Sunday, September 11, 2011

Ten Years Later; Never Forget, Never Forgive

WARNING: THIS POST IS FULL OF ADULT LANGUAGE. If you are easily offended, DO NOT READ THIS!. Consider your self warned.

Where were you when the world stopped turnin' that September day... I was at work and for some inexplicable reason, I was there about two hours early. I had already grabbed the Dallas Morning News and was reading the Sports section. With the TV at the bar tuned in to Fox News Channel, I just happened to look up and read the crawl across the bottom of the screen. The first plane had hit the North tower of the World Trade Center. My first thought was that the pilot of the jet had a heart attack or something. Then the second plane struck the South tower. It was at that point that I knew this was much more serious than someone having a heart attack. This was an attack OK, a cowardly attack on thousands of Americans, innocent people, just doing what they do every day, an attack on my country! The second that the plane blasted into the South tower, I knew it was an act of terrorism. The United States was effectively in a state of war. The worthless bastards that perpetrated this horrendous murder of almost 3000 American citizens had, by their actions, made it so. President George W. Bush made it all but official a short time later when he addressed the people of New York City that this was indeed an act of war. A few weeks later, we let those Islamic assholes in Afghanistan know that the United States of America meant business. That was when our President was a real man, unlike the pussy occupying the White House now. Hundreds of New Yorkers were killed on impact and dozens more decided it would be better to leap to their deaths than to be incinerated in the inferno of the WTC. The rage within me grew more intense with each innocent human being that was forced by the goat fucking Islamist sons of bitches to make a sudden die by fire or die by jumping out a window 1000 above the ground decision. My hatred for those pedophile "prophet" worshippers was boiling inside me like the towers that burned before me eyes. To this day, that feeling of hatred, pure fucking hatred for those cocksuckers simmers just below the surface. I hope God will forgive me some day, but I cannot yet bring myself to forgive those barbarians. These motherfuckers not only viciously murdered 3000 men and women, but they had forever changed the lives of tens of thousands more family members and friends of the dead, so I hope they all burn in hell for eternity. They are beyond redemption and deserve the endless torment of the fiery lake of Hades, so fuck them with the barbed cock of Satan, their true master. If that makes me a bigot, then so be it, I am a bigot. Their so called "holy book", the Koran, commands people (and I use that term loosely) like them to slaughter the Infidel simply because he/she is not a Muslim. The Koran compels them to do this kind of shit, like flying jets into buildings, so the name of Allah will be glorified. Are you fucking kidding me? From (The Catholic Encyclopedia) I found this:"The Koran contains dogma, legends, history, fiction, religion and superstition, social and family laws prayers, threats, liturgy, fanciful descriptions of heaven, hell, the judgment day, resurrection, etc. — a combination of fact and fancy often devoid of force and originality. The most creditable portions are those in which Jewish and Christian influences are clearly discernible." Legends, fiction and superstition, huh? Sounds like an Oliver Stone movie. I don't know about this Allah asshole, but the one true God that I worship tells me that I must treat others as I want to be treated, not to slay innocent human beings for not being a Christian in order to bring glory to God. As for the other billion plus idiots that follow this cult called Islam, if you believe the same absurd shit that the nineteen hijackers of 9/11 did, then I have no use for you either. You are breathing my air, so stay the fuck away from me. I will not discriminate against you, but I want nothing to do with your sorry asses until you repudiate Islam and the violence and bigotry inherent to it. Until then, kiss my ass. Islam is not a religion, it is an ideology. A political ideology.True religions dictate that you show kindness, mercy, compassion and charity to your fellow man, not slice his head off for merely being a non-Muslim. True religions call for forgiveness of our transgressors, not the brutal stoning or hanging of someone who "offends" your twisted view of spirituality and worship of whatever you assholes worship, like that stupid fucking rock in Mecca or whichever God-forsaken third world sewer of a city you call Muslim "civilization". Defending your "religion" is one thing, but the wholesale murder of innocent men, women and children to show the rest of the world that they are "infidels" is beyond repulsive, it is degrading to God and his children. Americans don't cotton to the kind of vile behavior you proclaim in the name of Allah and we will not stand still for that kind of shit! We will slap a missile from a Predator drone up your worthless asses and not think twice about it. You asked for war, then dammit we'll give a fucking war, dickweeds. When we kick the slimy America-hating, steaming pile of camel dung that we call a President out of the White House and get a man or woman that loves this country like the average Citizen does, you'd better have more than Allah to protect your sorry souls, because there will be no place to hide. We will show no mercy in tracking you down like the pigs you are and ask you exactly once if you want to surrender. If your answer is "no", then we will happily and without giving it a second thought to it, dispatch you to the 72 virgins you so naively believe to be waiting for you in "Paradise".  We have sent our sons, fathers, daughters and even mothers to find and kill you bastards. Thousands of them gave their lives so the United States will be free of murderous lunatics like you, and thousands more volunteer every day to pick up where the fallen left off. America is not afraid of you. We stand vigilant, eyes and ears wide open, so we may detect you and will do whatever is needed to stop you before you commit more atrocities against our Citizens. We ain't scared, assholes. You may succeed in your homicidal mission from time to time, but rest assured, the every day American you seek to intimidate, will not cower to you and your deadly intentions. We will, however, happily and with extreme prejudice blow your evil carcass to Kingdom Come when it becomes necessary to the plot. We, as Americans, owe that much to the 3000 innocents you killed at the World Trade Center and to the thousands of our young men and women who perished in the line of duty when sent to defend the United States from deranged motherfuckers like you. In the words of Todd Beamer, a passenger on Flight 93, which crashed in a Pennsylvania, "Let's roll". Simply put, send your soul to Heaven because your asses are ours. AMF - Adios Mother Fuckers, have a nice day. I will never forget nor will I ever forgive!

Monday, June 20, 2011

An Adios Note on Things You Should Know

I think I owe you all an explanation as to why I am shutting down my blogs for a while. As many of you know, I have some health prolems that have become a major issue in my life. None are life-threatening, but they still play a role in how I live my daily life and limit my ability to do certain things. I am trying to get back to a "normal" life, so I can be a better husband and father. It will take several weeks to get things back to ":normal", but I intend to battle my way back ASAP.
I have some physical as well as mental heath stuff (arthitis, fibromyalgia, bipolar disorder and more) that will take up a lot of time. The archives on both blogs will always be available to you to read about some "new" stuff. Please use them, if that is your wish.
I want to thank you all for your unwavering support over the last year. You have been nothing short of amazing! Of course the "Donation" button is still there on the home page. If you like to help me defray my medical costs, a donation would be a much needed gift.
Thank you all for reading and all the joy you have brought to my life just because you clicking on one of my blogs. I appreciate each and everyone of you and your support.

God bless,

Sunday, June 19, 2011

No More States

The End.

Adios, y'all,

Happy Fathers Day!

While I have a break in Fathers Day activities here at The Toby Dome, I wanted to wish all the Dads out there a glorious Fathers Day. And to all the Dads who are no longer with us, thanks for setting such good examples of what it is to be a man and more importantly, a Father. I hope all Dads have a kick ass day!

Here are a few photos of what has taken place at my house this morning:
Bailey "wrote" me a Fathers Day Message on a Post It

From Issy
   I hope your fathers Day is the best ever for you and all your kids and grand kids get to pay you a visit. Take Care, Dads and Happy Fathers Day!

Friday, June 17, 2011

A Note to My Readers

James Dean Mojo
I want to apologize to you all for the lack of posting over the last week. I have some medical issues that have taken priority over blogging and practically every aspect of my life. I'll be posting some "Best of..." stuff for the weekend, then hopefully get back to a regular schedule starting Monday. Please hang in there with me and keep reading the great stuff in the blog archives. There is all kinds of interesting information and hodge podge that will leave you amazed at the brilliance of my writing and communications skills. :)

Thank you for your support durign some very difficult times for me and my family. Don't forget that there is a "Donate" button in the right sidebar. Any donation would be greatly appreciated and put to good use helping me and the wife and kids make it through some troubled times. Please consider a small donation, if you are able.

I'll be back to abnormal in a few days and armed with some great material for your reading pleasure.

Again I thank you for being there for me as a loyal reader. Y'all kick ass.


P.S. Hit the tip jar! :)

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Best of Three States Plus One Saturday!

Howdy, y'all! It's a cloudy and a bit cool (58 degrees) in Augusta, Maine this morning and it's a good time to grab a cup of coffee and take a look at some of the Best of Three States Plus One! I have hand-picked some of the most interesting posts of the past year form you to read again or, in some cases, see for the first time. Either way you'll like what I have chosen for you today as the material presents a look at our great country that will have you wanting to take a trip to new and exciting locales across the Fruited Plain. I hope you enjoy your virtual vacation and make plans to see something new in America this summer.
That should keep you busy for a while. If you'd like to learn more about some great places, use the search box at the top right of the side bar to access the archives. There's a ton of cool stuff stored there.

Have a great weekend, y'all!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Texas Tidbits: A Rose By Any Other Name....

If I were a ramblin' gamblin' man, and I've been known to do a little of both, I'd lay down good money that the most popular flower in the United States is the rose. As the title of this post suggest, the rose could have been named the "sweaty gym socks flower" and it would still smell like something that The Almighty adorns Paradise with. Ahhhhhh...the rose, a symbol of love and devotion, a symbol of rememberance and just a great addition to any flower garden. Which brings us to the Rose Capital of the World, Tyler, TexasA brief history : Tyler is situated in an ideal location for growing all kinds of smellin'-good, tasty and/or ornamental plants as the climate is pretty moderate with rainfall occurring throughout the year. For these reasons, succulent peaches were once to Tyler and Smith County what the elegant rose is today, but in the early 20th Century the blight decimated the peach crop in the area. Enter La Rosa. At this time, roses were already popular in East Texas, so it was a natural fit for it to fill a major void in agricultural production and revenue for Tyler.  A little north of South Loop 323 at the Glenwood (I think) intersection, lies one of the most magnificent floral displays on Earth - The Tyler Minicipal Rose Garden . The Rose Garden is fourteen acres of horticultural heaven featuring about five hundred varieties of the rose, with some of the antique rose varieties dating back to 1867! Since opening in 1952, the Rose Garden has been ooooo'ed and ahhhhh'ed over by millions of people from around the world. A predecessor to the Rose Garden is the Texas Rose Festival, held in mid- October, is now entering its ninth decade as a showcase for the flower that has made Tyler, Texas The Rose Capital of the World. A rose by any other name......   

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Texas Tidbits; Three Lakes in One!

If I were to tell you the following facts about a body of water, what would you think it was? Facts: 181,600 surface acres of water; over 1200 miles of shoreline; 65 miles long; holds over 1 trillion gallons of water. One of the Great Lakes. Nope? The Great Salt Lake? Negatory. How about Toledo Bend Reservoir in East Texas? That's the place.

 Toledo Bend is so large that is unofficially categorized as three lakes - Upper Lake, Mid Lake and the Lower Lake. Now that's BIG. My Dad was from Troup, Texas (near Tyler), so we always got the latest news in East Texas  from family. That's how we learned of Toledo Bend being built in '60s. From the family grapevine in East Texas. I remember it very well. TB is one of the best fishin'lakes in the country, regularly yielding huge Largemouth bass, stripers and catfish, as well as crappie and panfish.

Toledo Bend is a landlocked ocean, it seems. It's a beautiful place to spend time with friends and family. While you're there, be sure to round up about 20 lbs of mudbags, some small red taters and corn on the cob and have a Cajun Style Crawdad Boil. Oh.....and don't forget the cold beer.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Texas Tidbits: The Mammoths of Waco

Waco, a city of 121,000 fine folks, is located on the Brazos River about 100 miles south of Fort Worth on I-35. It's home to the oldest institution of higher learning in the State of Texas - Baylor University. Waco is also the home to one of the country's most popular soft drinks. Dr Pepper was invented by Charles Alderton at Morrison's Old Corner Drug Store in Waco in the 1880's. Another soft drink, Big Red, also calls Waco home.  Sadly, Waco is probably best-remembered by many young people as the location of the Branch Davidian tragedy in the 1990's.

I was somewhat surprised as I was looking for info on Waco this morning when I came across this story about a mammoth discovery on the Bosque River. I was already familiar with the dinosaur tracks near Glen Rose, but this was new to me. As someone who finds things like the discovery of the 10,000 year old remains of a 40,000 pound behemoth interesting, this finding has given me a real good reason to visit the Waco area again. If you'd like to see much more of the Colombian Mammoths of Waco, contact The Waco Mammoth Site so you can plan your trip back in time to prehistoric Texas.


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Texas Tidbits: Another Look at the Concho City of San Angelo

San Angelo
I posted this on August 11, 2010. It lead to the start of a great friendship with my good buddy, Bob Zeller. I think it's worth a second look.

If you read more than one post on this blog, then you know that I am a trees and water kind of guy, like in East Texas. For some unknown reason, however, the rugged beauty of the desert has a bit of a mysterious hold on me. I can't explain it, other than to say it's a sort of sagebrush voodoo or something. Segue to San Angelo. San Angelo is one of those places where it's not quite desert and  it's not in the Piney Woods or Big Thicket, I could live there and be happy. It doesn't exactly hurt my feelings that there is a state park and O C Fischer Lake lies within the park and snuggles up right next to the San Angelo city limits. The city got its humble beginnings when after the Civil War, Fort Concho was established as an outpost to protect the flood of settlers heading west to find their fortunes. At one time Fort Concho was home to the Black Cavalry, which the local Native Americans called the "Buffalo Soldiers", earning great respect from the white soldiers they served with and, of course, the Indians. In those days, San Angelo was a trading center for settlers in the area, but as states "The discovery of oil and gas, the influx of light manufacturing, the initial development of a communications center, the establishment and growth of Angelo State University, and the growth of the medical community provided diversification to a growing community. Today, this city of 90,000 is the trade and services hub of a 13 county area, supported by agriculture, manufacturing, education, business and health services, military, tourism, and retirement." Geographically, San Angelo is almost the bull's eye on the dartboard that is Texas and it ain't far from being a bull's eye on the dart board of places to live.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Texas Tidbits: Lake Texoma

Lake Texoma. 89,000 acres of some of the best fishin' anywhere. If you're on the lookout for largemouth, white, striped or smallmouth bass, there are some real wall-hangers awaiting you at Texoma. Let's not forget crappie, catfish and the 70 other species of fish that inhabit these waters. Allow me to put you some knowledge with the water body records for the Big T. Fish fry, anyone? At, we find this: "The lake area includes two wildlife refuges, two state parks, fifty four U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-managed parks, twenty-six resorts, hundreds of campgrounds and a variety of excellent golf courses". What the hell am I doing in Maine? (just kiddin', honey.....kinda) If you've got a boat, a secluded fishin'/camping trip is as close as one of the many islands located throughout the lake. The fishing license regulations at Lake Texoma are a little goofy, but as Wikipedia tells us " Historically, Texas and Oklahoma have not had a reciprocal fishing license agreement, which has posed a problem for anglers. Recent boundary resolutions have given Oklahoma jurisdiction over most of the fishing in Lake Texoma. An Oklahoma fishing license allows fishing most of the lake, up to within 400 yards (370 m) of Denison Dam. To fish the entire lake, a Lake Texoma fishing license is also available." Be sure to check with Texas or Oklahoma wildlife officers to get the right info for you. As at any major lake in Texas, the weekends at Texoma are, shall we say, busy? Although with 89,000 acres of fishin' available, you could probably find some place to hang out without too much of a crowd.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

A Letter to Dad - October 6, 1938 - June 5, 2004 UPDATED (scroll down)

Dad, Debbie, Adam & Sara - 1995
Dear's hard to believe that it's already been seven years since you've "gone Home". It seems like it was just yesterday that we were hanging out at Dale's Company BBQ. All those people there and it was just you and me talking father to son. While you are no longer here to lend your wisdom to me in person, I hear you speaking to me in my heart all the time. The advice is much needed and much welcomed.

Although I am now 54 years old, I understand that I am always gonna be the 8lb 12 oz bundle of "goofball" that you were so proud of in 1956. And, Dad, I am still proud of you and honored to be your son. I didn't tell you this enough when you were alive, but you were a good Dad and a good man.

I miss the Sunday drives we used to take to where ever the wind took us...places like Tintop, Lake Benbrook, Lake Worth or to the Fort Worth Zoo to catch catfish or slide down that big ass hill on a piece of cardboard. I miss watching you work on the cars and have them running like new in just a little while. I also enjoyed the stories you'd tell me when I was a kid about where your run was for this time. Dad, after you being on the road for over 40 years, those stories are fresh in my mind today and I've tried to make those same runs over the years and I've done pretty damn good at it, too.

I guess I'd better close for now, Dad, but before I go, do you remember when you, Grandpa and I used to go trolling for anything that would hit a yellow and black HellBender? Those are times seared in my memory, never-to-be forgotten. Good times. Dads and sons times. Best of times.

I miss you, Dad. And I love you. Adios til next time.

UPDATE: My Dad loved old cars. When I went outside a while ago there was a Frakkin' Cherry '65 Chevy Pick  Up in the parking lot. It just happened to be there. Dad, I know you liked seeing that.I did, too. :)

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Re-visiting a Nightmare

I chose to repost this particular article because the Time of Doom draws nigh once again. The Annual Visit With My Mother-in-Law. I have to get myself mentally prepared for this "event". This story recounts an old visit with the battle Axe and I'll have a new episode when the next visit is unavoidable gets closer to reality.

A couple of days ago I wrote about impending doom a much overdue visit from my Mother-in-Law. As it turns out, there is a God!!!!, she had to postpone her trip by the Grace of The Almighty  due to car trouble. This turn of events caused  me to do cartwheels my wife great sadness and despair. I thought I was safe from all that is evil and wrong with the world. I.Was.Wrong. My weekend of sloth and gluttony has turned into The Weekend From Hell. I know you married guys are wondering, "How could a nice weekend of sloth and gluttony turn into a weekend from hell, when your Mother-in-Law is 200 miles away having car trouble and can't come to torture and degrade you visit?" Let me 'splain. Although I'm happier than a stoned fat kid at a McDonald's all you can eat buffet saddened my M-I-L can't make it, a fate worse than paying alimony to an ex-wife that married a plastic surgeon has befallen me. I.Have.To.Go.Back.To.School.Shopping.! But wait! There's more! I am (or should be) committed... to attend a baby shower! Don't get me wrong, as a father of four (ages 3-31, God help me), I love kids, I really do (especially with a little salt and mustard....rimshot). But, less than a month before my 54th birthday, I thought my days of going to baby showers were over! At least until my own daughters had babies. But my wife threatened me with unspeakable acts of violence asked me nicely to go, so I said OK. Upon further review, I never thought I'd miss my Mother-in-Law, but I do. Go figure. Anyway...posting will be sporadic, at best, today for the previously mentioned reasons. Rummage through the archives because there's lots of stuff in there and I'm sure you'll find something that'll make you say to yourself, "That's 10 minutes of my life I'll never get back". But it's Friday, what a better way to kill time at work than to read some worthless drivel potential Pulitzer Prize-winning social commentary? Here are a few of my popular posts from the recent past:

Friday, June 3, 2011

Texas Tidbits; How to Raise Missile Launchers in Your Vegetable Garden

I am a gardener. I grow stuff - tomatoes, peppers, squash, you name it, I've probably grown it or tried to grow it. Gardening is something I learned from Grandma Shoemaker as a young child. I was fascinated that one day she would put a tiny seed in the ground and a few weeks later BAM!, there was a tomato! Even now, in my mid-50's, that little boy of the early 1960's shows up every time I spot a new blossom on a tomato plant or some such. Wow! That's gonna be a (fill-in-the-vegetable-name-here)! And I think of Grandma. The secret to a productive garden is good dirt, so preparation is key to a bountiful harvest. And let me tell you, while tilling up the ground for a garden, you are liable to find almost anything - nails, rocks, silverware, coins, old bottles, missile launchers....missile launchers??? Yep, there's nothing like digging up discarded military explosive devices to get a bang out of gardening. That's exactly what happened to 34 year old Jarrette Schule of Comal County near San Antonio. From the article, "Schule spent Tuesday afternoon calling the FBI, Homeland Security, the Sheriff’s Department — every agency he could think of. He was stuck in a bureaucratic limbo.
“Everyone was handing it off to everybody else,” Schule said. And some people want more government? This guy found this missile launcher on a Tuesday, made all the right phone calls to all the right people and nobody seemed to care! WTF? This tale does have a happy (and safe) ending, however. The next day, Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio was kind enough to send an ordinance disposal team to pick up the military hardware and do whatever they do with rogue missile launchers found by civilians while preparing some land for a garden. I don't know about you, but a few questions come to mind regarding this peculiar situation. Questions like...where were the local cops? Dunkin Donuts? What about Homeland Security? Were they too busy at the airport frisking nuns and 90 year old women who pose a threat to our national security? And the FBI? I hear they were deep undercover at the Glenn Beck 8/28 Rally looking for right-wing extremists carrying homemade signs that "Obama is a Kenyan". Don't get me wrong, I'm not raggin' on law enforcement here, their job is tough enough as it is. I love the guys and gals in blue and the Feds, but c'mon folks. One of the higher ups in one of these agencies should have had a passing thought like, "This old boy in Comal County found a missile launcher while digging up his garden and maybe, just maybe, there's an element of danger to him and the general public. Finkelstein! Get somebody out there pronto!" But, all's well that ends well, I suppose. Excuse me while I go get my dirt ready for next year's garden. I might dig up Osama Bin Laden.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Texas Tidbits: A Fishing Place for Everyone

The Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center is an $18 million facility located in Athens dedicated to the conservation and education about fish and fisheries in the State of Texas. Although TFFC is operated by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, it was built without State Funds ( that alone is reason enough to love the place). From the TFFC website : "TFFC houses a hatchery, laboratory, aquarium, and education center focusing on underwater wildlife in the state’s freshwater streams, ponds and lakes. It serves as home base for the ShareLunker program, which invites anglers to donate trophy-sized largemouth bass for research and breeding purposes. Annual visitation is more than 60,000. A third of our visitors attend with school and youth groups".

See that photo up there  ^^^? That's a 26,000 gallon aquarium in the theatre at TFFC. As you can see, that's a full-grown man in scuba gear in there feeding the fish. He's wired for sound and is able to take questions from visitors about the aquarium in particular or TFFC in general. I have seen this on several occasions and it's a very informative program. This huge fish tank is home to several species of piscatorial species, including (at the time I was there) a large mouth bass estimated to weigh 24+ pounds and a blue catfish at an estimated 44 pounds ! To top that off, this catfish was blind as a bat due to cataracts (true, but pun intended). Also on the property are a snack bar, gift shop and a pond that is stocked with rainbow trout during the winter and year-round with catfish. Rod and reels and bait are provided free of charge. The on-site museum is an awesome part of the facility with interactive displays and fishin' gear from days gone by. For more info, you can contact TFFC here.
The Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center is a must see not only for fishermen, but for the education they provide about fish habitat, etc, and how to conserve and protect these beautiful assets for all Texans.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Texas Tidbits: Nice Guns She's Got There

Nice Guns She's Got There
  • Midland - The Sheriff's Department of Midland County sounds like a great place to work. The "perks" are really cool...til you get caught. It seems that five of Midland's finest were enjoying a little fellowship and discussing pressing law enforcement issues at an establishment named "Twin Peaks". I don't don't know about you, but as a bachelor and man of the world for most of my adult life (until I met Heather), when a place of business is named "Twin Peaks", two things leap to mind. Mountains or scantily clad young women. Being that this episode took place in Midland, mountains are ruled out immediately. That leaves what's behind door number two : scanitly clad young women. Having said that, the name of a place alone is not necessarily an indication of what kind of business it is. However, and that's a big however, when the business' motto is “fun, friendly and sometimes flirty atmosphere!”, red flags (and scantily clad young women) go up like they were shot out of a thirty-aught-six. The scenario : These five cops were having a couple of beers at Twin Peaks. They befriended one of the scantily clad young women who works there and one of the Men in Blue invited the scantily clad young woman outside for a few snapshots. Nothing good could come from that. Even I have never been so inebriated as to do such a dumabass thing, plenty of other dumbass things but nothing this dumbass. Anyway, as if taking this girl outside for a few pictures isn't dumbass enough, one of the cops gives her an AK-47 AR-15! (thanks to anonymous in the comments for the correction-Toby) to pose with on his squad car! Epic.Fail. The High Sheriff of Midland County failed to see the humor in this little incident and took appropriate disciplinary action against the officers. In all this skullduggery and debauchery (and harmless law enforcement fun), there is a two word moral to the story for the gentlemen involved : Dunkin. Donuts.
There's your heart-warming human interest story for this week. Be sure to tune in next week when we'll have a blockbuster of a tale when the Midland Sheriff's Department spurns the lure of the scantily clad young women at Twin Peaks and opt for buffalo wings, beer and scantily clad young women at Hooters. You don't wanna miss it!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Plus One: Three for One!

Looking for Spare Change
Well, it looks like life over for most of today and so did my new friend Arthur. You may know Arthur, his last name is Itis. Arthur Itis. We went grocery shopping today at Super Wal Mart and it took a while longer than I had anticipated. With my wife recently adopting a healthier lifestyle, it's very important to know what is in the food we buy. She read the labels on EVERY DAMN THING in the grocery department. It would have been faster to read War and Peace. I guess what I'm trying to say in a roundabout way is that I am tired and my buddy Arthur is killin' me.
I have picked out some popular posts from the past for your perusal.
For our newer readers, it'll give you a chance to catch up on what you've and for the Old Timers, maybe you can read something you missed the first time through. Thanks to you all for visiting and we'll see you manana. Adios, y'all.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Texas Tidbits: The Shoe, A Horse Racing Legend

Since we are 2/3 of the way through the race for the Triple Crown of horse racing (which, by the way, will not be won by any horse this year), I thought it would be a good time to re-post this story about one of the greatest horsemen who ever lived.

  This story is a bit personal to me because I am related to the man that this article is about. At one time, he was one of the most famous men in the world and is still held in high esteem by any horseman worth his salt. the man's name? William Lee Shoemaker. To some, he was Willie Shoemaker, to others, Bill Shoemaker and to  everybody else, he was simply "The Shoe".
The Shoe came into this world fighting for life. On August 19, 1931, in Fabens, Texas, William Lee Shoemaker came into this veil of tears at a whopping 2.5 pounds. Willie was so small, he was put into a shoe box (ain't that ironic? The Shoe in a shoe box) and put into an oven to keep him warm.  He was not expected to make it through the night , but somehow he did. And the world, particularly the horse racing world, was better for it. This would not be the only life or death fight Shoe would have in his life. He was almost killed twice on the race track and again after he retired from riding when he rolled a Ford Bronco over while driving while drunk, which left him paralyzed from the neck down. Through all this adversity, Willie Shoemaker never gave up and he never felt sorry for himself. He said, "You've got to play the hand you're dealt, and I was dealt this one". As one of his big rivals, Eddie Arcaro said, Shoe "is a tough son of bitch".

As a full grown man, Willie Shoemaker stood a towering 4ft 11in tall and tipped the scales at 96 pounds. He was a small man in a world of small men. At the time he retired as a jockey, The Shoe had won a record 8833 races, won the Kentucky Derby four times, the Preakness twice and the Belmont Stakes five times and, surprisingly, never won the Triple Crown of horse racing. He rode over 40,000 mounts and won 1009 Stakes races and his mounts earned over $123 million.

His biography is very interesting and I just touched on a few points of his life in this post. If you'd like to learn more about Willie, bookmark this page or click on through. It's a nice piece about a man whose legacy will live for a long time to those who knew him as The Shoe and to those of us who are proud to share a name with William Lee Shoemaker - the Little Man Who Came Up Big.

**Photo from**

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Memorial Weekend Reading!

Here's a Memorial Day Weekend of Good Stuff for You. Enjoy it and have a great weekend with friends and family!amily!
There's some material that'll keep you busy for a while. If you'd like to look up more, use the search box in the upper right part of each page. There's a ton a material and it's all good stuff.

Colorado Chronicles: Buffalo Bill

William Frederick Cody was born February 26, 1846 near LeClaire in the Iowa Territory, destined to become one of the most famous men of the American Wild West era. The Cody family moved to Leavenworth, Kansas when William was seven years old. It was there that the tales of adventure about the cowboys of the day captured young William's heart and imagination. At age eleven when William's father, Isaac, died leaving the Cody clan in desperate straits "he took a job with a freight carrier as a "boy extra," riding up and down the length of a wagon train, delivering messages." (Wikipedia). Three years later, Cody was hit with gold fever and decided to set out to strike it rich. Somewhere along the way he met an agent of the famed Pony Express and the gold fever subsided rather quickly when William was hired by the Express. He built several  Pony Express stations along the PE route and was rewarded with a job as a Pony Express Rider. After a stint as US Army Scout, Indian Fighter and buffalo hunter supplying meat to the Army and some other endeavors, Cody, now known as Buffalo  Bill, began producing and performing in Wild West Shows all over the world. Though highly rewarding and popular shows, the performances didn't leave Buffalo Bill exactly a wealthy man as one would expect. Bad investments away from the Wild West Shows left Cody with little money to retire on, and though he was ready to call it a career, he kept on keeping on until his dieing day. In 1917, while visiting his sister in Denver, Buffalo Bill Cody died and was buried, per his last wishes, on Lookout Mountain in Golden, Colorado. His burial site is still a major tourist attraction for people passing along I-70, west of Denver. William Frederick Cody, truly an American original.

Maine Minutiae: 248 Acres of Awesome

With the onset of fall, I am looking back with great fondness on this year's garden. I may be a bit early in doing so, but I am also looking forward to and am already tossing around ideas for 2011. I live in an apartment with my wife and kids, so I am limited as to exactly what I can do gardenwise, but I plow (pun intended) ahead by doing as much as I can without pissing off the Property Manager. And those you that know me know that I teeter right on the edge of "acceptable" and "don't you dare". Such is life. While time is short until first frost here in Maine, we still have time to enjoy the bounty before us and I know just the place to enjoy said bounty - the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay. From  we learn of the humble beginnings of CMBG, "This magnificent and ambitious project began with a kernel of an idea generated by Rollins Hale of Boothbay Harbor. He and other mid-coast Maine residents who shared the belief that northern New England in general, and Maine in particular, were in need of a botanical garden founded the grassroots organization in 1991." Sixteen years later, on June 13, 2007, the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens became a dream come true. The Gardens now encompasses 248 acres, a 9500 square foot Visitors Center, a seasonal cafe and a gift shop, as well as a bevy of  blooming botanical beauties bound to bewilder you. The CMBG also serve as an educational experience, with information about natural history, botany, horticulture and the ecology of the area. Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens can be reached here. CMBG is privately funded (as far as I can tell) and that alone is reason enough to label it as 248 acres of awesome.

*Photo from

Texas Tidbits: A Visit from Pancho Villa

Wow! Have we covered a ton of Texas History in the last couple of weeks or what? I kind of wanted to take a break from that for at least a few days to rest my brain. I thought today that we'd take a trip to Nowhere. And by Nowhere, I mean Brewster County located waaaaayyyyy out west, home to Big Bend National Park and the City of Alpine. My maternal Grandmother grew up in Alpine and she would sometimes talk about how life was when she was a child in the late teens and 1920s.

Grandmother once told me a story about a group of Mexican banditos who would occasionally come to her home when she was a little girl. This particular group of men was led by an hombre called Pancho. Pancho Villa. As I remember, she said that Pancho Villa and his men would come for food and water and stuff like that. I don't remember the whole story, but I do remember her saying that Pancho and his men didn't seem like a bunch of bad guys and he and his men treated my Grandmother's family with respect. I'll have to get in touch with my aunt (Grandmother's youngest kid) and see if I can get more details of the story. Anyway, I thought that was the coolest thing when I was a little boy. Pancho Villa! At my Grandmother's house! Wow!

I remember another story that she told me only one time and I never heard another word about it. Grandmother and her family were very devout Catholics, as am I and the rest of the maternal side of my family. The story involved men in white sheets burning a cross on Grandmother's front yard when she was just a small child. Yup. The dickweeds of the KKK did it. Is it just me, or is it ironic that an outlaw like Pancho Villa treated her family with great respect and the "good guys" (excuse me while I go puke) of the Klan would do something as vile as a cross-burning in her front yard simply because they were Catholic? I can only imagine what that must have been like for a little girl to witness such a cowardly yet terrifying thing. Pardon me for a moment while I send a heartfelt, personal message to the boys in the KKK. FUCK YOU AND ROT IN HELL YOU PUSSIES! Other than that, have a nice day, assholes. :) END OF PERSONAL MESSAGE TO THE KLAN. There. I feel better.

My intent when I decided to write about Brewster County was to actually write about Brewster County, but I got so into the stories my Grandmother told me when I was a kid that it kinda veered off in that direction. I was and still am very proud of my Grandmother. She is probably the toughest human being I have ever met, and I have met some dandies, trust me. She was about 5 foot nothin' and about 90 pounds soaking wet and tough as an acre of snakes. I have some more stories from her that I could tell you about but let's save that for another time.

Friday, May 27, 2011

The Southern Tip of Texas

University of Texas at Brownsville
I have always been a sucker for things Mexican - the food, language, tequila, traditions, sense of family, tequila. You get the picture - all that other stuff and tequila. Seriously, I love the culture of our Mexican neighbors. I was thinking, if I want to get a taste of Mexico and still be in the USA, where would be a good place to go? Easy answer. Brownsville. In Brownsville, I'd still be in Texas and get the flavor of Mexico as well. Hell, Matamoros is just across the Rio Grande. The southernmost city in Texas has a population of about 140,000 and a semi-tropical climate that attracts many snowbirds, or Winter Texans or as Texans call them, Yankees. :)  The climate is just one item on the "plus" list for Brownsville. Other pluses include a landscape laden with palm trees, bougainvilleas and comforting Gulf breezes, exotic birds and a zoo that features over 1500 species of animals. Brownsville's recorded history goes back to the 1600's but was settle many years later. According to The Handbook of Texas Online, "In 1781 Spanish authorities granted fifty-nine leagues of land on the northern bank of the river, including all of the site of Brownsville, to José Salvador de la Garza, who established a ranch about sixteen miles northwest of the site. During the early nineteenth century a small number of squatters, most of them herders and farmers from Matamoros, built huts in the area. A small settlement had formed by 1836, when Texas declared her independence from Mexico, but the region was still only sparsely settled when United States troops under Gen. Zachary Taylor arrived in early 1846." THOT has a more detailed history of Brownsville here. Today, as in centuries past, is a major shipping port that brings in goods from all over the world. I guess the most famous thing Brownsville is known for is Spring Break. Enough said. It seems that I have discovered Paradise at the southern tip of Texas, and it called Brownsville.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Plus One: Happy Birthday, Bocephus!

Bad. Ass. Man.
Repost from October, 2010....It's been a great Trip Through Time and Country Music over the last four weeks, but like all things, this too must end. We began our tribute with a bang with Garth Brooks, and now we're gonna end it with a BOOM! 

My favorite artist from any genre of music, bar none, is Hank Williams, Jr. I am very familiar with Hank's trials and tribulations over the years. He has told me about many of them in person, during the three times I had a chance to talk with him. As we drank shots of whiskey and nursed a few beers, Hank related to me one great story after another. Most of them were just general stories about the music biz, his role in it, his Dad (of course) and some other stuff. The one subject that Hank told me about was when on Augusta 8, 1975, he fell almost 500 feet down the side of Ajax Mountain in Montana. He went over the accident that nearly killed him in chilling detail. He probably would have fallen further down the side of the mountain except for one thing - a BFR. A Big Fuckin' Rock. He smashed into it face first into it and it opened his skull like it was on a door hinge, his brain exposed to the elements. Hank was hiking with his buddy, Dick Willey and Willey's son, Pete (I think, his name escapes me) when the accident happened. The senior Willey had to hike several miles back down Ajax to get help, while his son, who was about 10 years old, IIRC, tried to keep Hank awake and alert. The boy prove to be a hero. Hank told that if it hadn't been for the cold weather, he probably would have died right then and there. Two years of reconstructive surgery and rehab, including learning how to talk all over again, followed the fall down Ajax. Amazing story.

Already recorded prior to Hank's accident, was an album called Hank Williams, Jr and Friends. The link provides only clips of the songs, but I urge you to take a minute to listen to them. this album, in my opinion, is the single greatest album ever recorded. It was the single most influential album that initiated the Outlaw Movement in Country Music. I know, I know, Willie and Waylon and all that. I agree that W & W were the ones that popularized Outlaw Country, but Hank, Jr and Friends was before all that. Hank and Friends consists of nine songs that are my life set to music. It's the ultimate Country record. It's that great.

We know what many of Hank's hits are. Below I will list some of his better-known songs and some that aren't. But I promise you, they will all be good, and maybe you'll look at Hank from a different point of view.
What a great way to end our tribute to Country Music Month. Hank Williams, Jr, who once had NINE albums in The Top 75 at one time (!), has a ton of YouTube pages with his music on them. Make time to listen to some of Hank's songs that were never released as singles. There's a treasure trove of kick ass Country tunes and songs that paint a vivid image in your mind that I think you'll really like.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Texas Tidbits: Blues, Texas Style: Struck By Lightnin'

Blues. Music that touches and tortures the soul. Music that sings of joy and triumph and, at the same time, despair and tragedy. We all, at one point or another, have experienced the gamut of emotions that is the blues. However, it takes an artist, a Van Gogh with a guitar, a Shakespeare with a song, to make someone feel the blues. One such man was born in Centerville, Texas on March 15, 1912, Sam "Lightnin' " Hopkins. As a young black boy growing up in Centerville (halfway between Dallas and Houston on I-45), Sam was immersed in the blues. At age eight, Sam met a true Blues Man, Blind Lemon Jefferson, at a church picnic in nearby Buffalo. That experience was Sam's baptism into the church of the blues. By the mid 1920's, Hopkins was jumping trains, throwing dice and playing the blues, living the blues. But a decade or so later Lightnin' was imprisoned in Houston County for reasons unclear. After prison, he moved to Houston to get in on the music scene there. Unsuccessful, Sam was soon back in Centerville working as a farm hand. Taking a second shot at Houston in 1946 turned out to be a monumental decision for Hopkins, the blues and, eventually, the world. From then until the early '50's, Lightnin' rarely played outside Texas, but when he the late Paul Harvey said, "Now you know the rest of the story"- playing in countries around the globe, in front of monarchs and poor folks, Hopkins became a legend. On January 30, 1982 in his beloved Houston, Sam "Lightnin'" Hopkins succumbed to cancer at age 69. Cue the the blues... "Lightnin'" has struck Texas.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

It's Our 1st Birthday!!!

It was exactly one year ago today that I put up my first post Three States Plus One. It's difficult to believe that it has actually been a full year since I undertook this task. What's even more amazing is the fact that I am still doing this thing! The blog has changed in many ways since that day that seems like a lifetime ago. For one, the posts are a bit longer therefore allowing me to get more information to you the reader. I knew that would happen when I started the blog, as I was literally feeling my way through the process. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. I take that back...I have written some stuff before, but that involved tens of thousands of radio and TV commercials, never a daily article about any chosen subject. Besides, radio and TV commercials are 30 and 60 seconds long requiring few words and, most of the time, just a few minutes of my time. Blogging, on the other hand, can take a few hours just to put one post together, depending on my mood, energy level, the state of my illnesses and whether or not Bailey the 4 Year Old is wound up like a cheap clock or taking a nap. Such is the life as the Head Honcho of the Next Big Blogging Empire.

I'd like to think that, as a blogger, I have grown in my writing and ability to make you a part of the experience I write about. I'll give myself an A- on that, as there is always room for improvement. The template of the blog has changed very little with the exception of the sidebar which gets a makeover every once in a while with new gadgets I find on the internet, but it's pretty much the same as it was on Day One. I am halfway in the mood to redesign the entire page, but that will take more effort that I am willing to put forth at this the near future perhaps, but not now.

On May 24, 2010 all the stats for the blog read "zero". Let's take a look where they stand as of this writing:
  • Page views - 24, 075 Total; 462.9 per week; 2006.25 per month; 65.9 per day
  • Countries - We are now read in 98 countries around the with the USA, of course, leading the way with 5434 Unique Visitors followed by Canada, 325 and the UK, 192. Our newest country on the list is El Salvador. All told, we have accumulated 6712 Unique Visitors over the last twelve months. 
  • States - Three States Plus One is read in all 50 states as well as Washington, D.C. Texas easily leads the way in total number of uniques with 1529, followed by Maine, 738 and California, 565.
  • Number of Posts - 551
I don't want to bore you with a lot of numbers (and believe me, I could!), I just wanted you to get an idea of how far this blog has come. Despite the brilliant writing, biting humor and scathing satire, it's not my award-worthy writing that makes this thing click, it's you, the reader who are the bread and water, the sustenance if you will of Three States Plus One. I never in my wildest dreams thought that we'd reach such heights in such a short period of time.

I want to humbly thank you for sticking with me for the last year and I hope you'll hang in there with me for Year 2. Your support and acceptance of Three States Plus One has been nothing short of astonishing. I hope in some small way I have taught you something, provoked you to think or made you giggle out loud (or cursed like a sailor) during the past 12 months. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. God bless you and may God continue to bless America.

Toby, Benevolent Blog Emporor, TexNetMaine Blogging Empire
threestatesplusone AT gmail DOT com

Monday, May 23, 2011

Looking Back: Texas Declares Independence

A Republic is Born
Today is such an important day to all Texans, that I am going to forego my usual brilliant insight and Nobel-worthy prose, to take a back seat to those who are far more qualified than I to inform you on this 175th Birthday of the Texas Constitution. On March 2, 1836, forty-one men gathered in a shack in Washington-On-The-Brazos and hammered out a document. A document that changed history. It was the Texas Declaration of Independence

"In October 1835, settlers in Mexican Texas launched the Texas Revolution. However, within Texas, many struggled with understanding what was the ultimate goal of the Revolution. Some believed that the goal should be total independence from Mexico, while others sought the reimplementation of the Mexican Constitution of 1824 (which offered greater freedoms than the centralist government declared in Mexico the prior year).[1] To settle the issue, a convention was called for March 1836. This convention differed from the previous Texas councils of 1832, 1833, and the 1835 Consultation. Many of the delegates to the 1836 convention were young men who had only recently arrived in Texas, although many of them had participated in one of the battles in 1835. Most of the delegates were members of the War Party and were adamant that Texas must declare its independence from Mexico.[2] Forty-one delegates arrived in Washington-on-the-Brazos on February 28" says Wikipedia.

If you want to learn as much Texas History as you can in one stop, there are few places, if any, more informative that the archives at Texas A & M University. The Aggies do Texas Independence with the pride and enthusiasm you'd expect from them. From the Aggie Archives we find this on the convention that brought us a Declaration of Independence for Texas.

The Handbook of Texas Online has several interesting links to the Texas Declaration of Independence, so it that would be great place as well.

I know you'll enjoy the Texas History lesson you'll get at any of the links in this post. I'll have more to say later today, so until then...God bless Texas!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

A Post Rapture Look Back in Time

Big Bend Sunset
Since we made it through The Rapture, I guess I am obligated to post something today. :) You know, a Rapture just ain't what it used it be. Back when I was a kid, we'd have a Rapture in the morning, then I'd walk five miles uphill to school in the morning, five miles uphill back home after school, then we'd have another Rapture to top off the day. It was brutal, I tell you. We must be importing our Raptures from China these days. Oh, well.....
  • The Blizzard of 2010 - The day after Christmas was the beginning of what felt like The Rapture here in Maine. We got hammered with several feet of snow in a weather event that lasted for what seemed like forever. Look back with me at this amazing couple of days and marvel at the power of Mother Nature.
  • Lens Master - Bob Zeller is to a camera like a duck is to water -  a Natural.. Check out this post and be shocked and awed. It's beautiful stuff. I promise.
  • A Spitfire of a Colorado Woman - Four words: The. Unsinkable. Molly. Brown. Enough said.
A Blogging Note: I am loaded down with Doctor's appointments tomorrow, so I'll be back with new and exciting material for you on Tuesday, which will mark the First Anniversary of my first post on Three States Plus One. That will be a fun day, as we look back at my initial year in blogging and see what has changed about the blog and what has happened in over the past 365 days. There's a lot to talk about, so it'll be a few days celebration with some wonderful recollections and updates. Until then, adios, y'all!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

If Today's Rapture Day, I'm Goin' Fishin'

The Stripers Await Judgement
As you've probably heard by now, today is Rapture Day. Lord, hear my prayers...I figure that if I am gonna die today, I am gonna die doing what I like most - talking to God and fishin'. I've gotta cover my bases, you know. To further endear myself to the Almighty, my last blog post before we are all called Home will be about fishin' and places to fish. I'm thinking that if Jesus hung around a bunch of fisherman, then I've got an "in" with the Good Lord Hisownself by showing my Sonly qualities. :)

BTW, if you haven't done so yet, you can make a donation to my PayPal account by hitting the "Donate" button in the right sidebar. It being Rapture Day and all, it would be a lovely last gesture to make before you vanish from this earthly Veil of Tears. After all, you can't take it with you. But I can keep it here. :)

Those are three of my choices I'd like to spend my last day on Earth. As for the reast of you sinners, hit the "Donate" button in the sidebar and just in case my name is not listed in the Book of Life, I'll make sure your money is well spent as I await my own Judgement. Amen.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Texas Tidbits: The Greatest Cowboy of 'em All!

On December 5, 1870 a little boy of African, Caucasian and Cherokee heritage was born near Taylor, Travis County, Texas, to a former slave named Thomas Jefferson Pickett and Mary "Janie" Gilbert. That little boy, William "Bill" Pickett would grow up to be one of the most famous cowboys of all time. Young Bill attended school through fifth grade, quit and began the epic journey from school boy to super star cowboy as a ranch hand. Pickett was so adept at things cowboy, in 1905 he joined the 101 Ranch Wild West Show. As a member of the 101 show, Bill worked along side some other fairly well-known cowboys - Will Rogers and Buffalo Bill, to name a couple. Considering the times and this man's heritage, what were the odds of him being perhaps the Greatest Cowboy of that era? Pickett thrilled audiences all over the world with his extraordinary skills and abilities. Bill Pickett died April 2, 1932 doing what he loved, being a cowboy and was honored accordingly in 1971 by being inducted to the National Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame and, in 1989, was named to the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame. With credentials such as those, it's no wonder Pickett was and by many is still called, The Greatest Cowboy.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Texas Tidbits; Sam Rayburn, A Great Texan

Sam Rayburn
There are many legendary Texans. That fact is not in dispute. The degree of legendary status may be open to discussion, but there are certain Texas Legends where anything that open admiration and due reverence are all but expected. Men in this category include Davy Crockett, Jim Bowie, Sam Houston, Earl Campbell, Bum Phillips, Tom Landry, Darrell get the idea. One of the most powerful Texans ever is a name that many will recognize only as the name of a lake - Sam Rayburn.

Samuel Taliaferro Rayburn represented Texas in the US House of Representatives from 1913-1961, three times serving as Speaker of the House. For perspective, he was in the House for every president from Woodrow Wilson to John F. Kennedy, a span of forty-eight years. Another way to look at Mr. Sam's length of service is that he was elected to office before World War I and served until after the United States sent Alan B. Shepard into space in May, 1961. Wow!

In doing a write-up of a man like Sam Rayburn, it would take hours for me just to look up the man's accomplishments. In lieu of that, I'll link to a couple of pretty dang good sources that detail much of Speaker Rayburn's life, private and public. I first went to and came up with a nice piece. It's a long but very informative article, so make sure you have a few minutes to spare before diving in. And, of course, there's the old stand by, Wikipedia.

As you can see from those two resources, Sam Rayburn was a powerful man in American politics for almost half a century. Few, if any, men or women have had such a profound influence on the policies affecting every day Americans for such an extended period of time as Mr. Sam. I think it's safe to say that Samuel Taliaferro Rayburn earned every tribute paid to him and then some. Hit that link and scroll down to see some of the honors bestowed upon this great man.

Mr. Sam. A great American. A great Texan.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Osama Bin Killed Graveyard Dead Courtesy Navy SEAL Team 6

Now Burning in Hell
During my self-imposed temporary exile from blogging, I promised to not leave you wanting for something great to read. I have something great for you and I am sad to say that I didn't write it, but I want to share it with you. Here's a little more detailed story about how Navy SEAL Team 6 found and killed Osama bin Laden. It comes from the Associated Press via a blogger I read from time to time, and should read more often, Pat Dollard.

AP gets their panties in a wad real easily, so I will simply link the article as it is posted at Pat's site. Enjoy the story about honest-to-God American Heroes, Navy SEAL Team 6.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Taking a Few Days Off

I am taking at least a couple of days off from blogging to let my mind and body relax. I know that must come as a shock to you (that's sarcasm, BTW). I will, however, not leave you empty-handed as far as reading material goes. I happen to know that those of you with laptops and a router find great comfort in perusing my brilliant content in the john. Fitting, that. Where do you think I do most of my writing?

Here are three posts from the very beginning of this blog that have irritated and repulsed people from all corners of the world for almost a year now. Carry on.
The posts are very short, but there are some embedded links to some really cool information, so be sure to click on them and see what's up. The archives are full of good material, just give them a look using the search box at the top right of the right sidebar or scroll down the home page and click where it says "Older Posts" and look 'em over.

I'll see you in a few days with more of the kind of extraordinary tomes that you've come to expect from me. Actually, I'll try to do better. :)


Monday, May 16, 2011

Texas Tidbits: I've Got a Tiger By the Tail...

Here, Kitty, Kitty...
I love animals. Especially BBQ'ed. *rimshot* I'll be here all week, folks. Be sure to tip your blog writer. But seriously, folks...I really am an animal lover...cats, dogs, whatever. I like 'em  because they are not only cute and cuddly (until they grow up), but for the companionship and undying loyalty for the low price of loving them back and a little food now and then. There's a place just outside Tyler where a few people have gone way above the realm of normal animal rescuers to something even more fantastic - Big Cat Rescuers. Yes, those kind of Big Cats. Tiger Creek Wildlife Refuge is something much bigger, literally, than your local animal shelter. It's a refuge for...hell, let's go to Tiger Creek's web page for that info :"To provide rescue and rehabilitation of big cats that have been abused, neglected or displaced.". And that's exactly what they do. Wanna meet some of the residents of Tiger Creek? Click here and when you get to the Tiger Creek page, look to left of the display and click "Meet the Big Cats". It's real good stuff. Tiger Creek is known worldwide for the outstanding work they do in giving these mighty predators a home that is as similar to their  natural habitat as possible, plus the care and love they need in order to simply survive. My hat's off to Brian Werner and Terri Block and their staff of volunteers for the superhuman effort, devotion and dedication towards these magnificent felines and their on-going hard work in rescuing and rehabbing Big Cats of all stripes. Or lack thereof.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Maine Minutiae: 2nd Graders & I Learn About Early Maine

...And a Bottle of Rum
I had a hoot yesterday. I got to spend a few hours with my oldest daughter, Isabella, on a 2nd Grade Class Field Trip, hereby referred to as "2GCFT". I met a school bus full of 7 & 8 year olds yesterday at a very historic site in here in Augusta, Old Fort Western, and got the Grand Tour of Old Fort Western OFW is the oldest standing fort in the United States having been built in the mid 1750's.

Along with the above-mentioned kids and a few other parent/chaperones, I got the Grand Tour of Old Fort Western and actually found it very interesting. Of course our guides, dressed in full 1750's regalia, right down to the shoes, made their presentation geared toward second grader, it was done well-enough that it even kept my interest. The Fort was a center of commerce for the area way back when, not only for its English inhabitants, but for the Native Indians as well. On site, they have a General Store that looks like you just walked into 1750-something (and you actually do!), a class room for the kids of the time and some other really cool historical artifacts that were commonly used by Old Fort Westerners. I honestly had a good time and learned something, too. I think the kids did, too.

The best part of the whole trip, which is about 3 miles, round trip from where I sit, was spending time with Issy. She's a smart kid and was asking questions of the tour guides and answering theirs as well. The thing I liked 2nd most was being a part of my little girl's school experience. I felt like hell when I went to meet the students yesterday morning, but all that changed on a sunny, breezy Spring morning when I saw how much interest the kids showed in the tour. It's something I won't soon forget.

Here are some photos from our excursion...
St. Augustine Catholic Church
Rope for the Ships
State Capitol Building Way in the Background

A Trader's Boat from the 1750's

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