Saturday, June 23, 2012

Saturday plus other memories

Today the wife heads for Lubbock for a week to (she says) babysit two of our g'girls while the other one goes to a church camp.  She and Christine are going while I stay behind with the dogs.

I have a dance job (+ rehearsals) coming up.  I feel obligated to stay here and do the band thing.   I do enjoy the band thing.

The dance is a Senior Prom.   No, not for H.S. seniors.  It is for the elderly types - "seniors" prom.   The Corsicana Swing Orchestra fits right into that group.  I did have a thought though.  Swing was popular in the 40s....that would be people in their 80s.   My group of swingers    -  in our 70s  -   grew up with the beginnings of rock and roll, Elvis, that bunch.  I wonder if they shouldn't be having a rockabilly 50s band to play for this prom.

Y'know, in my home town of Levelland, my class didn't really have a senior prom.   It was not like it is today.  Dancing was considered such a sin by many of the Levelland powers - make that POWERS - that dancing was not allowed for kids too much in public.    Now in the spring of 57, there was a dance down in the big room of the new hotel.   The group I played with in high school - doc, jimmy, and a few others, played for that dance.   We played a while then another group, a guitar type group, played a while.  We shared.  The guitar group was known as the Sparkles - and I still see their name in and around Lubbock playing for things even now.  I don't know if it is the same group, but the name is the same.  I want to say Jimmy blakely was their boss.  I forget.

I remember our group (cutely called The Saints - semi dixieland music & so forth)  had this little riff we would play - then take solos, making up whatever possessed us.  We played that fairly on in the job.  A bit later, kids started coming up to us and requesting we play Tequila again.  We had no idea what Tequila was. We figured it out.  Yep, we figured it out.  Our riff was the Tequila rhythm.  I bet we played that thing 5 times during the night.  The Sparkles had nothing like it in the book.  We were so groovy.

Reminds me of another Levelland job about that same time.  We were booked to play a dance - it seems to me out at the rodeo arena or inside a bldg at the arena.  Jim, Doc, & Me - may have Bob (guitar) or that "funny" kid playing the piano - and a strange man that I had never met who played a guitar.   I think he was suppose to be our 'steady' factor to keep us going in the right direction.

Doc McKay was our drummer, good friend of brother Jim.  His parents had influence in and around town.  They booked us for more than one job.   Well we had our songs - I had my fake book and could play any song that came around.  But this man - let's call him Billy Bob - tall, lanky, tough skin, rough,  played guitar in the key of E.   I had never faced the key of E with such regularity.   (little band stuff here - on trumpet, that would be the key of F # - and unbearable number of sharps).  We survived the night even though it must have  lacked  some professional-lity - maybe for Levelland, it was quite good.  Nobody yelled.

I have one lasting memory of that night.  The guy said, "Do y'all know The Shriek of Arabie"?   (is that spelled Arabie or Araby or Aire-uh-beeee ?).  We had never heard of that song.  Doc could play it, drummer and all.   Our other guitar player (bob) could - after all it was in E.   Before the night, I had learned that song - played it over and over and over.  I know the Shiek - just noticed I spelled it Shriek up above - Or  is it Sheik?   My speel chek dudn't lake it any durection I goe.   Looked it up on spell check - it prefers Shrek - modern spell check I suppose.

Nuff of the above.  I enjoyed the night.  We got paid something.  The crowd danced.  No eggs were thrown.  Never saw that long legged lanky stranger and his lonely guitar again.  Quite a guy.  Doc's parents started looking for another gig for us.  

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Memo App musings

This is one of those post taken from my memo app on my phone.  I go places or see something & write it on the memo section.  Many times I don't remember what the cryptic note is telling me.  You'll see - mostly just little quips about very little.
             Last week we had to make a trip to Waxahachie.  We didn't "have" to.  We chose to go to Waxa - my son Roger calls it Wax-A- hachet (probably some sort of rebellion at his age).  I took the Marauder in locally to get it inspected and the oil changed.  I should have checked before I went.  The front tires had wire sticking out on the inside - both tires.  Not good.   Need new tires.  Guy would not issue sticker.
             In one of my more brilliant wastes of cash, 3 years ago I signed up for a front end alignment at National Tire and Battery in Waxahachie.  They had a deal:  3 years of alignments for $139.99 or some such worthless number.  I signed up.  Car needed to be aligned & it all seemed to equal out.  Since that date, I used the "free" alignment once.  So that would be 2 times total.  In March I noticed a bit of wear on the front tires, not bad, just wear.  Was in Waxa and had the things worked on.  That was #3.
             The deal was set to expire on June 22nd of this year.  Back to the inspection.  If the tires were worn - needed new tires - just chose to go up there to get tires and have one final alignment.  Now you see why I needed to go to Waxahachet?   (That took too long to explain.)   I might mention that Waxa has a quilt store that my wife loves.   Did tires - quilt store - alignment - time to eat lunch - which brings me BACK to the phone memo app.
             One of our places to go eat is Ryans.  it is a buffet - you might say a Golden Corral look alike.   Now the wife prefers our Sirloin Stockade because they have meatloaf or Golden Corral because they have the chocolate fountain - have you read my previous post about rolls from Ryans?   We walked into Ryans at 12:55 to eat.   There was a line and it was a week day.  What?   We figured it out.  These were all there to eat together and were waiting for others to arrive - a sort of festival of old folks waiting and eating together in bliss.
             A lady in front of us said, "She says her register won't work it until it is exactly 1  o'clock and that is still another 2 minutes."  "My watch," she continued, " already has one on it."   The register girl looked up sympathetically.   What?  They have a cash register that won't work till 1?  That makes no sense at all.  Much befuddlement later we understand.  
             These are all seniors - they don't know each other at all - they are all waiting till one exactly to go through the line - why?  -  because at Ryans, seniors get free tea between 1 and 3.   So, we backed off and waited too.  Free Tea is NOT to be sneezed at  lightly.    We made it through at 1:05, ate, got the extra roll, and moved out.
           Speaking of Natl. Tire and Battery.  My Marauder takes special tires.  The front tires are a different size than the back ones. . . back are wider for better racing.  These tires, naturally are more expensive.  The man tried to direct me to a cheaper tire:  Sumitomo tires.  The also have Yokohama tires.  Hmmm.  I asked about the sumitomo - turns out they are house brand.  I went something like "uh huh"  and he immediately went off on how they had had some problems in the past but are just fine now.  That certainly gave me confidence.   Chose the BF Goodrich overpriced tire instead.
           next memo:   Cedar. Crest.    I don't have the slightest idea what that means.
             Was out and about - might have been the same above trip.   I saw some young kids with a mama type and a papa type doing stuff.  They all had on a brown and yellow T-shirt - I thought "baseball team."   The mama turned and I read the name of the team.                 The Tators            Yep, the tators.  I could play on that team.
           Think I mentioned this to someone - remember the solar eclipse last month?  I did hear a female radio announcer - news type - who made a remark about "the solar eclispe tonight."   Should go without comment.
                 Last one for this post:   My son Roger lives in Lubbock on a street with a clu-de-sac.  Every Christmas he and a few of his neighbors light their houses - they have that computer program which makes the lights turn on and off with the music.   As the music gets louder, the bulbs can get brighter.  It is quite a show.  Cars line the street for 2 to 3 weeks to see the lights.
                 I may have mentioned that my daughter Laura has been through all the process to become a minister in the Methodist Church.  She has been appointed as the preacher for the First United Methodist Church in Cisco, TX.  Her first sermon was on Father's Day.   She and her husband Tom are so excited - every time they call they have to go on and on about how great Cisco is - the people are great - the town is excellent - 
               I had this thought that Laura should did deep into her pocket - light the church or surrounding area and do the Christmas light thing that Roger has.  He could program her computer.  This would be the talk of Cisco.   Now Rog does some secular Christmas music - "Grandma got run over by a reindeer" as an example.  This probably would be wrong for a church.   It was a thought I had.  I put it in the memo app.   Now it will be  erased.  All done.
              see ya guys soon.
mtz  or  m3   or  mm  or  dumbhead - take your choice.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Rolls & Loafs

Once in a while we make it to Waxahachie (Roger calls it Wax-A-Hachet) for different reasons. Waxa has better shopping than Corsicana and a Quilt store. Depending upon the day and time we will eat at Ryans (A Golden Corral lookalike).
Every buffet has its own little bits / traditions. If you don't stop the waitress at Ryans, she will drop fresh rolls on your table. Sometimes I tell her "no rolls" and she brings them anyway. They have nice yummy rolls. I feel guilty about leaving good rolls on the table, so I will wrap them up in napkins and stuff them in the wife's purse. The plan: she can have a roll tomorrow.
Back up to last year. We brought a roll home in her purse. By the time we got home we didn't remember the roll. Fast forward to the next morning. My wife wakes and rolls (cute word) out of bed. There at her feet are shredded napkins and an opened purse. The only dog we can blame was Liesl. She had found the roll during the long night and feasted. They are yummy, remember?
A few months later - ate at Ryans - lady brought rolls - took one home - wife & I forgot about it - in the middle of the night - the purse was hit again - once again it just HAD to be Liesl. That girl can open a zipper in the dark. Smart Dog.
Sunday was Father's Day. 20 some miles south of here is the town of Fairfield. There is a restaurant on I-45 names SAMS. They run a buffet and have great BBQ, ham, beef, & chicken. Sam's also has a menu - don't use it...buffet works just fine.
Sam's has a bit where the waitress brings you a wooden board with a small loaf of bread for the table. They use to give you a choice bread or corn bread. The last two times, we had no choice. It is a little loaf of bread that really has a great flavor.
We ate and had a half loaf of the bread left....can you tell where I am going with this? Wrapped that bread up, put in her purse, zipped up, and came on home. Yes, my wife walked into our house, forgot the bread was in the purse, put the purse on the floor beside the bed, and went about her biz.
It is my wife's bedtime. She just came in here and got me. On the floor, beside the bed, a torn-to-shreds napkin, an unzipped purse, and no half a loaf of bread. Once again, I can account for the boy dogs all day and Greta slept the day through in the sewing room. It can only be Liesl. I might add she did not finish her supper tonight.
When asked if she did this....Liesl got real close to the ground, turned he back on us and her little tail started moving really fast. She crawled that-a-way.
The saga continues.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Now this is interesting. I do believe some of you will want to visit this website. I could be wrong. I had reason to go the TX parks & wildlife website for a boat registration. Started exploring. Found an area called Alligator. Looked.
This is a brochure. At the top are regulations for hunting - both individually and commercial. Other things like what you can do in certain counties - weapons - etc.
Way down the page is more and more. I didn't think the page would ever end. I was about ready to move on - I bore easily - when I hit an area showing and explaining how to skin an Alligator. It was a few pages long. In the process it is explained how to catch them - pull to shore or to boat - and hit them in the head with a club or axe. I was thinking - machine gun. But, no, there are rules against machine guns.
Then came names of hunting guides, tanning companies, etc. Provided to you for your edification
Next I came upon recipes for Alligator
next came pages of alligator facts.
finally a list of "dont's" like any of us need to have a list:
DON’T feed alligators.
DON’T get too close to them.
DON’T swim or wade where they are.
DON’T let your pets near them.
DON’T agitate or tease them.
DON’T try to catch one.
DON’T approach an alligator’s nest.
DO observe from a safe distance.
DO discourage others from feeding them.
DO treat them with respect as an important element of nature.
DO get additional information about alligators from your local Texas Parks and
Wildlife Department office, or contact the Alligator Program directly at
10 Parks and Wildlife Dr., Port Arthur, Texas 77640, or

Monday, June 11, 2012

Vampire Suit

from the Corsicana Daily article titled:  Texas inmate loses civil rights 'vampire' suit.   I hope it is legal for me to copy this article here.   It is an  AP story out of Houston.

A federal appeals court has rejected as frivolous a civil rights lawsuit from a Texas prisoner who argued he was being barred from practicing religious beliefs related to vampires.

Inmate Courtney Royal two years ago sued about a dozen Texas prison administrators and officials at the Hughes Unit where he's serving a life sentence for numerous offenses, including aggravated assault, robbery and escape.

Royal's nine-page single-space typewritten lawsuit, rejected Thursday by the New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said he wanted to practice "West African spiritualism and 18th Century Catholicism" marked by prayer to Africanas reincarnated by blood.  He argued it was no different from "unproven" Christian beliefs.

In the filing, Royal described himself as "Vampsh Black Sheep League of Doom."

Now, aren't you glad you had your own parents?

tomato & peaches

Today - Sunday - daughter Laura and hubby Tom came through on their way home from visiting his father in Michigan.  It is the first they have returned to Michigan since Tom lost his mother.  I think it is great for them to be able to make that 17+ hour drive north.   They left this morning to go back to Round Rock.

The twins (as I affectionately call them behind their backs) are moving this week to Cisco where Laura begins her new life as the pastor for the Cisco First United Methodist Church.  She (they) are so excited about this new adventure.  She gives her first sermon on Father's Day.  Good Luck to them.

So after they left, we decided that we needed to do something this afternoon other than read the paper and stare at TV - while both of those items are quite worthy of my Sunday afternoon.  Lunch first - then, off in the Marauder to drive around the lake.  We do this once in a while to look at houses on the lake, their boat docks, dogs, For Sale signs (and how much things are costing now) and generally just to be nosy about our neighboring housing developments.

We drove down I-45 and took the road through Streetman towards the lake - frankly, we took a couple other roads first till we figured it all out.   FM  146.   As always we saw some massive houses and some smaller.  One development (forget the name) was just flat trashy with trailer houses, little shacks, no lawns mowed, junk piled everywhere....then on the water, a half dozen really nice houses. Those unkempt places must surely affect prices.

We stop and pick up the for sale signs if we can do it quietly.  One place had been reduced to $499,000  from 600K.   A shack of course.   I told the wife we could sell our place and use the money as a little down payment.   We both agreed to stay where we are.   Another gorgeous joint had a fenced 6 acre lot in the back.  Their advertisement said it was like new:  no shoes, pets, etc.   The wife figures they have white carpet too.

There was a ranch on the south side that went for several miles called:  The Holy Ground Ranch.  It had for sale signs.   Must be history behind that name.

As we neared our place, there is a farm about 2 miles down the road.  They have peaches, black berries, peppers, and other veggies.  We stop once in a while.  I think they are a little more expensive than H.E.B. though.   They have a cute name for the place and so much grub (think it is  "Happy Ours" ).   An older couple own the place with helpers.  I don't think they are organized.  

Today the old man was alone in the little area full of stuff.  He looked like he had been working and sweating for the entire day, really grubby, unshaven, the works.  You have to like a guy like that.  He is friendly to everyone.   But today he was unhappy.  He was not suppose to be working - his relatives had not bothered to show up to help him.  Let me explain.

His wife, equally elderly, has been in intensive care for 4 months.  Think about that and the cost associated.  It is mind boggling.   He didn't care if the crops sold or rotted.  He was worried about his wife.  I wish I knew his name.  Let's call him Leroy.  Leroy waved his hand over the stuff and said he didn't care, this would all grow again next year - while his wife might not.   I think the guy is depressed.

The fruit stand had stacks and shelves full of containers of tomatoes - more than you would care to count.  He said there were several times more just hanging on the plants out there.  He had baskets of peaches,  containers of peppers and bell peppers.  The tomatoes were cherry or biggie ones.   It is obvious to me that somebody needs to take over and find a way to sell his crops.  He is not able to do it.   As we talked, I told him about my pomegranate bushes and how easy they are to grow.  

He had some extra blackberry bushes.  I asked if he'd sell me one.  Instead he took me over behind a tractor and gave me some bushes that were ugly looking.  He said water and plant.  They'll come back.  So I took 3 plants and will put them out tomorrow.  I love blackberries.  You have to admit that he was nice to do that.

We parted friends - he with my $10 bill;  I with 2 sacks of peaches, 1 sack of banana peppers, 1 sack of cherry tomatoes, and 1 sack of big ole honkin' bright red maters.  Maybe tomorrow will be a better day for him.   That's it.  Y'all take care, and don't forget, live today as if tomorrow .... well you make up your own ending.
luv ya,
Mike Mtz