Monday, November 8, 2010

I Hate Like Hell to Do This, But....

What I am about to do is something every independent blogger hates to do. What I mean by "hates to do" is that I'd rather have my "i" teeth pulled with needle-nose plyers. Without novacaine. By a pissed off ex-wife. While she's drunk. And on her "monthly cycle". In other words, I am gonna ask a favor of you that makes me feel like a dumbass and offends my sense of self-reliance, and my pride. Unfortunately, it's part of the business from time to time. So, what I am about to do is neither unsavory nor unique, just a necessary evil that many bloggers face every day. Sadly, I am one of those bloggers.

This post is what is called a "bleg". A "bleg" is a combination of blog and beg. An appeal for funds. I am not going to give you a sob story about how my dog got run over by a drunk on a riding lawnmower, rather I will just appeal to you as a friend and/or a reader.

A little background. I started this blog in late June and my other blog, Dumbass News, in mid-September as a way to make some extra cash to help with the bills, etc. Although the blogs are doing very well with the readers, that's simply not the case with the cash. I love doing the blogs. I get a hoot out of giving others a laugh or jogging their memory with something I write. That's what it's all about to me. I derive great satisfaction when I get a comment or email extolling the virtues of my brilliant prose. Strangely, I get a kick out a message or email that tells me I suck. At least I'm getting people to examine the subjects I write about. That's a good thing.

Can you help a brutha out?***
I am sure that the regular readers of Three States Plus One have read the posts about the number of Doctor's visits I have made in the past few months. While my medical conditions are nowhere near life-threatening, they are all about life changing. I am dealing with advanced arthritis in my knees, back, hips and hands. Damn the bad luck! I also have fibromyalgia which tends to magnify the effects of the arthritis and significantly limits my mobility and the hopes of landing a "regular" job. However, I am hoping to land one of those "Hover Round" commercials in the near future. :). 

On each page of the blogs, in the right hand side bar, is a "Donate" button. If you were to click on that, it would take you to a secure PayPal page where you can make a donation directly to me through PayPal. I have done business with PayPal for a while now and I have no reservations about doing so at any given time. Trust me when I say that it is a secure website for making a transaction. I simply ask you to donate any amount with which you are comfortable - $1, $5, $10, etc., if you feel that I have provided you with a service worthy of your time. If I have made you laugh out loud or just chuckle to yourself, or if I have written something that made you think about the subject at hand, please consider a small donation.  Maybe you've cussed  me like sailor...that's cool, too. If any of those emotions are worthy of a donation, that's great! If not, no el sweat-o.

Let me reiterate that I feel like a dumbass for making this post. In no way, shape or form are you obligated to make a donation! I will continue to write what I consider to be good material no matter what. And please understand that I value every second of your time spent on one of my blogs. No matter what, that will not change. Thank you all for your patronage to Three States Plus One and Dumbass News.


 ***Image by Arthur Topham***

Texas Tidbits: Big Drunk, A Texas Hero and Legend

Texas History is filled with men that are larger-than-life characters. A short list of such people would include James Bowie, Davy Crockett and William B. Travis, defenders of the Alamo, all. There's one man, however, that is, in my opinion, probably the most influential man in the history of Texas. The largest city in the state is named for him, a county is named for him, streets, arenas and schools are named for him. You've guessed by now that I am referring to Sam Houston. Houston was truly larger than life in one regard in that he was 6'6" tall, compared to the average man of the time who was about 5'7". (I'm working off memory here, so I may be off an inch or so for either number).

Houston not only cast a large shadow as a man, but also cast a mighty long shadow as a soldier and politician. He is the only man to ever be Governor of two states, Tennessee from 1827-1829 and, of course, Texas from 1859-1861. He was a Senator from Texas from 1846-1859 and was the first (elected) and the third President of Texas.

He was a veteran of the War of 1812, but Houston's greatest claim to fame, even if he never held elective office, was as the commander of the Texian Army that defeated General Santa Ana at San Jacinto, securing Texas' independence from Mexico and therefore assuring him a prominent place in Texas History. A quick piece of trivia here, Houston was born on March 2, which, as fate would have it, is same date as Texas Independence Day.

Sam Houston was also a great friend of and advocate for the Indians of Arkansas, Tennessee and Texas. At one time he was granted citizenship as member of the Cherokee Nation. Houston was known to partake in an adult beverage or twelve and the Cherokee gave him the nickname of Big Drunk. His close friendship with the Cherokee caused quite a stir in Washington, D.C., especially with Houston's friend and mentor, Andrew Jackson. Here's an excerpt from wikipedia regarding this matter, "In 1830 and again in 1832 Houston visited Washington, DC to expose the frauds which government agents committed against the Cherokee.[5] While he was in Washington in April 1832, anti-Jacksonian Congressman William Stanbery of Ohio made accusations about Houston in a speech on the floor of Congress. Attacking Jackson through his protégé, Stanbery accused Houston of being in league with John Van Fossen and Congressman Robert S. Rose. The three men had bid on supplying rations to the various tribes of Native Americans who were being forcibly relocated because of Jackson's Indian Removal Act of 1830. After Stanbery refused to answer Houston's letters about the accusation, Houston confronted him on Pennsylvania Avenue and beat him with a hickory cane. Stanbery drew one of his pistols and pulled the trigger—the gun misfired. On April 17 Congress ordered Houston's arrest. Pleading self-defense, he hired Francis Scott Key as his lawyer. Houston was found guilty, but thanks to highly placed friends (among them James K. Polk), he was only lightly reprimanded. Stanbery filed charges against Houston in civil court. Judge William Cranch found Houston liable, and fined him $500. Houston left the United States for Mexico, without paying the fine." And with that, Houston packed up his toys and headed for Texas. The rest of the Wikipedia article has some great biographical info on :Big Drunk". When you get a few minutes, it's well worth the read.

Years ago, I read an outstanding book on Sam Houston and I am ashamed to say that I don't remember the title nor the author. I say that in order to point out what a fascinating subject Sam Houston is and just about any book about him would make for some very interesting reading. He was quite a colorful character who was much more than just the man who won the decisive battle for Texas' independence, Sam Houston was a statesman, Governor, Senator and President and by the Grace of God, a Texan.

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