin chunkin' and pumpkin desserts. All of those activities are well and good, but it's the "regatta" part of the festival's name that piqued my curiosity. I immediately thought of sail boats, lobster boats and whatnot, but, boy, was I wrong. The "regatta" is for pumpkin boats! Look closely at the embedded photo. Those two people are pump-kayaking! There will also be motorized pumpkin boats! I have mentioned before that Mainers are a hardy and creative bunch, but this makes everything else innovative and creative about Maine seem like child's play. You gotta love something like this. Just think...if Gilligan and the other castaways had only discovered pumpkins on that desert isle, TV history would turned out much differently. And we'd have Damariscotta, Maine to thank for it.

Texas Tidbits : W. C. Fields Escapes Zoo!

I Need Directions from San Antonio to Santa Cruz*
We welcome another Humpday with Texas news that you probably haven't heard about. Why haven't you heard about it? Because our Lame Stream Media is too busy kissing President Obama's ass to report on real news. By real news I mean Dumbass News. Now that I think about it, Dumbass News and reporting on the current occupant of the White House are one and the same. But, I digress. Since I have a nose like a blood hound for Dumbass News, and I have done some dumbass stuff that would make Dumbass News blush (again I digress), I feel compelled to share it with you, fellow citizen. It's gonna be very difficult to "out dumbass" the 52% of voters who cast their ballots for our Disaster in Chief  (more digression), but I shall give it the old college try. Please remember 52% ers, that I say that with love in my heart. So awaaaaaaayyyyyyyyy we go!
  • Dumbass News - In San Antonio, W.C. Fields has escaped! No, not this W.C. Fields, but W.C. Fields the spider monkey. It seems that Tropical Storm Hermine did some damage to the San Antonio Zoo. Some of said damage occurred at the ape exhibit at the zoo. That's where W.C. (the monkey, not the guy) comes in. The storm tore up the wire enclosure that housed the monkey and he did what all good spider monkeys do when they get a Get Out of Monkey Jail Free Card, he ran like hell! Now, back to the word "wire" in the previous sentence. Wire? For a monkey cage? Really? What dumbass thought this was a good way to secure a frakkin' monkey? Does he (or she) not realize that even the smallest of monkeys are stronger than Hulk Hogan? Wire? Honestly? Did the idea of , I dunno, say, metal bars not cross someone's mind? Or, even better, put the damn monkey INSIDE the ape house! A real building! I am nearly 100% positive that the good folks at SA Zoo had ample warning that a Tropical Storm was on the way and I'm equally certain that they could have come up with a better plan to see that monkeys, apes and  in-laws were securely housed during the onslaught of Hermine. The last I heard (I am not making this up), W.C. was still on the monkey lam and had at one point chased a lady into her garage and kept her there for over an hour. W.C. must look a lot like her ex-husband. Or my in-laws.
There is plenty more Dumbass News to report on but I don't think it's a good idea to overdose you on dumbass today. I will, however, give you a hint of more dumbassery to come : there's a shop in Santa Cruz, California that is selling ice cream, not with chocolate chips or nuts or sprinkles, but with marijuana mixed in ...wait...for...it...for medical purposes! This is a brilliant marketing ploy! A guy walks in the shop and orders a pot-sicle, pays and returns in about an hour and guess what? The dude has the munchies! He then proceeds to order the 31 other flavors for dessert! Boom! The Ice Cream Guy will be wealthy beyond his wildest dreams! Until the gubmint shuts him down. Or until W.C. the monkey tries one or two of the banana cream pot-sicles. At that point the Ice Cream Guy had better find a garage to hide in. But, I digress.

*Photo from National Geographic

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Colorado Chronicles : Unsinkable

Unsinkable*
I'd bet dollars to donuts that if I mentioned the name Margaret Tobin, you'd say, "Who?". OK, how about Margaret Brown? Molly Brown? Still no idea? The Unsinkable Molly Brown? I knew that you'd recognize that one. And the goofy thing is that Margaret Tobin (maiden name) Brown was never even known as Molly, but as Maggie, during her lifetime, but Molly is the handle that made her world famous.So, what does Maggie Brown have to do with Colorado? Maggie Tobin and her brother moved to Leadville from Hanibal, Missouri when she was 19. She later met and married J.J. Brown. Mr. Brown made a killing in gold mining and he and Maggie used their good fortune to do wonderful things in Colorado, especially Denver, where the Browns lived. Wikipedia picks up the story from there : "In 1894, the Browns moved to Denver, Colorado, which gave the family more social opportunities. Margaret became a charter member of the Denver Woman's Club, whose mission was the improvement of women's lives through continuing education and philanthropy. In 1901, she was one of the first students to enroll at the Carnegie Institute [disambiguation needed] in New York. Adjusting to the trappings of a society lady, Brown became well-immersed in the arts and fluent in French, German, and Russian. In 1909 she ran for the U.S. Senate. Margaret assisted in the fundraising for Denver's Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception which was completed in 1911. Margaret worked with Judge Lindsey to help destitute children and establish the United States' first juvenile court which helped form the basis of the modern U.S. juvenile courts system." Next question, "Where in the heck did the "Unsinkable Molly" come from? Again, we turn to Wikipedia : "Margaret boarded the passenger liner RMS Titanic as a first class passenger at Cherbourg, France. The Titanic sank on April 15, 1912 after striking an iceberg. Margaret helped others board the lifeboats but was finally convinced to leave the ship in Lifeboat No. 6.[1] She would come to be regarded as a heroine for her efforts to get Lifeboat 6 to go back to look for survivors.[1] Molly Brown was dubbed "The Unsinkable Molly Brown" by historians because she became a hero of the night by helping in the ship's evacuation, taking an oar herself in her lifeboat and protesting for the lifeboat to go back to try and save more people." Molly's heroics were noted in the 1997 blockbuster movie, Titanic, and before that in 1960, Molly was memorialized the Broadway musical The Unsinkable Molly Brown, and in the 1964 film based on the musical. Margaret Tobin Brown, known as Molly to millions, unbeatable and unsinkable.


*Photo from wikipedia.org

Maine Minutiae : Oh, Little Town of Bethel...

One thing I like about living in Maine is that are not a lot of people here. There are only about 1.5 million people in the whole state, leaving lots of room to get away from the grind of daily life...and kids. :) Based on that population figure, it's only natural that there a ton of small towns up here and nearly every town or community in Maine has at least one big festival a year, kind of like all the rural areas of East and West Texas. Bethel, Maine is one of those small towns. Bethel is a town of 2400 folks and is 63 miles due west of Augusta in Oxford County. This weekend is a big deal for Bethel and the surrounding communities. On Saturday, September 18, Bethel will host the 13th Annual Harvest Fest and Chowdah Cookoff. This shindig marks the beginning of the foliage change in New England and there are some neat events for the whole family. And all good celebrations have a liberal quantity of food for your culinary enjoyment. As the name of the festival indicates, the main dish to be served is chowder and some of the best chowder cookers from around New England will compete in the big Chowdah Cookoff. For my amigos in Texas, think chili cookoff. This chowdah cookoff stuff is serious business. Also on tap will be some more serious business, an apple pie bake off! I'm not much for chowder, but homemade apple pie is another matter all together. Just writing about it, I can almost smell a fresh, succulent, homemade apple pie cooking in the oven. Is it just me or is anybody else hungry right now? The schedule of events for the 13th Annual Harvest Fest and Chowdah Cookoff can be found here. OK, Mainers and neighboring staters, you've got the scoop on this hoedown (there will be music, too) and the time to make plans for this weekend...the 13th Annual Harvest and Chowdah Cookoff in Bethel awaits you! One more thing, will somebody save a piece of apple pie for me? Thanks. :)

Texas Tidbits : Rodeo, Cantaloupe and Dad


I don't know much about Pecos, but I feel like I have been there a hundred times. As many of you know, my Dad was a trucker and he's the reason that, as a child, that I even knew Pecos existed. At the time, the company that Dad worked for only delivered in Texas and Pecos was the crown jewel of all the trips. We lived in Irving at the, so Dad drove out of the Dallas terminal, making Pecos the longest and best-paying trip Merchants (the company) had. I remember Dad saying 1000's of times, "I wish I could get a Pecos tonight". To me, a kid of 6 or 7, Pecos was in another world. It was 427 miles from Dallas! 427 miles!In West Texas! Wow! I had never been to West Texas at that time, so it sounded like a whole other planet. I knew East Texas very well by the time I was 6 or 7, Tyler, Gilmer, Betty, Thomas, Gladewater, Lindale and so on. But West Texas was in the desert! I imagined Pecos as the kind of place John Wayne would live. Cowboys, saloons, cattle, bad guys waiting for The Duke to come kick their asses or meet their Fate at the end of a rope. That is how I "knew" Pecos. For some odd reason, I also knew that Pecos was home to the World's 1st Rodeo . Why? Don't ask me. It's probably something I learned from Dad. Oh, yeah! Cantaloupes! Pecos was famous for cantaloupes! I learned that from Dad, too - probably over a Pecos cantaloupe split in half and a salt shaker, neither of us looking up from that melon while, carrying on a conversation about race cars or something similar. My Dad lived in Pecos for a while after my parent split up when I was about 10 or 11 years old. I remember him telling me of going to Mexico for what I guess now was a little "cultural exchange". He never did say, and I never asked. I started writing this post with the intention of sharing some history and general info about Pecos, but after I typed the first sentence, the memories of my Dad and his stories came to me in a flood of yesterdays. You know, I'm glad I wrote that first sentence. I have a big ass cantaloupe in the kitchen, I think I'll split it in half, grab a salt shaker and share the melon and some stories of my life with my little girl. Oh....and Dad, I'll tell her about you, me, the cantaloupe and the salt shaker.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Colorado Chronicles : Denver Suburb Going to the......Coyotes?

Greenwood Village is an affluent suburb of Denver whose problems are usually the sorts of things that well-to-do neighborhood are known for - like controversy over who won the Yard of the Month award when someone else truly deserved it, where will we vacation this year, Rome or Detroit? Typical rich people stuff. Rich people are not, however, immune to some of the tings Mother Nature throws at them. Take for instance coyotes. Coyotes have become a menace to Greenwood Village and that point was driven home when recently when several family pets became Coyote Chow and a 14 year old boy was lunged at by one of the varmints while in a local park. The city then hired a guy to "exterminate"aggressive coyotes.  Read "exteriminate" as blow them away like Clint Eastwood does a bad guy. Use a gun that will splatter aggressive coyotes over six city blocks. But this Colorado, where enviro weenies would rather "confront" the coyote problem by (I ain't making this up!) re- teaching coyotes to fear humans! One resident of Greenwood Village, Jay Tutchton, was appointed to do this task.  The LA Times says that when Tutchton  "does see quarry, he doesn't shoot. He tries to stare them down. He charges after them. His mission: Harass the coyotes so they rediscover a sense of fear." Let me get this straight. This guy, Tutchton, screams and charges at coyotes to scare them and teach them to "rediscover a sense of fear." Jay, I say this with brotherly love, you are a dumbass. In my mind, screaming and charging at coyotes is an invitation to dinner. And YOU are the dinner! The coyotes are in your town looking for food and you are wearing a portable neon sign that says "I am Coyote Lunch and a Dumbass, come eat me!" Dude, coyotes will eat damn near anything, including Domesticated Dumbass. Jay, maybe you and your fellow dumbasses in Greenwood Village ought to another approach to this situation. Hell, I don't know, try something like maybe keep your pets inside after dark! Here's another idea for you, free of charge because that's how I roll, Don't leave pet food OUTSIDE!  You might also try keeping your damned garbage in the garage until Trash Pickup Day! Jay, I realize that these may be novel ideas to a dumbass like you, but I think if you follow these simple steps, and a few more, your coyote problem will eventually go bye bye like your common sense has. Until then, Jay old buddy, let the guy with the gun kill all aggressive coyotes dead. I can guarantee you that a dead coyote will never bother you again and will not ever procreate again. If all the methods of coyote adios-ing I mentioned don't work, call Warner Brothers in Hollywood. I hear they have a roadrunner that is hell on coyotes.

Maine Minutiae : Maine Lobstahs Invaded By Impostahs!

Non-Communist All American Lobster and His Wife
The people of Maine take their lobstahs very seriously. Lobsters to Maine are like the Dallas Cowboys to Texas. These delectable creatures are as much a part of Maine's culture as chowdah, blueberries or  lighthouses.
So, you can imagine the outrage when we discovered that our best-known commodity is being infiltrated by "impostor" lobsters from a communist country, Canada, hell-bent on destroying and brainwashing our Maine lobsters into becoming foreign commie lobsters! Thank God our Governor, John Baldacci, (Dem-I Don't Have a Clue Ville) is on top of this Crustacean Crisis! The Guv has endorsed a program that will immunize Maine lobsters from their Canadian cousins' attempts at this obvious subterfuge. This program is called...wait....for....it...."Don't Buy Impostor Lobsters"! Just how does the Top Elected Official in this fine state propose that we don't buy impostor lobsters from Communist Canada? Passports for lobsters? Lobster Green Cards? (Deport illegal lobsters now! No amnesty for illegal lobsters!). If you said either of options, you were actually pretty damn close to the right answer. Thanks to Governor Baldacci, every lobster caught in Maine waters will be tagged with an ID "bracelet" that says "Certified Maine Lobster"! According to some lady named Kristen, and I implicitly trust any lady named Kristen because my trustworthy pharmacist is named Kristen, says to the Boston Globe, "We hope every lobster caught in Maine waters will soon be wearing these new ID bracelets," the council's executive director, Kristen Millar, told the Boston Globe. "It's truth in advertising. All lobsters are called 'Maine lobsters' and yet they're not all from Maine. It has become this generic term, like Kleenex." That settles that! I'll rest assured that not one single solitary Communist Canadian Lobster will makes its way onto my supper table thanks to the Certified Maine Lobster Program! I can't think of a better way to spend my tax dollars than to make sure that a Canuckistani lobster wearing a tiny Canuckistani lobster suicide vest will ever touch these lips, just like Kristen the lady who is not my trustworthy pharmacist said. As for John Baldacci, endorsing the Certified Maine Lobster program was a brilliant way to ensure his re-election, except he's term-limited out. This program will be Baldacci's legacy. I'm sad to report that thanks to God and the Maine Constitution, he's outta here in January.  On the bright side, however, President Odumbass can now grant amnesty to those vicious Canadian Suicide Lobsters who will now do the jobs that American lobsters won't do. I feel better already.

Texas Tidbits : A Heartwarming Story

Dumbass*
It's a Blue Monday and to time leave behind a great weekend of football for the trudgery of work. I feel for you, so I thought it would be a good time to bring you some news that will undoubtedly brighten your day. Better still, if you get down in the mouth or bored at the job, you can always return to this page, read this story once (or twice) more and, like magic, you will be uplifted all over again! Let's shake off those Monday blues with this item guaranteed to bring a smile to your otherwise I-look-like-I-just-found-out-that-my-wife-threw-away-a-winning-SuperLotto-ticket-worth-$60-million face. Onward and upward we go. :
  • Our inspirational tale comes to us from Waco. For those of you who are not familiar with Waco, it is a very conservative town. Waco is home to Baylor University, the oldest university in Texas, and Baylor is a Baptist college, i.e., Waco is a very conservative city. Knowing this is true, to me at least, means that if you ever have to go through the criminal justice system, chances are that the jury of your peers hearing your case would be made up of very conservative (read: law and order types) people. To not realize this fact, you would have to be a dumbass. Leon Willis Wilkerson, 55, is a dumbass of the highest order. I mean this guy was beat with the Dumbass Stick. A lot. Here's why : Leon has been through courts in McClennan County before - to the tune of twelve(!) misdemeanors and eight felonies! But, wait! There's more! Our new friend Leon is a smoker. He was jonesing for a butt so bad, he stole a carton of cigarettes from a local store in Waco and got busted. This time, Leon's journey through the legal system ended quite badly for him. Ol' Leon ran into a jury of nice, conservative Baptists and those 12 people were nice enough to slap Mr. Wilkerson with 99 years in prison! For a carton of smokes! How dare they! Oh, wait. There were those eight other pesky felonies and twelve misdemeanors Leon had racked up. Being the nice, conservative Baptist people that they are, they determined Leon to be a habitual criminal - hence 99 years in the slammer. That's 9.9 years per pack of Newports there, Leon.  I have a sneaky feeling that Leon will be smoking in prison, but it won't be Newports, if you know what I mean and I think you do. Dumbass.
This little anecdote should be your inspiration to have a great Monday. Your boss may suck, you may be extremely tired or you could be suffering from allergies or something, but things could be worse. You could be Leon. And Leon is a dumbass.

*From KDFW-TV, Dallas



    Sunday, September 12, 2010

    It's the Sabbath Edition (Or Toby is a Lazy MoFo)

    • It's Sunday! That means it's the Sabbath and "thou shalt keep the Sabbath holy" That's means go to Church and pray the Priest, Preacher, whatever guy, keeps the sermon short so you can make it home to watch the NFL. Amen. Today is the first full weekend of the NFL's 2010 season!  In Texas, that's means the Dallas Cowboys. The Pokes open on the road in Washington, D.C.and will commence to stomp a mud hole in the Redskins. Here in New England, Tom Terrific (I think I threw up in my mouth a little for saying that) and the Boys of Boston play host and will beat the bejeezus out of the Cincinnati Bengals featuring that whirling dervish, Chad Ocho Cinco (which means eight five, not eighty-five, 85 would be ochenta y cinco). As for the third member of our Three States Plus One Triumvirate, Colorado, the Denver Broncos travel southeast to Jacksonville to tackle the Jaguars. On the subject of jaguars, the word is pronounced "jag wahrs, NOT "jag wires". It's chaps my ass when some goofball calls them the "jag wires". For God's sake, get some Hooked on Phonics or some shit and learn to talk! For the remainder of the NFL schedule click here. Have fun, be safe and don't drink and drive (you might hit a bump and spill some).
    Here are some of the most popular posts from the last few weeks. After all, you can't get too much of a good thing. Right Right? 
       Thanks to all of you again as this tiny blog continues to grow like a weed. According to blog-ranking service Alexa, here's the latest :
      • Alexa Traffic Rank: 2,590,028
         
      • United States Flag Traffic Rank in US
         
        : 123,870
      A few weeks ago we were at #17,9xx,xxx. As of yesterday, Three States Plus One was ranked 2,590,028 in the world! And in the USA  we ranked 123,870 ! Sure, I'd love those numbers to be much better, but considering what has happened here in less than three months, is nothing short of phenomenal. We are also approaching our 4000th page impression. For comparison's sake, it was only three weeks ago that we hit #2500, and that took two and a half months. God has blessed me with a great group of readers from, literally all over the world. This blog has been read in thirty-eight states in the US and twenty-one foreign countries, our latest being India (must be some AOL phone support people) and Denmark. If such a thing interests you as it does me, click on the "Flag Counter" display about half way down the page on the right. It will give you a few facts and figures about our readership. You guys keep me going and trying to get better at this blogging thing every day. For that, I thank you. God bless you all and Adios, y'all!

      Toby

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