Monday, January 31, 2011

Texas Tidbits: The Battleship Texas

You know me and my interest in all things Texas. If it's about Texas, I wanna know about it. I want to spend some time today writing about San Jacinto. No, not the Battle of San Jacinto, the place San Jacinto. There is another history-making icon that is right at home on the Houston Ship Channel at San Jacinto. It stands as a monument to the emerging power of the United States Navy as we entered the 20th Century. I am, of course, talking about the Battleship Texas.
One Helluva Lady

Once the most powerful weapon in the world, the Texas served her country with unparalleled distinction. She was launched from Newport News, Virginia on May 18, 1912 and was commissioned on March 12, 1914. Texas Parks and Wildlife is the caretaker for the Texas and I found this on their website dedicated to the Battleship Texas. From the site: "In 1916, TEXAS became the first U.S. battleship to mount antiaircraft guns and the first to control gunfire with directors and range-keepers, analog forerunners of today's computers. In 1919, TEXAS became the first U.S. battleship to launch an aircraft. The TEXAS received the first commercial radar in the US Navy in 1939. New antiaircraft batteries, fire control and communication equipment allowed the ship to remain an aging but powerful unit in the US naval fleet. In 1940, Texas was designated flagship of US Atlantic Fleet. The First Marine Division was founded aboard the TEXAS early in 1941. April 21, 1948 the Texas was decommissioned. The TEXAS holds the distinguished designation of a National Historic Landmark and a National Mechanical Engineering Landmark." (NOTE: April 21 is the anniversary of Sam Houston's victory over Santa Ana in the Battle of San Jacinto, the battle which gave Texas her independence from Mexico.)

I was very young, maybe 10 years old the last time I saw and explored the Texas and I still remember the feeling the history as if she were speaking to me. I went down to the hold (I guess that's what they call it on a battleship) and came upon the brig. The cells were small, cold, damp and isolated and I wonder what a sailor would have to do to be sent to the brig. I also thought of the POWs that might have occupied the cells during the Texas' service in WWI and WWII. It was an eerie feeling. I could almost hear the crew of the ship as they went about their daily duties of fighting a war. Even at 10 years old (or so), I knew a little about the Texas and during my journey all over the ship, I was filled with pride that she was named after my state. Battleship Texas. It had a nice ring to it. Still does. In her prime, the Texas was a helluva lady. And if I do say so myself, she has aged beautifully.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Texas Tidbits: This Ain't Your Baby's Rattler

Born Pissed Off
Sunday mornings. A lazy kind of morning sipping on coffee, having a good breakfast while reading the newspaper then getting ready for Church. The preceding statement is true for tens of millions of households across the country this morning. When I was a kid, Sunday mornings were like that. After Church we'd all pile in to my Dad's '63 Impala Super Sport (327 cubes, 300 horses, 4-speed and factory duals....sweet car!) for a Sunday Drive out to the country. FYI, "the country" at that time was anywhere not in Dallas or Fort Worth. Most of the time, we didn't have a particular destination in mind, it was just where ever Dad felt like going. It didn't matter much to me where we ended up, I knew somewhere along the way we'd see something really cool. I think that may be where I got my itch to explore. I still explore when I go fishing or even if Heather, the girls and I take our own Sunday Drive, I, like my Dad before me, just go. It's really not about the destination, it's about the journey. Exploring. Discovering.

One of the neatest things we did on one of our Sunday Drives was to head out to Sweetwater for the Annual Rattlesnake Roundup. many of you are not familiar with that, so I found a short video that gives you an idea of what the event is like.
As a little boy of maybe seven, the rattlesnake Roundup was beyond neat. It was cool. I thought the guy in the pen with all those live rattlers surrounding him, was the bravest man I'd ever seen. Now days, I know that he was just a dumbass. Or drunk. Or both.

The Rattlesnake Roundup is held the second weekend in March every year in Sweetwater at the Nolan County Coliseum. There is more to the Roundup as you'll see when you, like a BBQ Cooking Contest and other stuff, when you click here.  The Sweetwtaer Jaycees oversee this event each year like they have since 1958. You can contact them at (325) 235-8938.

It's a nice easy drive to Sweetwater form D/FW on I-20 West and it doesn't take long to get there. If you get a chance, please go see this thing in person. It's a cool event.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Texas Tidbits: Letters from the Alamo

The Flag of Heroes
There are several reasons why I do this blog, but no two are more important than the fact that I am a Texan and I love my home State and I can't get enough of the history of Texas. The State and its history are the object of endless fascination to many people, from the ordinary guy like me to the most learned of scholars. I would hazard a guess that the single most written about event in the history of Texas is the Battle of the Alamo. It is certainly one of the best known battles in the annals of military encounters.

One of the things that gripes me the most is a bunch of touchy, feely anti-Texan morons that try to "revise" the facts of the Battle of the Alamo. You know who I am talking about. The idiots that want to make General Santa Ana seem like a misunderstood benevolent leader, when in fact, he was a murderous tyrant who could care less about the people he ruled. In the process of doing that, these Liberal asswipes simultaneously do their dead level best to make the Revolutionaries, (read: white guys) appear to be racist war-mongers or worse. These same dickweeds tend to forget how many Mexicans fought on the side of the evil gringos. How about we bypass any and all prejudice for either side of this story, by using the actual handwritten words of the participants in the Battle itself?

Colonel William B. Travis was the commander of the troops defending the Alamo. Here are his own words as the superior forces of the Mexican Army closed in on the Mission. "Do hasten on aid to me as rapidly as possible, as from the superior number of the enemy, it will be impossible for us to keep them out much longer," wrote Travis in his famous letter of February 25, 1836. "If they overpower us, we fall a sacrifice at the shrine of our country, and we hope prosperity and our country will do our memory justice. Give me help, oh my country! Victory or Death!" Those are the words of a man who knew his days were numbered. Colonel Travis and the almost 200 other defenders of the Alamo must have come to realize early on that without re-enforcements they were surely to die. Yet, they fought until the end, refusing to surrender to Santa Ana, preferring Death to tyranny. Heroes. Every. Damn. One. Of. Them.

An ordinary Mexican soldier had this to say after the battle: "Poor things - no longer do they [Texans] live - all of them died, and even now I am watching them burn…their leader named Travis, died like a brave man with his rifle in his hand at the back of a cannon." Confirmation. Travis died a hero, not a sniveling coward as some would want you to believe. Screw the bastards that write otherwise.

Here's the closing paragraph of the article by Murray Montgomery from which I drew my source material.

"No, we don't need anyone to re-write our Alamo history for us - it has already been written by our ancestors. We have a rich heritage in Texas and it came about by the sacrifices of a tough breed of people who made their homes in the wilderness. Personally, I would like to see even more tribute paid to the lesser-known men who served in both those armies - Mexican and Texan, alike - after all they too, were patriots. The Mexican was protecting his country and the Texan was fighting for his independence. I don't know if defending your country or fighting for liberty is politically correct nowadays, but it seems pretty noble to me."

One more note from Colonel Travis written near the end of the battle, "Take care of my little boy," he wrote a friend in the last days of the siege. "If the country should be saved, I may make for him a splendid fortune. But if the country should be lost and I should perish, he will have nothing but the proud recollection that he is the son of a man who died for his country." With those words, I leave you with this: all you revisionist dumbasses, stick with the facts. If not, get the hell out of Texas. We don't cotton to liars. And we damn sure don't cotton to those who would turn our history into a fairy tale. 

Friday, January 28, 2011

Texas Tidbits: The Flute Player at San Jacinto (?)

When I post on something here on Three States Plus One, I tend to lean to the more historical and "serious" topics. I thought for today's post, I'd take something lighthearted from something very serious - The Battle of San Jacinto, the deciding battle in the War for Texas Independence. For those of you who are not Texans, this (the battle) is a real big deal to us Texans. Out of the War for Texas Independence, generally, and the Battle of San Jacinto, specifically, came a story the likes of which I have never even considered before. It's a pretty cool story.

After the War, many of the men in the Texas Army went back to their jobs as farmers, blacksmiths, store owners, whatever. One guy, Frederick Lemsky, had a job before the War, during the War and after the War that was something you'd never expect from a man who had just fought in one of the most famous Wars and Battles the world had ever seen. I am going to let the Texas State Historical Society's website take it from here.
"On this day in 1838, Frederick Lemský advertised in the Telegraph and Texas Register offering his services as a music teacher and teacher of German and French. Lemský, born in Europe, came to Texas in 1836 and enlisted in the Texas army. He was a musician in the army until December 1836 and is said to have played "Come to the Bower" on the fife at the battle of San Jacinto. In 1841 Lemský was a charter member of the German Union of Texas, and in 1842 he was recorded as the employer of thirty men digging the Brazos and San Luis Canal in Brazoria County. Lemský and a partner named Franke drowned while transporting corn on a flat barge in Galveston Bay when a "hard norther" blew in and capsized the barge. According to the probate records in Brazoria County, "1 octave flute" and "1 keyed flute" were included in the inventory of his property. They were sold for $2.25 at auction in June 1844". A flute player! I have never in my life ever once thought of a flute player serving under Sam Houston and was a participant in the Battle of San Jacinto. that's off the hook wild. As best I can figure, the fifes in the armies at the time of the Texas War for Independence were used to signal various commands to the infantry during a battle. The flute later gave way to trumpets in this regard.

The next time this subject comes up in polite conversation, you'll be able to impress your friends, one of which is bound to be a smartass know-it-all, with what they think is your near encyclopedic knowledge of the War for Texas Independence. Especially if they are drunk. You'll thank me later.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Texas Tidbits: Hellfighter: Red Adair

Much Man
There are legends and there are LEGENDS. One way to determine if a man is a LEGEND is to find out if he's ever been played in a movie by John Wayne. Chances are a little better than even (wink> that if he has been played by The Duke in a movie, he's a LEGEND. Paul Neal Adair is such a man. He was immortalized in the 1968 John Wayne movie, Hellfighters. Paul's nickname was 'Red". I'm sure many of you know this man as Red Adair.

Houston-born Red Adair was a man who traveled the world putting out fires.....oil well fires! Please allow me to get a snippet from Wikipedia, " Adair gained global notability in 1962, when he tackled a fire at the Gassi Touil gas field in the Algerian Sahara nicknamed the Devil's Cigarette Lighter, a 450-foot (137 m) pillar of flame that burned from 12:00 PM November 13, 1961 to 9:30 AM on April 28, 1962 (video). In 1977, he and his crew (including Asger "Boots" Hansen) contributed in mending the biggest oil well blowout ever to have occurred in the North Sea (and the 2nd largest offshore blowout worldwide, in terms of volume of crude oil spilled[citation needed]), at the Ekofisk Bravo platform, located in the Norwegian sector and operated by Phillips Petroleum Company (now ConocoPhillips). In 1978, Adair's top lieutenants Asger "Boots" Hansen and Ed "Coots" Matthews left to found competitor Boots & Coots International Well Control, Inc. In 1988, he was again in the North Sea where he helped to put out the UK sector Piper Alpha oil platform fire. At age 75, Adair took part in extinguishing the oil well fires in Kuwait set by retreating Iraqi troops after the Gulf War in 1991". At 75? WTF? Red Adair was much man. Hell, at 75, I just wanna wake up on the right side of the dirt every day and Adair at 75 was putting out oil well fires! No wonder he was the subject of a John Wayne movie. The Duke was the only man in Hollywood that could possibly play this guy. Damn.

That, in a few hundred words, is Red Adair. I found the following quote from Adair on his Wikipedia page. he once said, ""If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur." Now that's funny! A while back I posted a piece from Coach Bum Phillips and talked of Texans being forged of a hotter fire. When Coach Phillips wrote those words, he was speaking of men exactly like Paul Neal Adair.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Texas Tidbits: Lee Harvey Oswald

On the list of famous Texans, in addition to the good guys, there are a few low life bottom feeders. Today's entry on Three States Plus One is about one of the bottom feeders. The man we'll talk about today was once a member of one of our country's most revered institutions, the United States Marine Corp. Something then happened and this man went from being in service to his country to betraying it by renouncing his US citizenship and applying for citizen status in the Soviet Union. In short, he was a coward and a traitor. This young man of a mere 24 years, then committed one of the most horrific crimes this country had seen up to that point. He murdered the President of the United States of America. Now you know who I am talking about. Lee Harvey Oswald.

I personally know the man who took Oswald to work on that fateful day in November of 1963. His name was Bill. I won't give Bill's last name for obvious reasons. At the time, Bill lived down the block from Oswald and just across the street from one of the elementary schools I would later attend when I moved to Irving. When Bill picked up Oswald to head off to work that fateful morning, Lee was carrying a long, paper wrapped object. The story goes something like this:

Bill: What do you got there, Lee?
Oswald: Curtain rods.
Bill: OK, let's get to work.
          End of Coversation

Bill would later learn, just like the rest of us, that the man he drove to work on November 22, 1963 murdered the President of the United States and severely wounded the Governor of Texas. Then, just two days later in the basement of the Dallas Police Department while being escorted to the Dallas County Jail, Oswald himself was shot to death by a local night club owner, Jack Ruby. Oswald had declared himself to be "a patsy" in a grand conspiracy in the assassination of John Kennedy, and when he was gunned down by Jack Ruby, the conspiracy theories began and haven't slowed down over the last 47 years.

While Lee Harvey Oswald has secured a place in History, he also has a reserved place in Hell for not only crimes (sins) against God, but for the crime he perpetrated against a whole nation when he killed JFK. From my point of view, the United States grew up that day in 1963, thanks to Lee Harvey Oswald. At that time, we were just a few years past the time of Leave It to Beaver and  I Love Lucy. An innocence was taken from us all on November 22, 1963 and it was taken from us by a coward of man who, had he stood trial for murdering the President, would have received no mercy from a jury of his peers. But that was taken from us, too, when Jack Ruby killed Oswald. The country as a whole got no closure from events of that day in Dallas. We did, however, learn about the "Grassy Knoll" and a thousand other conspiracy-related "evidence".

So there you have it. A brief look at a small, small man who set an entire nation to grieve the death of a young, vibrant President and the end of this country's innocence. Lee Harvey Oswald, murderer, traitor, coward. Rot. In. Hell.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Texas Tidbits:They Called Him Hoss

I am going to give you some hints about a man that the great majority of you will know. But, I am almost certain that when I reveal the answer to the hints, you will say to yourself, "I'll be damned. I would have never guess that those hints referred to him. Ready? OK, get your thinking cap on. 
  • This man was born in DeKalb, Texas on December 10, 1928.
  • He played football at Hardin Simmons University in 1946.
  • This guy graduated from Sul Ross State Teachers College in Alpine with a Masters Degree in the Dramatic Arts.
  • He was a sixth grade teacher and coach at Eddy Elementary School in Carlsbad, New Mexico.
  • He was an English and Drama teacher at Sonora.
  • This fellow was also a bouncer at a bar and a rodeo performer before he became famous.
  • He co-starred in a TV show that ran for 14 seasons and 431 episodes.
  • The dude was 6'3" and 300 pounds.
  • He appeared in a 1957 Three Stooges short as an outer space monster.

If, by the clues above you correctly guessed this actor's ID, then you deserve to be treated to a steak lunch. I knew a couple of the clues myself, but I had no idea about the others. The actor's name? Dan Blocker, a.k.a., Eric "Hoss" Cartwright from Bonanza. Are you as surprised as I was when I read all those bullet points? Even as a kid, Hoss was always my favorite character on Bonanza. I think it was the fact that I could sense a little boy inside that mammoth frame of his. A Gentle Giant as it were. He was a kid at heart, but he was all man when he had to kick some bad guy's ass. He was Hoss.

On May 13, 1972, Dan Blocker underwent gall bladder surgery, a seemingly routine procedure. He never went home. Dan Blocker was dead at age 43. Bonanza lasted one more season after Blocker's death, which was, incidentally, dealt with in the story line of the show. Needless to say, the Ponderosa was never the same without Hoss there.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Texas Tidbits: Beer

The National Beer of Texas
Great taste or less filling? That is a question that has plagued the residents of Texas for over 170 years. That's right, today we are going to look at the history of beer in Texas. The appearance of beer in Texas followed the influx of a great number of German immigrants, who just so happened to have been in the business of brewing beer for hundreds of years before coming to Texas. These immigrants came from a country, Germany, that had followed strict beer-brewing regulations for over 300 years, thanks to the German Beer Purity Law of 1516, "or the "Bavarian Purity Law" in English, is a regulation concerning the production of beer in Germany. In the original text, the only ingredients that could be used in the production of beer were water, barley, and hops. The law has since been repealed but many German and American beers, for marketing purposes, continue to declare that they abide by the rule, in an attempt to convince customers that only the three permissible ingredients are used (although technically all modern commercial breweries in Germany add a fourth ingredient, yeast)." Thanks to Wikipedia for that citation.

The Grandfather of at least one very famous Texan started his own brewery in 1855. Charles Nimitz, grandpa to Chester W. Nimitz, bought a hotel in Fredericksburg, built his own brewery and beer became a major part of social life in Texas. Such lumiaries as Robert E. Lee, Rutherforb B. Hayes and Ulysses S. Grant thought this was a great idea and so what is considered by many to be the beginning of beer in Texas.

Scholz's Garden in Austin has been making beer for Capital city residents since 1866. Pearl Beer, based on an old German beer recipe, came along in 1885 and in 1909 German and Czech farmers near the town of Shiner, started making Shiner and Shiner Bock beers in 1909 and still use the same recipe over 100 years later. And let us not forget the National Beer of Texas, Lone Star Beer, which is still a big seller in Texas and around the country.

The Super Bowl is just a couple of weeks away and beer will flow like water over Niagra Falls all over Texas on that day. It might be a good time to expand your beer-drinking horizons for the Super Bowl Sunday and have a Shiner or two. Has long has it been since you've a had an ice cold Lone Star? That's too long. At any rate, beer has been a big deal in Texas for coming up on 200 years, so it's just natural that after a hard day's work, during a friendly poker game or sittin' back with some friends and family watching the Super Bowl, that a couple of good frosty ones will be a part of the occasion.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Texas Tidbits: NFL Playoffs and a Dodger

Today in the NFL, two teams will be going to the Super Bowl, while the losing teams start planning for next season. On the schedule for today are Green Bay and Chicago playing at Soldier Field in Chi-town for the NFC Title while in the AFC, the New York Jets, fresh off a big win on the road at New England will be playing the Pittsburgh Steelers, lucky that the Baltimore Ravens folded like a cheap suit in the second half last week, in the Steel City. My picks: Green Bay's offense is hitting on all cylinders heading into Chicago, so I am going with the Pack in this one. The Jets beat up the Patriots, specifically Tom Brady, and came up big when they needed it. The Steelers are the better team, but I'm picking the J-E-T-S to pull off a big upset here. Book it. The Packers and Jets will square off in Dallas for the Vince Lombardi Trophy in Super Bowl  XLV, with Green Bay winning its 13th World Championship.

Because Toby said so.

Since we are talking about the NFL, the Super Bowl and the fact that the game will be played in Cowboys' Stadium, I want to remind you of a man who was a Heisman Trophy Winner and a Super Bowl Champion. This man took the Dallas Cowboys to five Super Bowls, winning two of them and was inducted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1985. Ladies and gentlemen, from the United States Naval Academy, Number 12, Roger "The Dodger" Staubach! In spite of the fact that I grew up in a suburb of Dallas, I have never been a Cowboys fan, but I have long-admired the excellence they took to field of play. I can think of no one that better epitomizes commitment to excellence and the drive and determination that it takes to be a Champion than Roger Staubach. Want to know what makes a winner? Staubach led his team to 23 game-winning drives (15 comebacks) in the fourth quarter, with 17 of these coming in the last two minutes.(from Wikipedia) That is what makes a winner. Winners make plays in the Big Game  that will forever live in the minds of fans and players. Plays so miraculous that they are labeled with Holy names. Hail Mary, anyone? All the accolades and awards staubach won during his football career are mere knick knacks when compared to praise like this: ""Roger Staubach might be the best combination of a passer, an athlete and a leader ever to play in the NFL".The source of that quote? A man who should know about such things. Thomas Wade Landry. Who could argue with that?

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Texas Tidbits: Icky, Harold and Mrs. Baird

Icky Twerp***
I wrote in this post that I had been thinking of some of the stuff in Texas that was a part of my childhood. Having traveled around the country, there's one thing that I can't believe that's not a national product. It's the best in it's class as far as I'm concerned and since the business has been around for over 100 years, it appears that the company has been doing something right. And it's still made in Fort Worth, Texas. The product of which I speak is Mrs. Baird's Bread. That's right, dammit! Mrs. Baird's Bread! I saw Vernon Baird and other Baird brothers doing TV commercials for their bread so often., I felt like I was one of the Baird Family! Somebody ship me loaf! Quick! When I was less than three years old, my Dad worked at the Baird's Bakery on the West Freeway in Fort Worth for a while before becoming a truck driver. Ah, the memories.

I know many of my friends in the Metroplex will say "Oh, yeah!" when I mention this next guy. Harold Taft. Harold was a weather man for Channel 5 in Fort Worth for about 100 years. He was there when the call letters were WBAP-TV. Ole Harold knew how to do a weathercast so even a kid, like me, could understand it. I remember the old weather gauges he had to work with. They looked like some cheap ass clock you'd see in a school room or at Family Dollar. But, dammit, Harold made it interesting with those relics. Mr.Taft was slicker than greased owl shit on a glass door knob. He was The Man. God bless his soul.

I've got three words for you that'll make you come up out of your chair. Slam Bang Theater. For those unfamiliar with Slam bang Theater, it was a kids show that played The Three Stooges, Felix the Cat, Popeye and assorted other kids programming. It came on at 7:00am on weekdays. The show was hosted by Icky Twerp and his sidekicks, Ajax and Delphineum. Every kid who lived in the Metroplex in 60's watched this show at least once, more likely hundreds of times. It was great TV. I couldn't just put up one link and do the show justice, so I'll put up the entire results page of a "bing" search right here. Better yet, hit this link to YouTube and have a laugh with Icky and the Gang.

I hope you liked the journey back through time to a simpler life for kids, where Icky, Felix, Popeye, Harold and Mrs. Baird were not just people on TV, they were a part of our families. And today, like so many members of our real life families, they are gone, but never forgotten.

***photo from***

Friday, January 21, 2011

Texas Tidbits: Of Pink Cadillacs and Cosmetics

For One of These, I'd Sell Cosmetics, too
I was sitting around the house thinking of some of the things back home in Texas that I haven't seen in coon's age. I haven't been home in over six years, so I'm sure I'm missing plenty. But I was thinking of things from my childhood. Things like those pink Cadillacs that the Mary Kay representatives used to drive. I guess they still drive 'em, even though Ms. Ash died almost a decade ago. Seeing those flamingos on wheels was always a treat for me as a little boy. Why? I don't know, other than the Mary Kay people, I reckon there weren't too many pink Caddies roaming the streets of Dallas-Fort Worth in the early to mid-1960's.

Mary Kay Ash was the brains behind the Mary Kay cosmetics empire. Ms. Ash worked in direct sales for year before retiring for a whole month in 1963. She took her last $5000 and created her company as a means for women to get into the male-dominated business world. She must have done something right. As of 2008, Mary Kay employed over 1.7 million sales consultants around the world in 37 countries and sales of over $2.2 billion. Ms. Ash's Wikipedia entry says, "Both during her life and posthumously, Ash received numerous honors

from business groups, including the Horatio Alger Award. Ash was inducted into the Junior Achievement U.S. Business Hall of Fame in 1996. A long-time fundraiser for charities, she founded the Mary Kay Ash Charitable Foundation
to raise money to combat domestic violence and cancers affecting women. Ash served as Mary Kay Cosmetics' chairman until 1987, when she was named Chairman Emeritus. She remained active in the company until suffering a stroke in 1996. Richard Rogers was named CEO of Mary Kay Inc. in 2001. At the time of Ash's death, Mary Kay Cosmetics had over 800,000 representatives in 37 countries, with total annual sales over $2 billion at retail.  Mary Kay herself was honored as leading female entrepreneur in American history."

To me, the thing that was the cornerstone of her business empire was her simple philosophy of God first, family second and career third." A perfect example of the K.I.S.S. Theory, Keep It Simple Stupid. Applied liberally, the K.I.S.S. Theory is a brilliant policy for any business person. But, no one put to better use than a lovely woman and a kind soul, Mary Kay Ash.

Texas Tidbits: More Funny Town Names!

One of the most popular and fun topics to write about on Three States Plus One is odd or funny town names. I looked through the blog archives, and it has been since October 22, 2010 that we did such a post. The topic had frankly skipped my mind until yesterday when I was checking out some "hubs" (web pages) on a site called HubPages. I ran across HubPages about nine months ago when I read about it on another site named MakeUseOf. Anyway, I joined HubPages with the intent of doing some writing and blogging within that community. I started posting on HubPages about a week ago, and my articles have gotten some nice reviews. Plus, the other "hubbers" (those who write and post on the site) seems to be a good group of people with more than their fair share of smarts because they give my stuff good reviews.  :)  But seriously folks....While perusing the works of some of the other hubbers, I ran across a writer with the handle of KCC Big Country who had done a post on HubPages similar to the ones I did on this blog here, here, here and here.
A couple of Texas town names that KCC Big Country found inclded Alligator located in Bell County and Bee House in Coryell County.

KCC Big Country put a lot more effort into her post than I did mine and she came up with some bee-yutes. Since she did all the leg work, I wan tot send her some page hits for a job well done. The particular page to which I am referring is located here. There are some classic small town names. While you're over at HubPages, look for my contributions by searching for "FishFearMe". One more thing, post a comment on KCC Big Country's "hub" and let her know that you found out about it here.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Texas Tidbits; The Ryan Express

Nolan Ryan beats the hell out of Robin Ventura
Any Texan that is a sports fan knows to whom the nickname "The Ryan Express" refers. Folks, we are talking about one of the most amazing athletes of our time. The records he set during his baseball career are beyond reach for probably another 50 years, if not unbreakable. From a skinny kid born in Refugio, Texas to the most dominating pitcher in the history of baseball, Lynn Nolan Ryan, Jr. is in a class of one. Here's a short list of the records Nolan Ryan set during his 27 year Major League career:

  • Most strikeouts, lifetime: 5714
  • Longest service: 27 years
  • Most no-hitters, career: 7
  • Most strikeouts, season: 383 (AL, 1973)
  • Most seasons, 200+ strikeouts: 15
  • Most seasons, 300+ strikeouts: 6
  • Most consecutive strikouts, game: 8
  • Most low-hit (0/1 hit) games, career: 16
  • Most low-hit (0/1 hit) games, season: 3 (1973)
  • Most walks, career: 2795
  • Most seasons leading majors, walks: 8
  • Most strikouts per 9 innings, season: 11.48
  • Most strikouts per 9 innings, career: 9.57 (as of 1990)
  • Fewest hits allowed per 9 innings, season: 5.26 (1972)
  • Fewest hits allowed per 9 innings, career: 6.41 (as of 1990)
  • Oldest to pitch a no-hitter: 44 (5/1/91)
  • Fastest pitch (as listed in the Guiness Book Of World Records): 101.9 MPH
I was lucky enough to have seen Nolan Ryan pitch on several occasions, for both the Houston Astros and the Texas Rangers. When Ryan took the mound, some opposing players who feared his 100mph fast ball, suddenly contracted various ailments like "a tight hamstring" or "food poisining", that would keep them out of the lineup that day. Ryan was fearleass and was to be feared. To watch a Major League Baseball player's knees buckle and his face contort when The Express forsook his bullet-like fast ball to throw a curve ball that literally broke about 18 inches, was a thing beauty.

Nolan Ryan was a fierce competitor. That competitive nature plus a 100mph fastball induced fear into many opposing hitters, often prompting temper tantrums that would challenge any two year old. On one occasion, Robin Ventura of the Chicago White Sox was yet another strike out victim of Ryan's, when all of the sudden, for some inexplicable reason, Ventura charged the mound to confront The Express. Ventura was about 25 or so and Nolan was in his mid-forties, if I recall correctly.  Bad. Move. Robin. The Old Man kicked his ass. Instant baseball classic and the stuff of which legends are made. Not that Nolan Ryan needed any help in the legend department.

Before you move on, take another look at the records that Nolan Ryan holds. The numbers are simply astounding. Ryan retired long ago, and is now President/Owner of the Texas Rangers, but left behind the kind of legacy that only extraordinary athletes can. And believe you me, Nolan Ryan was an athlete that comes along once in a lifetime, maybe two lifetimes. Lynn Nolan Ryan, Jr. Baseball Hall of Famer, Texan, Legend.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Confederate Heroes Day, Part 2 - Southern Heritage as Seen Through the Eyes of a Black Woman

Earlier this morning I put up a post telling us about Confederate Heroes Day, which is celebrated in Texas each year on January 19. I laid out some facts that some people (read: Liberals and non-Southerners) might take issue with. However, they can not disprove them! I had my turn, now let's hear from some folks who are light years ahead of me when it comes to knowledge of the Civil War and its attendant issues.

The Confederate States of America
I found a lady that wrote a piece for a website called Southern Heritage . Elizabeth Wright is a black woman who is proud of her Confederate Heritage and a few years ago, put her thoughts to paper.                                          
Beating Up on the Confederacy
"Do Only The Feelings of Blacks Count?", October 16, 2007
by Elizabeth Wright

'On April 9, 1998, Virginia's Governor James Gilmore proclaimed April as Confederate History Month. This action immediately drew angry protests from the blacks who, each year, organize to prevent just such a proclamation. King Salim Khalfani, of the NAACP's Virginia State Conference, claimed that his organization was "not pleased that April once again will commemorate Confederate History and Heritage Month."

His statement put in a nutshell the goal of the civil rights establishment. That goal is to eradicate all symbols of the Confederate past once celebrated by most Southern white Americans.

In his declaration, Governor Gilmore denounced slavery as a practice that "deprived African-Americans of their God-given inalienable rights."

That's a great start to addressing an issue that Ms.Wright from a point of view that is completely opposite of the view held by the overwhelming majority of black people. Just espousing the beliefs she does, so diametrically opposed to the views of so many of her fellow blacks, could put her in some rather uncomfortable circumstances. You'll see what I am talking about when you read the rest of this incredible article. The entire thing can be found here.

Texas Tidbits: Confederate Heroes Day

Confederate Battle Flag
January 19 is a State Holiday in Texas. It is Confederate Heroes Day. I know this post will piss off a bunch of Yankees and Liberals, but they don't like Texans or Southerners much anyway. Don't get your panties all in a wad, I am not talking about ALL Yankees and Liberals, but a significant number of them, perhaps even a majority. I say this as a Native Texan who is married to a woman from Maine. She is so much like many Southern women that the only way I can tell that she isn't from the South is her accent. So, lighten up, Francis, I am not here to condemn Yankees or Liberals whole cloth, although it would be fun to do so, I am here to talk about heroes. These heroes just happen to be Southern. I'll certainly include my opinion throughout this post, but the bulk of what you read will have been written by a black man and a black woman. If anybody should have a beef with the South, it is these folks whose ancestors were slaves in the Antebellum South. Before I excerpt from the two folks I mentioned, I want to throw out a few thoughts on slavery. What is not in dispute is the fact that the enslavement of any human being is an abomination to God. That's all that needs to be said in that regard. The Civil War was not a war all about slavery! One of its major causes of the war was the ever-growing and more-powerful-by-the-day Federal Government intruding into peoples' lives and usurping their freedoms as laid out by the US Constitution. Does that sound familiar? It should. It's happening as we speak. But, I digress. The city in the United States that imported more slaves than any other was Charleston, South Carolina. Care to venture a guess which city imported the second most slaves in the country at the time? Atlanta? Nope. Somewhere in North Carolina? Guess again. No, nowhere in Virginia either. The city in the US that imported the second most slaves into this country was....New York City! Oh, wait. NYC is a Northern city, so that little fact doesn't count. My bad. Maybe you can tell me who was selling these poor people into slavery. You can't? I can.  Their own damn people in Africa! Oh, wait again. The slave sellers were black guys, so that doesn't count either. I am so sorry to insert actual facts into this debate. I hope you Yankees and Liberals will forgive me my transgressions.Did you know that it was the SOUTH that wanted to count slaves as wage earners and tax them accordingly, just like white people? I didn't think so. One more quick question. Who said, "There are few, I believe, in this enlightened age, who will not acknowledge that slavery as an institution is a moral and political evil. I think it is a greater evil to the white than to the black race." Abe Lincoln? Not this time. It's a direct quote from that evil raaaaacist bastard Son of the South General Robert E. Lee.

What I have written so far is something for you to chew on until I get to the next part of our report on Confederate Heroes Day in Texas. I'll have the thoughts of the two black folks I mentioned early on concerning the Confederate Heroes Day observation in a little while. Chew on what I just wrote for a little bit and I'm sure that I can make many non-Southerners and an equal number of Liberals foam at the mouth with what I'll post later this morning. Grab your popcorn, this is gonna be fun to watch.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

TexNetMaine - The New Home Base

 I have put up the first post on a new blog and YOU are among the first ones invited to check it out! It's kind of a Blog Headquarters for all my blogs. A place where I can do some things that are a little "out of place" on the other three - Three States Plus One, Dumbass News and Because Toby Said So. Instead of reviewing the thing here, click this link and see what all the fuss is about.

Coop Comes to Visit - A Good Time Is Being Had By All

I am really busy today helping Heather babysit our new cousin, Cooper who will be three months old tomorrow. Coop is no problem to take care of. He's a sweet baby with a good disposition....and a crib. I'm just sayin'. The hard part of today is keeping up with Bailey the Almost Four Year Old. Heather is concentrating on the baby, while I hobble around "chasing" after Bailey. She's being a little toot and I feel like slappin' a knot on her head so tall she'll have to tiptoe to scratch it, but she can outrun me and later on down the road, she'll have considerable input into deciding what nursing home I'll end up in, so I can't be too mean to her. Dammit. :)
Uncle Tobe and Coop...some day.

Back to Cooper...Coop and I are already good buddies, so I am really looking forward to the day when he can do "big kid" stuff. When that time comes, I have a feeling that we'll be on the water a lot, looking for the "Big One That Got Away From the Ordinary Fisherman". You know that Fish. Fear. Me. After I pass on my fishing knowledge to Coop, he'll be known as Fish. Fear. Me. Too. I'll have him t-shirt made up that has that written on it. I know I am probably sounding like I'm Coop's Daddy, but I just love the boy and want to teach him lots of things about fishing and camping and gardening. Besides, Coop has a fine young man for Dad, so being Uncle Toby (even though he's technically my cousin) is just fine with me. He'll be like a third son to me for sure, but he'll also be kind of a Rent-A- Kid. I get him for the day, have all the fun we can possibly have, wind him up like a cheap clock from Family Dollar Store, then send him back home to Mommy and Daddy. See? The shit works out right.  :)

In spite of all the joy that Coop brings into our lives when he gets to visit us, there is some backlash. Every time the boy leaves to go home to his parents, Heather tells me how much she'd like to have another baby, hoping it would be a son. Look, I love kids and kids love me; it's always been that way. I guess they can see the "Big Kid" in me. I am blessed that way. I hope it buys me a few Bonus Points with the Lord. Hear that up there, Lord? But, I digress. So, when Coop leaves to go home later today, I'll hear "Let's have another baby" like it's being played on a loop. Then I remind Heather of my considerable age advantage over her. She's only a few years older than my Number 1 Son. Enough said.

I guess, I'd better get back to Cooper, I've got a mess of redneck ways to teach the boy before I'm too old to do it. In the meantime, if anything Update Worthy crops up, I'll chime in and let you know all about it.

I gotta go now. I have to have a conversation with the Lord about those Bonus Points.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Texas Tidbits: Star Trek - Is Mr. Spock Really a Texan?

The Rod
The answer to the question in the title of this post is a definite "kind of". Let me splain. Mr. Spock is a product of the fertile mind of one Eugene Wesley Roddenberry, creator of the phenomenon known as Star Trek. "OK, so what's the connection to Texas?", you ask. Gene Roddenberry was born in El Paso on August 19, 1921. There's your "Texas Connection".

Star Trek is the everlasting legacy of Gene Roddenberry, no doubt, but the man had quite an interesting life before creating Captain James T. Kirk, his crew and the USS  Enterprise. Gene was raised in Los Angeles, where his Dad was a cop. Gene attended several colleges, earned an Associate of Arts degree  from Los Angeles City College and later studied pre law and aeronautical engineering. It was also during this time that he became a licensed pilot. During World War II, Roddenberry piloted the B-17 Flying Fortress on 89 missions earning the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal. After the war, Gene was a pilot for Pan Am and later an LA Policeman. It was 1953 when Roddenberry left the LA Police Department to become a full time screenwriter. That decision had an impact on television and hundreds of millions of people who would later become "Trekkies". I'll have more on that in a minute.

A few years after becoming a screenwriter, Roddenberry became the Head Writer for a great old TV Western called Have Gun, Will Travel". He would later produce a TV show called The Lieutenant, which is said to be the inspiration of the G.I. Joe Action Figure. From the website Famous, we get this: As a fan of science-fiction, Roddenberry saw similarities between space explorers and American pioneers.  He envisioned a science-fiction series for television that, like the westerns he wrote, would have continuing characters. At the time he conceived it in 1963, this would have been a first for TV. Based on the popular show, "Wagon Train," Roddenberry called it a "wagon train to the stars," or a "star trek." With the airing of the first episode of Star Trek in 1966, Roddenberry not only created a history-making TV show, but an entire industry built around it. I think it's safe to say that there have been hundreds of billions of dollars spent on Star Trek merchandise and memorabilia since its inception. Star Trek conventions are held by the hundreds every year all over the world, Star Trek movies have grossed hundreds of millions of dollars and the original TV show has inspired (insert number here) spin off TV series. The Star Trek brand is a monster that keeps feeding on its own and producing new monsters like rabbits make babies. And I mean "monster" in a good way. The continued success of all things Star Trek is truly mind boggling, especially considering it's been almost fifty years since the original TV series made its debut. Not a bad run, huh?

(Doing my best "Scotty" impersonation) Dammit, Jim, I gave her all she's got! And I have given her all she's got in this post. I have only one thing to say. "Beam me up, Scotty".

(Special thanks to

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Texas Tidbits: Two Words: Dandy Don

Jeff and Hazel's Baby Boy
On December 5, 2010, a one-of-a-kind man died in New Mexico. He was one of the most famous and well-liked sports figures in Texas History. He wasn't a bad quarterback either. I wanted to pay tribute to this man as the NFL is in the Stretch Run to the Super Bowl. This man loved the Big Stage and the Super Bowl is the biggest of them all. Sadly, Don Meredith never played in a Super Bowl, and in my opinion, one of the best QB's in NFL history to have missed out on the honor.

Joseph Don Meredith was born April 5, 1938 in Mount Vernon, Texas to Jeff and Hazel Meredith. He often called himself  "Jeff and Hazel's baby boy". Dandy Don was a star quarterback at Mount Vernon High School and was heavily recruited by colleges from all over Texas, including Texas A&M whose coach at the time was the legendary Paul "Bear" Bryant. Meredith turned down the Aggies to play college ball at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. At SMU, Dandy Don was a two-time All American, led the Southwest Conference in passing completion percentage for three straight years and his Number 17 jersey was retired in 2008.

After completing his college eligibility, Meredith went on to the NFL and played for the Dallas Cowboys. It was with the Cowboys that Dandy Don became a star. I remember when he and Bullet Bob Hayes were the most-feared pass-catch duo in the National Football League, "The Bomb" being their signature play. I have never been a Cowboys fan, but I have always had great respect for Don Meredith. Here was a guy that even the stoic Tom Landry called Meredith the toughest player he ever coached. Need I remind you that over a 29 year career as Head Coach of the Cowboys, Landry coached players like Randy White, Bob Lilly, Walt Garrison and Harvey Martin? But Dandy Don was the Toughest Cowboy. Meredith was a 3-time Pro Bowler back when it meant something, NFL Player of the Year in 1966 and always had the Cowboys in position to play for the NFL Championship. Dallas never won the title under Meredith because of one small factor - the Green Bay Packers. Those Packers teams are ranked amongst the greatest in the history of the NFL. Nobody was going  beat them at that time, yet  Dandy Don had the Cowboys on the brink of the Championship against the Packers year after year. Meredith quarterbacked the Cowboys in one of the greatest games ever played in the NFL - The 1967 Ice Bowl against Green Bay. that was one helluva football game. Ask any old guy about it, he'll tell you.

Don Meredith retired suddenly from the NFL after the 1968 season a man without a title, but a man with the respect of his coach, teammates, opponents and fans. "Number 17 on your program, but Number 1 in you hearts", as he was prone to say, went on to stardom as the comic foil to Howard Cosell's asshole announcer guy persona on Monday Night Football. When the outcome of the game had been all but determined, Meredith did his best Willie Nelson impression with this little diddy. The Danderoo, as he was called by Cosell, was one of the best sports announcers ever as far as I am concerned. His knowledge of the game, his wit and his comedic timing were second to none. For some eamples hit up this YouTube Page. It's good stuff as only Dandy Don could do it.

I've already made this post way longer than I had intended and I could go on for a while yet, but I think you understand the kind of man and athlete that Joseph Don Meredith was. Rest in Peace, Danderoo. "Turn out the lights, the party's over, they say that all good things must end........"

Saturday, January 15, 2011

"We the people..." - A Reminder

This story was originally posted on Constitution Day, September 17. I wanted to run it again to remind us of what the Founding Fathers had in mind when they wrote this document. We must stay vigilant lest we lose the freedoms guaranteed us in it. This is a great opportunity for you to re-read it or to read it for the first time. I'll put a link at the end of the post which will lead you to an online copy of the Constitution of the United States of America. God bless America.

This is America
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.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Maine Minutiae:Gov. LePage to NAACP: 'Kiss my butt'; NAACP Cries Raaaaacist!

 The whole country is abuzz about the latest Governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie, as well it should be. Governor Christie is standing up to powerful political forces such as teachers' unions and is basically telling them to fuck off, to the delight of Conservatives, and it's driving the Liberals crazy, again much to the delight of Conservatives.

He Ain't Skeered
Here in Maine, we just elected a new Conservative Governor named Paul LePage. The good Gov is already pissing off the local Liberals with his actions and the guy has been in office less than two weeks! Go, Gov, go! Some Liberal women's group, The Squawking Hens Club or something, has its collective panties in a wad because Governor LePage has yet to name a woman to commissioner's position (I think that means a cabinet level job). There are fifteen such jobs and the first seven have been filled by men, which causes the women's group to squawk like a bunch of old hens. Nevermind the fact that the Governor has several women on his staff as advisors. The Squawking Hens' Club is already calling the Gov a misogynist. He told them in a polite way to kiss his ass, or go lay another egg or something like that. I like this guy! That's not, however, the reason for this post.

Now Governor LePage is a raaaaacist (!) There are always five "a's" in raaaaacist, by the way. He has done gone and made the NAACP mad! In less than two weeks after being sworn in, LePage has pissed off the Squawking Hens Club and the race baiters! How great is that? During a recent event in Sanford, Maine, the Governor said of the NAACP, "They are a special interest. End of story...and I'm not going to be held hostage by special interests. And if they want, they can look at my family picture. My son happens to be black, so they can do whatever they'd like about it," said LePage. LePage has an adopted son who is from Jamaica." LePage - 1  Liberal Colored People - 0. Governor LePage was asked a question about this matter. "When LePage was asked if his non-participation is more than one instance, and rather a pattern, he replied, "Tell 'em to kiss my butt. If they want to play the race card, come to dinner and my son will talk to them." This guy is great! During the recent campaign, LePage said that President Obama can go to hell. This, too, tweaked the Liberals pansy feelings.

The reason the Governor would be attending the NAACP event for MLK Day on Monday? He is attending the funeral of a Maine State Trooper who was killed in the line of duty. It must be a white cop, thus the raaaaacist canard. One more a private citizen LePage has given the Welcome Address to the NAACP on four occasions, most recently in 2008. I'm with the Governor on this one. The NAACP can kiss my ass.

(hat tip to

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Texas Tidbits: The San Antonio Riverwalk (UPDATED with New Photos!) Scroll down

The Riverwalk
I have lived in some of the biggest cities in the United States - Houston, Dallas, Denver and Columbus, Ohio - and each of them has some thing or things that make it stand out in a crowd. Houston has the Astrodome and NASA, Dallas is home to the Cowboys, Denver is located just east of and has a great view of the Rockies and Columbus has The Ohio State University. While each of these cities are special in its own way, they come nowhere near my favorite big city in the US when it comes to history and cool stuff to do. My favorite big city? San Antonio, hands down.

I choose San Antonio for several reasons - the Alamo, the missions, its incredible history and the one thing that sets it apart from the others - The Riverwalk. Spending the day on one of the "cruise barges" sucking down some margaritas and soaking up the unique atmosphere and Mexican music of San Antonio is a damn fun thing to do. Eating at one of the riverside restaurants ain't too shabby either.

The Riverwalk has an interesting history, as well. According to, "In June 1929 a 27-year-old UT Architecture graduate named Robert H. Hugman outlined an alternate vision for the area, which combined romance and nostalgia with promotional good sense and anticipated the beautiful and evocative Riverwalk as we know it today. After almost 10 years of lobbying, speaking to civic groups, writing newspaper articles, and calling on community business leaders, Hugman's proposal was adopted and he was hired as the architect." the article goes on to say, "However, it wasn't until the 1960s that the design originally envisioned by Hugman reached its full potential. In preparation for San Antonio's HemisFair '68, another UT Architecture graduate, Cyrus Wagner, led the design effort, heading an American Institute of Architecture-sponsored team that created an updated vision for the Riverwalk, adding a lively concentration of shops, clubs, and cafes. Wagner's team garnered a national Progressive Architecture Design award for excellence in community architecture and established a national presence for the emerging Riverwalk." Click here to read the rest of the article.

I know many of my friends have been to San Antonio and took in The Riverwalk, but for those of you that haven't, click on the links throughout the post and you'll get a ton of information about what The Riverwalk has to offer you.
Thanks again, Rachel Rogers!

Revelers on the Riverwalk (photo from Rachel Rogers)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Texas Tidbits; Judge Roy Bean

The Law West of the Pecos
 Other than Jim Bowie, Davy Crockett, Sam Houston and a handful of other famous Texans, perhaps none is quite as famous (infamous?) than the man who was self-anointed as "The Law West of the Pecos" - Judge Roy Bean. When it comes to separating fact from fiction regarding Phantly Roy Bean, Jr. (1825-1903), the line is, put mildly, blurred. It is said that Judge Bean held court in his saloon and passed sentence on defendants by bellowing, "Hang 'em first, then try 'em". Smithsonian Magazine by way of further informs us "By Gobs! There was nothing judicious about Judge Roy Bean "Doffing his saloon apron,  the grizzled barkeep dons a dirty alpaca coat,  sits himself down behind the bar, draws a pistol and bangs for silence using the butt as a gavel.   "Order, by Gobs!   This honorable court is now in session, and if any galoot wants a snort before we start, let him step up to the bar and name his pizen." The good judge had never seen the inside of a law school.  His only law book was the 1879 Revised Statutes of Texas.  But the self-styled "Law West of the Pecos" knew how to hold court. There, in his Jersey Lilly saloon in the minuscule West Texas town of Langtry, Roy Bean doled out drinks and his own brand of justice for more than 20 years." You. Can't. Make. This. Stuff. Up. For this tale of Law West of the Pecos-style "justice", we go to : "One of Bean's most outrageous rulings occurred when an Irishman was accused of killing a Chinese worker. Friends of the accused threatened to destroy the Jersey Lilly if he was found guilty. Court in session, Bean browsed through his law book, turning page after page, searching for another legal precedent. Finally, rapping his pistol on the bar, he proclaimed, "Gentlemen, I find the law very explicit on murdering your fellow man, but there's nothing here about killing a Chinaman. Case dismissed." They say justice is blind. Could it be that Judge Roy Bean was blind to justice? You decide. You don't need my help. Here's a good, one page bio of Judge Bean. Like George S Patton said about some Russian general, "He may be a son of a bitch, but he's our son f a bitch". Thus it is with the Law West of the Pecos.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

UPDATE! I'm Still Kickin'

No Dancing for a While  :)
I apologize for not posting anything new since Saturday, but it looks like that may be the norm for the next couple of weeks, I am just not 100% sure. I still have the condition that necessitated my visit to the ER on Sunday morning and that particular malady is going to require surgery to correct. That surgery was supposed to take place tomorrow up in Fairfield (the small town where my Doctor has his practice). It's about a 25 mile one-way trip to his office, which is no biggie. However, we are gonna get a big blast of winter with about a foot of snow and 40 mph winds which will make travel on the Interstate a bit iffy, to say the least. Therefore, my surgery has been re-scheduled for next Wednesday. Lovely. Worse yet, the recovery time for this procedure is at least a week. Lovely again. I have some other health issues to deal with also with one of my concerns possibly being of a serious nature, but I remain positive about the situation, no matter the diagnosis. God ain't done with me yet, so I don't anticipate going anywhere.  :)  I know this all sounds like I am talking in code, but everything will be fine. I do ask that you please say a prayer for Heather, Issy and Bailey because they are the lucky ones who get to put up with me for the next few weeks.

I'll pop in and out as much as I can and maybe even put up a new post or two when I feel like I can. In the meantime, I invite you to look through the blog archives and take a second look at some of your favorite posts from the past seven months.

Thank you all for your support and concern. I am humbled.


Sunday, January 9, 2011

MEDICAL NOTE: I Ain't Kickin' the Bucket, I Just Feel Like I Am

It's 5:00AM, EST and I just got home from the Emergency Room due to a health problem I thought I was taken care of a couple of years ago, but there has been a recurrence of said issue. I won't be blogging today (I don't think) as the ER Doctor hooked me up with some heavy duty meds which will probably keep me out of touch with reality for most, if not all, of the day. We shall see what we shall see.

I ask you to please scroll down the page to the "Blog Archives" gadget in the sidebar and take a trip down Memory Lane with some posts from the last 7 months. I'll try to gain a grip on sobriety when I wake up later today and post an update or something.

The medication is starting to kick in, so I am gonna hit the hay for a while.


Cross-posted at Dumbass News

Saturday, January 8, 2011

How Not to Rob a House

All I Took Was One Lousy Cookie!
We've made it to another weekend and that can mean only one thing! I have no idea what that "one thing" is, but the weekend 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 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.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Trojan Condoms Make Picking a College Easy!

No.1 Condom for "Enlightened" Universities
There is a sure-fire new criterium for choosing a college for your kids. Once I tell you about this amazing school-choosing tool, you'll quickly dismiss things such as graduation rates and curriculum as old fashioned and unnecessary. And to think, this new factor in determining an institution of higher learning for your kid (and your hard-earned money) has been right in front of you (pun intended, you'll see why in a second) The answer to this age old question is condoms! See? I told you the answer was right in front of you. But I digress. Those dumbass bastions of virtue at Trojan Condoms have, at great expense (and free samples, I'm sure), done a study that, with great fanfare, has ranked the thirteen colleges in the United States that are the most "sexually healthy" in the whole damn country! Now that's a study we can all get behind! Another pun! I am on a roll! I ain't makin' this stuff up. Here's a short paragraph directly from the article on "Trojan. The condom giant just released its fifth annual Sexual Health Report Card, which looked at 141 colleges and ranked them according to the quality and accessibility of their sexual health resources. The report zeroes in on 12 categories ranging from contraceptive availability and STD testing to sexual assault programs, according to a news release. Each school was given a "GPA" based on its average in the areas, with 4.0, naturally, being the highest possible rating." I know I feel much better now that Trojan is on the ball.

I am going to present the rankings exactly as they appear in the Parent Dish article.You might need a stiff drink (another pun! hahahahaha) after reading this, so prepare yourself. I hate to copy and paste too much, but if I didn't, you'd think I was drunk or something. Here's what I mean: "Columbia University in New York City topped the honor roll with a 3.70, distinguishing itself with Go Ask Alice, a comprehensive website that allows students to submit questions anonymously. Current topics span the health scope: "Keeping the flow with a condom," "Numbing lube safety for anal sex" and "Quick and healthy bag lunches."

Michigan State was ranked second with a 3.61, followed by Ohio State University. Also making the honor roll: University of Michigan, 3.55; Brown University, 3.50; University of Iowa, 3.49; University of Oregon, 3.44; Princeton University, 3.41; Rutgers, 3,38; University of Minnesota, 3.37; Western Michigan University, 3.28; Cornell, 3.22; and Yale, 3.17." See? You would have thought I was hammered! I guess that all the fine Universities of the South must be sexually unhealthy. There's not one in the Top 13! Dumbass Rednecks! I am telling you people of the South to get busy with the cousin' humpin' You are losing out to a bunch of Yankees for Pete's sake! Oh, wait. Could it be that many colleges in the South are more conservative than their more "enlightened" (read : liberal) Northern brethren and sex before marriage is not something to be condoned? I mean, many places pass out free hypodermic needles to drug users and miraculously all intravenous drug use and the spread of aids have stopped! Oh, that's right they haven't. What a dumbass I am. I must admit that I am , by virtue of this study, more well-prepared to have a frank talk with my daughters about condom usage and "keeping the flow" as well as the use of 'numbing lube safety for anal sex". Abstinence, schmabstinence. Who needs to wait to be married to have sex? Use a condom and some ass-numbing lube and be sexually liberated! Excuse me while I go puke. Dumbasses.

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