Monday, July 29, 2013

True Facts

about ducks

Monday's Missives

From the porch

From the car

A pit vandalized in Holland Lake park. If some people spent half the time trying to be productive they use trying to be stupid they might be somebody.

Look! Is it a bird, a plane?

The little pecan tree in this pic sure interrupts the flow of the pond cypresses surrounding Holland Lake and obstructs an otherwise pretty view of the water

Never a good idea: incorporating an existing tree into a concrete sidewalk but people insist on trying. Not only is it dangerous for bicyclist and runners, the tree will most likely die

A dehydrated orange

FG's rendition of Tow Mater
  • Recently everybody at work had to go to our personnel office to get new badges. The office I work for laid a van on for us to go in groups so I went with a bunch of people I don't always get to spend time with.
  • The nurse driving the van is a very good driver- so good he is noticeably good and competent after only a few blocks.
  • I don't know whether to be put off by how reserved Asian women can be or admire them for their poise.
  • Tarrant County's courthouse is gorgeous. The annex next door is hideous. It is covered in a shell made of foam which is painted to resemble architectural effects. Hail storms have literally blown holes through it. A funny thing about that building: it wasn't a good idea that just didn't hold up over time- it was stop you in your tracks ugly as it was going up.
  • People in line who stood out in my mind: one lady who doesn't get that she is not that interesting- the people around her tolerate her and are polite. Another: I can't tell how old she is due to her smoking. Is she a hard 40, a kind of rough 50? Regardless she is too young to be holding the doorway and engaging in pursed lip breathing and have that gray skin color.
  • Heart's song Alone has been playing in a loop in my brain since the drive home last night.
  • A friend's daughter works at one of my favorite stores. She said there is a an attic storeroom where they keep seasonal clothing before it hits the floor. Employees get to raid it before anyone else sees any of the clothes and buy with their employee discount.
  • My kids stayed with me last night. We had to go shopping for clothes for them to wear today. My daughter is in a weird place- if she picked something of one size it would be too small. The next size up would be too large.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Wednesday's Digressions

    A treasure from Wise County Museum in Decatur- team pic from my high school-  I had marching band practice that day and missed being present.

  • Your unsolicited advice for the lovelorn for the day: when someone announces their intention to leave you- let them go if you want to ever have any chance at getting back together. If you do not, the more you reach out and try to pull them back the more they will pull away. Let them go and throw yourself into being a better person- for yourself. Work out, improve your skills and knowledge for your job, be a better friend to those you call a friend and a better brother, sister uncle- or whatever. You'll be a more attractive choice for the next person (or maybe the one who left will realize what they lost) and most importantly better for you- the only person you are guaranteed to be with for the rest of your life.
  • Bought a headlight lens cover polishing kit for The Beemer today. Never tried it before, but it sounds worthwhile.
  • I went to O'Reilleys this evening for windshield wiper blades- 270 dollars later I walked out with more than I could carry to the car in one trip. It was all stuff I really need and will use though, but there was impulsivity involved.
  • When the prospect of life outside outside our planet comes up someone always says something about the arrogance of doubting there life outside our solar system and often use the term. The height of arrogance. That seems odd- whether it is a fact, a theory, a proposition or whether it is correct or incorrect that does not necessarily involve arrogance. Arrogance implies an intent that can't be discerned from a statement such as, There is no chance of extraterrestrial life.
  • Whether there is or not- there has never been any credible evidence that any sentient beings have visited Earth.
  • Ever wondered: Why do 90% of UFO sightings or reports of contact involve the good ole US of A?
  • I can't wait for Zac and Scott to help me work on The Beemer and especially can't wait to see Scott drive her around. There's a better name for her out there I suppose than Teh Beemer, but everything else I come up with sounds too Teutonic based on her origin or racist based on her color.
  • Coming soon: a full K&N intake set. Coming later: a turbocharger. I've been wanting to own a turbo car for a long time.
  • Another experiment related to this car I want to make happen will be setting aside the average amount I would have been spending had she been financed and when it's time to get a new car use the cash that has been set aside to that point.

Monday, July 22, 2013

My Last Email Exchange

Me: Hey man, how is life? Do you remember that time we sat on the front porch of that old log cabin in Jacksboro and sang, He Walked On Water?

My friend: Of course I do, that was great! Hey, my wife has breast cancer. They're going to do a mastectomy and then start chemo. Good times ahead. Or maybe not.

Here, something told me you might need this- a true legend: Son House sings Grinnin' In Your Face- just for you.

Mondays Missives

When I was little I would pick mulberries and take them to mama. She would use biscuits and sugar and make me an individual cobbler.

There's a baby spit bug in here- I hope he's cuter than his protective sac, although it probably has a face only a mother could love. Can't imagine more humble beginnings though. What about you? What was your upbringing like? Well, I was born a poor spit bug...

  • A guess: at the eleventh hour when there's renewed controversy and pressure for President Obama to release a copy of his birth certificate he'll say,"Excuse me while I whip this out." and present a copy. They'll wait until it looks like that's all the opposition has (if it doesn't actually come to that point- they'll make it look that way). The doubters will become true believers and believers born again.
  • We're that retarded.
  • Groan, soccer practice in one hour.
  • Groan.
  • Zachary and I went to Sunshine Lake today and tramped around for a couple of hours. We found a dozen or more mulberry trees I had never seen before. He ate a mulberry and I showed him how to take the nectar out of honeysuckle. Hopefully, he can still ID poison oak. The spit bug nymph we found kind of blew his mind and I thought I would have to pull the bug out of its spit sac to prove it to him, but I think he finally bought it.
  • Old timers would tell you it was snake spit when you found a spit bug nymph (actually froghopper) sac.
  • Yeah, that's the kind of stuff you pick up around me.
  • The above comes from an obviously old draft.
  • "Hey man, hows life? remember that time we sat on the porch of that old log cabin in Jacksboro and sang that Randy Travis song He Walked On Water?"- the last EMail I sent (07/18/2013).

T.N.T. Fest in Jacksboro- an after action report

Uncle Poodle second from left in the rear

Hazel- Poodle's first (that I know of) wife.

Uncle Poodle on the left

I like the bluntness of that description also the fact they weren't removed from Salt Creek after the battle- they were removed from a person who after the battle went on to live their life, although with a cool limp.

Friend-girls foot. People never believe me when I say she is a dirty girl. Well, here is the proof.

I like this picture: an old cav. soldier casting a shadow on an old cavalry post. Anyway, we are all shadows- here today and gone tomorrow.

  • This day started good and ended great. I cannot recall the last time I enjoyed a day like today. It was literally a gift from the time I opened my eyes 'til I opened the laptop just now.
  • For some reason I can't caption videos on here this time.
  • We stopped at the museum in Jacksboro on the way to the lake. When the lady running it couldn't direct me from there to the lake she of course called another town lady to ask. I said, Ask her if she knew Poodle Gatlin (my uncle) She handed me the phone and the lady named appropriately enough Lenora said, You bet I did- he was married to Hazel. She just had her 100th birthday. How did you know him? He was my uncle I replied. Well I'll be. Isn't that somethin'? I'll be right there. I just live half a block away. She told me a bit of his history as related to the area and then said, You know, he drove a big, old truck that was loud. It just roared! My brother was playing in the yard once with his toy truck and making an unbelievable racket. He would growl- raaaaaah and I asked him, What are doing playing like that? and he said, I'm playing Poodle Gatlin!
  • I still have the gear shift knob from that truck. It is made of a type of porcelain and is peppermint striped. It was the first truck I ever drove. I might have been 9. I would dump the clutch and the truck would lurch and jump and buck and die. I would reach down and toe the starter switch without pushing the clutch in and it would roar and buck start running away... Uncle Poodle laughed so hard he was literally breathless and in tears. Auntie fussed at him, Aw, now- we weren't hurtin' nothin' nor nobody! was his reply.
  • Jacksboro is one of my adopted ancestral homelands.I would love to interact with uncle Poodle as an adult but I'm afraid our antics would probably result in jail time. He is one of the few people that when he crosses my mind I still get a twinge of a heartache and don't mind saying I miss. He loved me and indulged us kids like few people would. I can still remember the way his face lit up when we walked in the door and his treatment of us affects the way I treat kids today- let 'em have some fun, take some risks and give them nice/fun stuff when you can and always lots of memories.
  • Friend-girl's friend's kid won the cutest kid contest.
  • We met a heckuva nice guy at the powerboat demo. Part of his story was having to sell everything after his divorce and then the convoluted trail some of those things took to get back to him. As he spoke he looked over at the boat like he wanted to jump it and make sweet-sweet love to it.
  • Finally tried one of those Kona Ice drinks- not terrible, not great. It cooled us off though and refills were less than half price. When we got our drinks the lady said, You have your choice of a lei or an American flag. I planted my American flag in front of us everywhere we stopped.
  • What a pretty lake. As inland water goes it is about as clear as you would want. There are fish and snakes and bugs everywhere.
  • To cool off we jumped in Magic Bullet and toured the 2 state parks. They are both great but Fort Richardson- the old cav post will give you chills- or if it doesn't there is something wrong with you and you can't be my special friend anymore. All those young men so far from home- over 100 years separate us but I'd bet I would fit right in. We watched the sun set there. The morgue building is still intact behind the hospital. We watched ant lions work and build their traps in the fine dust under it.
  • We parked well away from the main parking area directly across from where my sources in the fireworks underworld said the fireworks would be fired. We walked in toward the lake and I stopped and said, This is the place. Oh Kevin, I can't do that. I might fall and there will be mosquitoes. You'll be OK just watch out for that 9 banded water snake I saw going under that rock. I  replied. Oh Kevin. We walked through the cattails across a downed tree and sat on rocks in the water- we were closer to the 'works than anybody there- even people watching from their boats. 
  • The fireworks were great- the best I've seen in years. Before they fired them we saw the giant crane with the American flag suspended from it jutting out over the lake.
  • After the show we dug out the Flashflight flying disc with the led lighting and fiber optics radiating outward and played waiting for the traffic to thin out. It was just me and her and a  red glowing Frisbee in the middle of that field in Jack County without a care in the world.
  • When we got home I washed the filth from my body and fell asleep on the couch and slept like a baby.
  • It was a perfect day. 

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Raising Zachary

Ummmm- this is overpowering! What he said about the pizza I made for lunch today.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Friday's Dispatch

  • This morning driving through the intersection where I got smashed in Littlecar my heart dropped and I felt vaguely anxious.
  • According to the Trivia Page on our table at Denny's this morning I and you are the two most widely used words in America and the chimp who along with Ronald Reagan starred in Bedtime For Bonzo died in a trailer fire.
  • A friend is doing disaster relief nursing for the hurricane bearing down on the Gulf. She is making an obscene amount of money in an exaggerated response fueled by every politicians desire to insure they are never implicated in a disaster response that could ever be compared to Katrina.
  • My rental is an HHR. A terrible car- the fit and finish are unbelievably shoddy and there is a crazy amount of body roll for such a low slung looking car. My CRV had 120,000 miles and was a much more comfortable and better drive.
  • I keep telling myself I'm going to get a free breakfast at Denny's on my birthday, but I always forget.
  • Some day people will look back at us in absolute bewilderment that we killed so many of our citizens by state execution and that marijuana offenders were jailed for years.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

How To Become Hero 101

We'd like to think that if a life-or-death situation landed at our feet, some magic adrenaline monster inside us would step forward to save the day. Like we'd turn into the Hulk, but without the greenness, anger, or shredded denim. The reality, of course, is that the vast, vast majority of people stand around and stare, muttering something about waiting for help to come along.
So let's once again stop and salute the nobodies who stepped up in the face of disaster when no one else would.

#6. A Homeless Drifter Saves the Life of a Newborn Baby at a Truck Stop

Marc Debnam/Digital Vision/Getty Images
The "Nobody"
Gary Wilson: mysterious drifter bound for Memphis. Truck stop vagrant or angel? You be the judge after you hear what he did.
The Heroism
Despite having two mannish names, Keaton Mason was a woman, and more pertinent to this story, a pregnant woman in labor. She was on her way to the hospital with her fiance when the baby decided a truck stop was just as good as a hospital to get born in (babies are pretty stupid). This particular baby came out in the usual way -- via stork exiting the vagina carrying a baby -- but she wasn't breathing, because theumbilical cord was wrapped around her neck. That's bad news anywhere, but at a truck stop, it's kind of the worst.
Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images
If they'd just kept going to the next stop ...
Despite having just given birth to a new person, Mason had the strength and good sense to scream for help while her husband-to-be dialed 911. Surely among the worldly drivers and good time girls standing idly by there would be someone who knew what to do -- and there was. A long-haired, bearded man holding a sign that said "Memphis" came forward. The sign wasn't just a trendy suggestion for the new baby's name, it was Gary Wilson's hopeful destination.
"Coincidentally, I was going there for baby back ribs."
While everyone else was freaking the hell out, Wilson freed the cord from the girl's neck and began to rub her back. The first one seemed intuitive, but how did he know to rub her back to get her breathing? Magic? Was he Jesus? Eventually, Gary "Jesus" Wilson took over the 911 call and talked to the dispatcher directly, receiving directions on how to cut and tie off the umbilical cord and get the baby's college fund all set up. For his trouble, the truck stop gave Wilson a meal and a place to sleep. But he was gone by the next morning, taken back up to heaven. Or in the back of a pickup to Memphis, whatever.
Like Michael Landon, but with more hobo stink.

Read more:

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Wednesday's Digressions

  • Coal Chamber- Shock The Monkey.
  • Iran has been squawking and whining about Israeli jets being based in Iraq and invading their airspace. Whatever they're up to- it's no good.
  • The Iranians I mean. There is not even a chance Israeli jets are in Iraq.
  • Not a chance.
  • The world had better decide what they are going to do with Middle Easterners when the Middle East runs out of oil and/or water.
  • Something I noted during coverage of the various uprisings in the Arab world: none of the forces I saw facing protesters had any visible means of less than lethal engagement. They were also always terribly disorganized and sometimes soldiers were even alone.
  • Disorganized, alone and nervous- a recipe for guaranteed disaster.
  • The above is from an old draft- I'm sure the Middle East is all sorted out by the time this publishes.
  • 07/13/2013 at 1939 and I'm watching Hunt For Red October. Verdict: Some corn but all in all it has aged very well.
    Toady frog says, Whats up? although it comes out, Croooak!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Blues Legend T Model

Ford dead at well, no one is sure what age. He would claim to be 93 and various sources put him between there and 83. He started playing at about age 58 when his fifth wife gave him a guitar as a parting gift when she was leaving him.  Here he sings one of my favorites- Nobody Gets Me Down.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Monday's Missives

  • My new swim trunks are OP brand. I remember when that brand was hot. Today, it is all over Wal Mart. That is cool since like a lot of big brands that sell out (or whatever you want to call it) their prices go down and quality will stay good. They're very light and comfortable. I may wear them around the house.
  • Calling swim trunks bathing suits seems very archaic and obviously the result of habit.
  • When FG's stupid cat was a kitten it was very sick. To keep it engaged I would pick it up and encourage it to bat the pull string for the ceiling fan around. Today if I pick up the fully grown, healthy version of that cat and put him on my shoulder he starts looking around over our heads for a string to play with.
  • My kids were acting so badly today we cancelled an outing to a cowboy poetry gathering. I could not inflict them on anybody else and couldn't expend another calorie of energy fighting/correcting/cajoling/begging or threatening them. I literally gave up.
  • It is hot in the house but the thermostat is all the way over there.
  • I'm back. It is already cooler so worth it I guess.
  • Recent headlines: "Collins marches in gay pride parade" and "World reacts to Tebow news". I don't know what they're talking about (other than some vagaries gleaned by osmosis), could not care any less, do not know why anybody would care and think a lot of energy is wasted caring.
  • A pretty song- Soul II Soul Back To Life. I had really forgotten how good a song it is.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Wednesday's Digressions

FG's dumb cats first wildlife encounter.

A non English speaking patient passed me this note a day after a nurse from another clinic saw me taking a break  and said, Oh, you guys live the life of Riley over here! Rest assured, the other nurses called me Dr. Riley for days afterward.

2.50 at First Monday= a good investment.

This guy was comical. Don't worry I totally did not leave him there for FG to find nor did I put him in her shoe later.

I'm working on an idea where with an undecided, defined number of lines and a strong leading edge to whatever it is I want to represent I'll be able to quickly make an abstract line drawing of anything- especially wildlife that I encounter. Trust me- it will revolutionize doodling for thousands of years. I've also done frogs and owls to rave reviews.
Here is the first snake I did. It looks like a sperm cell getting shot in the head by a crossbow bolt. Fail.

Not only was the last campsite we occupied filthy, there was change everywhere. There was at least a few dollars lying around. Edit: the Spanish language trash all over another site we occupied informed me- the change is from a pinata.

  • Stupid In America a John Stossel special. Very interesting- though at 40 mins may want to bookmark for later consumption.
  • An old patient was a cavalry officer was issued a horse when he first enlisted in the US Army. The first night I cared for him he called me to the bedside and when I got there said, I was just testing- to make sure you could hear me. Now feel free to conduct your duties as you see fit and help yourself to whatever you need in the house. I will be asleep in 15 minutes, until then come back and ask any questions. If it's an emergency do not hesitate to wake me at anytime. He was 96 years old.
  • Although I was never issued a horse and were separated by nearly 70 years he and I were in the exact same unit.
  • Regarding the maintenance of our vehicles and equipment we still said the same thing he did back then: First the horse, then the saddle, then the man.
  • On this day in history- as I write this anyway: The Sistine Chapel ceiling painting opens to the public November 1, 1512.
  • A headline that was the only thing I have ever seen or heard that could make me less interested in seeing a soccer match featuring players whose ages are north of six: "Mob beheads referee for killing player" Good grief.
  • Because we repealed ‘don’t ask, don’t tell,’ our military … is stronger and our country is safer, more equal and more just, said Valerie Jarrett, the keynote speaker at the Pentagon’s gay pride celebration."
  • Uh, news flash- nobody cares. And anyway, more equal- more just OK, yeah- I get that. Our country is safer? That is odd.
  • The movie Ronin has the best car chase scenes ever in the history of car chases and some great shootouts as well. Watch the full movie here. on HULU.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Here, Have

Monday's Missives

  • Went to the roday-o last night (06/14/2013). A good time was had by all. We dropped Zac into the arena for the goat scramble where he promptly disappeared. I mean gone- alien abduction, disappeared gone. My intention was to keep a laser eye on him and ignore the other 200 crumb crunchers then scoop him out when they were finished terrorizing the goats. Yeah, that lasted about 5 seconds. The first cop we came to was typically unhelpful since he couldn't take our money with a ticket- yet. We ran down to the announcers booth but the old wino goob there in the yellow usher company shirt would't let us in. Finally, they called out Zac's name over the PA and a clown carried him across the arena while the announcer pointed us out to the crowd and they played Vangelis's Chariots Of Fire on the sound system and the clown ran in slo mo with Zac in his arms.
  • It was hilarious. Really- even though it was at my expense- it was a pretty good bit. Zac crossed his arms when I picked him up and said, Aaaargh. This is embarrassing! Don't sweat it little brother- life will bring you much worse. Put your arms down and hold your head high and lets walk through here like we own the place. was my advice.
  • Another funny: a lady said to us when we picked him up, Oh well, better luck next time!
  • I feel loved for the first time in my life. I'm not going to throw it away but, yeah- it is disconcerting.
  • I kind of jumped out my nursing buddy at work today (06/13/2013) after being frustrated secondary to not being understood on something I was trying to explain to her when she called me on something. It is a sure thing I was also being defensive as I was slightly in the wrong. I felt horrible afterwards. It was compounded by the the fact there were nurses not on the in present to hear my outburst.
  • Also today; I saw a woman get mad at somebody in front of her in traffic. She floored her ridiculous looking little car and tailgated the person for a mile or more while she shook her first and raged.
  • It is a miracle more people aren't killed in road rage incidents.
  • Tailgated is not flagged by my spell check. That is sad.
  • A wise employer would run his business more/less along the lines of a military unit and strive for an employment rate of at least 40% military vets. He would pay a good average to a little a more than the average salary but have great benefits, specifically emphasizing retirement. There would be a mission statement, goals, training programs and an emphasis on health and fitness. There would be an occasional (and deserving) dirt bag drummed out to remind everybody it could happen. Said employer would never get sued, have the lowest operating costs in the business and the place would basically run itself.
  • PS to any that might say, But what about some guy with PTSD shooting up the place!? You are retarded and need to assess your world view as you believe all kinds of odd things the TV and internets want you to believe.  

  • This plant intrigues me

    Ancient bat roost in Natural Bridge Cavern. It is over 5000 years old.

    Lantana- one of my favorite flowers.

    The official Texas thistle (not this particular one dum-dum- the species: cirsium texanum)
  • Sisters Of Mercy cover Knocking On Heavens Door.