Sunday, March 31, 2013


Because I choose to sing in the FUMC choir, this is a busy week.   We performed (sung) at church last Sunday - as expected.  Wednesday night rehearsal - long rehearsal with hired brass players from Dallas.  5 of them.   2 trumpets, 2 trombones, and a French horn.   I understand that two of them are working on doctorates in music, another teaches private lessons and makes a living, and the 5th is a regular ole music student.  They really have an understanding of their skill.

Thursday night service - Maundy Thursday.   A short but sweet service with communion.
Good Friday night service - not much to say other than we had a great deal of symbolism in the service.
No Performance on Saturday but daughter Christine drove up from Round Rock to spend the weekend.  That is a bit time consuming.
Sunday was a marathon.  Had to be at choir practice by 7:45 a.m. - 1st service at 8:30 - re-rehearse with the visiting brass at 9:30 - 2nd service hit at 10:50.   There was a lot of singing, not just today but all week.  And RESPONSIVE READINGS?  Don't get me started.  I don't think I have recited responsively this much since I took the wedding vows 50 plus years ago.    A lot of talking was going on.  Our preacher Bayard Pratt did a quite commendable sermon for both services.  

After church service the spouse and Christine decided it was a trip to Sirloin Stockade for lunch -- Sir Stk is a Golden Corral or Ryans - depends where you live.  The menu is pretty much the same every day of the week - after about 5 years of eating there, it is not too exciting.  What can you do with beef, fried chicken, baked ham or turkey, so forth.  I had a couple of sirloin steaks which were fine.

During lunch the two females announced we should go to the Dallas Arboretum today.  We did.  That is such a nice place to visit.   When we were there the last time, we joined, so today's visit was free - less gasoline and refreshments.  That ends the week pretty much.

Tomorrow morning my wife and daughter to the monthly Corsicana Quilt Guild meeting.  I willl stay at home and baby sit the dogs  - our 5 and her 3.   It should be a fun morning.

If you read this think there would be a trace of humor, you were wrong.  Next time per chance. I did leave out the part where I couldn't find my phone for a long time.  Finally found it on the dash of my car.   Didja ever have one of those tiring weeks? meanwhile - this coming week will be less taxing unless you consider I am taking my income tax stuff into a  CPA on Tuesday.  That will be taxing.
Y'all take care.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

driver's license and road repair

I live in this sub division on the lake.  When the original guy built the sub div he put in no roads - that is good roads.  I understand there were just dirt roads.  Eventually homeowners pitched in and helped the guy build paved roads.  Well this was all well and good except  he put little to no base under the road and forgot to actually use an appropriate amount of asphalt on top of the forgotten base.   Now, I understand what I just wrote.

No base (little to none)
insufficient asphalt  (not thick enough)
equals roads that die over a short period of time.

Downtown Corsicana is rebuilding Hwy 31 with the help of the State.   They put down the rock base, crushed and packed - some lime - a layer of asphalt - probably 6 inches or so  - and finally what looks like 8 to 10 inches of concrete,   That road is sturdy.

Our roads are not.  Road assessments again and again.  One mile of new road was put in 2 years ago by the homeowners - mostly doing all the work except laying the hot asphalt.  No government program here.  Now we are doing another section of road.  The rock base is down - Wednesday comes the asphalt.   There will not be concrete on top.  Bunch of old guys and a few knowledgeable middle age guys - putting in roads.  My shovel is ready.
Today, I was talking to one of the midd-guys about his kid who has just turned 16 and will be taking his driving test next week.....    that is the headline that reminded me of my youth.   Youthful stone to follow.
 My father worked for Amoco for many years - BP bought Amoco - Amoco put me through college, not directly, but because my father worked for them.   An aside:  my wife's father worked for them too.

When I was in the 6th grade, we moved to Levelland where my father was named "Head Roustabout" for the Levelland Gasoline Plant.  His title changed often over the year - Field Foreman, etc.  Because of his position, we lived in the Plant Camp.   5 houses set in a semi circle were lined up near the gasoline plant.  The Plant Manager, Asst, asst to the asst...I am sure they had real titles, and we were in the camp.   5 houses, we were in #4.  These were nice 3 bedroom homes with massive yards opening up into the wilderness around the plant.

There were several oil coated dirt roads crisscrossing the prairie which was about 5 miles or so square. Sometime in the 7th grade, Dad bought two small cars - 4 cylinders stamp sized cars.  One was a British ford, 2 door, green if I remember correctly.  I had a floor shift and must have been war surplus.  The other was a Crosley pickup.   At one time or another, we had Crosley station wagons too.  But this pickup - blue - and the English Ford were available for my brother Jim and I to drive around the oil lease.  And we did.

Daily we would go out to drive - one of us in the Crosley and the other in the pickup.  We tore up and down those back roads.  It was a wonder we weren't killed.  Levelland, being flat, allowed us to see the entire lease and dodge any workers.  Up and down, Around and around,  left then right,  all around - I suppose my father put gas in the 4 burners cause we never did.   I was about 12 and Jim was 13.   Nowadays kids have video games, we drove our video games.

I have been racking my brain to remember the name of our dog - mutt - he would run after us all the time.I don't think that dog ever got tired chasing these two cars.  Over time he did develop a bit where he would rest one leg and run only on 3 - then, switch legs.  Good dog.  I wonder why one of us never picked him up and let him ride in a car.

Nuff of that.  In those years in Texas, we got our regular driver's license at age 14.   We took our driving tests in those little cars - there was some muttering about making us drive real cars.   Parallel parking was a breeze in those little things.  I bet they weren't 8 ft long or so.   I would love to own one now.

One last stone on this subject - it is merely for myself - not truly interesting.   When I got my license, I was a Freshman in the high school band.  The band sold what we called Gyp Books .... it was one of our major fund raisers.   These were those little books of coupons - buy one for $5 and get $25 of free services and stuff.   We, the band, would scatter out all over town on one Saturday and canvas the place till we sold out.  Different groups had different student drivers.

Jim and I had a crew - dump em off on the corner, pick em up at the next lonely lot.   It is amazing the little unimportant things you have come back to you.   On that selling day, the first day after I received my license, I drove the car and was so frustrated and nervous, I ran my first stop sign.  See, it is not that big a deal - but at the time, it was to a 14 yr old new driver.  I panicked.   Jim drove most of the rest of the day.

So as the sun slowly sinks in the west, we leave this old guy's memories to fade back into oblivion. Not much here for sure.
Oh, be sure to check that box on the right and sign up to have my pitiful writings delivered to your doorstep.
and a P.S.  there are 2 Crosley station wagons for sale on the loop around Athens, Texas.  They are just setting there in the cow pasture, rusting, waiting for someone to rescue them.  I wish I had the money and time to save them.  But as my father use to say, "You can't save every Crosley in this World."  Yep, that's what he use to say.
It is time to take the dogs to the Pit for relief.  Y'all take care now.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

experiment - plus nonsense

This is an experiment - not spiffy reading - an experiment.

On the right of this typing is a button which implies you will get a notice should I ever write another blug.
So I clicked it and signed up to receive notices  - via another name that I use when I don't want people to know who I am - not going to tell you either.  so there.

Then my wife went to the blug / blog and clicked on that button to sign up also.
So this entry is an experiment to see if we get a notice that brilliance has been typed herewithin...a word the spell checker doesn't like but will be used anyway.
you go sign up too, y'hear.
Not to leave you without a taste:
My wife is not here right now.  She has gone to town.  On certain Wednesdays a group of like-minded ladies gather at the Corsicana Senior Citizens bldg and knit.   They call it "Sit and Sew."   I call it  "sit & knit."   I have been trying to come up with a rhyming word for Squat -- so they can  Squat and ....
Squat and talk - won't work;   squat and pot  would work if the were doing gardening;   

All of the ladies / participants / squatters / are members of the Corsicana Quilt Guild. . .  I think they are known as the Piecemakers  (cute, huh?)     Much to my surprise, wife says the ladies do not sit and gossip about others.  I think that is marvelous and explains why she keeps going back, not being one who enjoys gossip.

Just this past week - see below - I made the journey to the Corsicana Senior Citizen's bldg and played as entertainment { the Corsicana Swing Orchestra }  for the festivities honoring the local Vietnam Vets.  They were a good group.  As we started to play, there were only 18 people there including the servers and cooks.  The numbers got better.  And the crowd got better as we started to play "The Stripper" and this guy got up dancing around and slowly removing his Vietnam vest.   We would have been in major trouble if he had started working on the suspenders.   

A couple weeks ago, we were eating at some simple Chinese Buffet joint - not class - a Buffet for goodness sakes.  This couple came in and "chose" a table.   She was wearing bright red tennis shoes.   Before long she flagged down the waiter guy.  Her request:  Turn down the music on the P.A. System.  It was Chinese music in a Chinese Buffet.
A one liner I heard on the radio last President's Day  E V E.   After a question, he replied that he was gonna spend President's Dayt  "at home in my rectangular office."   That's it - nothing to write momma about.
Was in JCPenneys store walking around as the spouse shopped.  I chanced upon a display of female jeans entitled   MODERN FIT.  I asked.  They have slim ankles.   Once again I failed the Modern Fit test.
My phone memo pad has the following entry:      D#
That's it,  D#.  Don't have the slightest clue.....
One final stone.   When you reach Medicare age, the govt. limits your paid visits to certain types of doctors. Since I developed the Diabetes thing, certain doctors are included in my care - eye doctors are one.  I keep track on a yearly calendar and make the visit to the Optomologist once a year.   (side note:  I wrote Optomologist and spell check things I should change it to Psephologist.  Guess so.)
I bought new glasses in 2009 after we moved here; the others were bent and falling off my face, nose piece broken, the works.  Found the Diabetes in late 2008 so the 2009 eye doc visit was just right.   He gave an eye prescription which I filled at Wal*Mart.   I buy real glass - progressive lenses - and photogray.   I discovered several years ago as I bent to family will and bought plastic lenses, plastic lenses are a life-style change.  You treat plastic lenses differently than glass.  Back to glass and am happy....

This year the doctor gave me another prescription and stated as he has the past 3 visits, there is not much of a change, get new glasses if you want.  I bit the bullet.   My old glasses were 4 years old - still worked but, it was time to become Modern again.   My new glasses are in and I am bumping into walls getting use to them.
Didja know, the type of lens that I have, these lenses must pass a test after grinding.  A steel ball is dropped on them from a set distance.  If they don't break, the lenses are shipped out.   If they break, well, they were just not meant to be.
have come up with some drama to write about on Friday.  I know you lie in wait.

Monday, March 25, 2013

minor stuff - corsicana swing orchestra

Just noticed that I have not written here for a month.  That should change.  
An acquaintance (friend) from years past has told me that he plans to post 3 times a week.  He feels that if it is regular 3X per then it will get a following of regular people.  And we all want to be regular.  So, so, so, I am going to try that.  Today is Monday.  Logically, I should post again on Wednesday.  [ I wrote that word out to prove that I could spell Wednesday....there are those who think I abbrev. because of speling skils. ]
So let's stay tuned and see how I do.
Right now I have come online to see if I can adjust all those words on top and side of this page.

Side note:  If you want to read a Blog with Drama and other stuff - go read the above friend's blog - it is full of emotion and drama.  By all means don't just read this week's edition - go back a full  year or more.   There is a book in this for an enterprising young writer.  Trust me you will return to his Blog and want to experience his next happening...or at least roll your eyes.
LOW    Life of Wilde.  Just don't give me any credit or notice regarding his work.  
I know nothing!  (Line loaned to me by Shultz)
I am a member of the CORSICANA SWING ORCHESTRA - It is enjoyable.  I get to play my horn and be around people who know what horns are.  Some (most)(all) are pretty good musicians.  It is fun to hear them play.  I figured out that I had not played an ad  lib  solo with a real band since back in the 70s when I moved to Oklahoma and quit playing regularly in the Panhandle.  While my brain thinks ad lib solos all the time, my abilities have diminished, and I don't feel 100% comfy taking off on a tangent.
Anyway, the CORSICANA SWING ORCHESTRA is technically based in Corsicana but the musicians are certainly not.  Even I live 10 miles out in the country.  Our business manager, Jerry Ballew lives over in Teague - several are from Fairfield - a couple from Robinson (that may be Robertson - never could keep it straingt) - we have a County Judge { he is an elected official - so would probably appreciate seeing his name in print --  H. M.  Davenport - good steady reliable, fun drummer }, school teachers, students, retirees, policeman (actually policewoman) - and so forth.  It is quite a mix, and we are still looking for a few more players.
We try to play for money.  Most times we do.  Nobody gets rich doing this.  Some gigs are played for free - for instance performing for one of the local retirement places.  I have often wondered why the City of Corsicana doesn't give us a yearly bit of money to represent them at certain events.  I think it would be good for the community and the band.  On the other paw, that would make us a bit responsible to the mighty City of Corsicana.
If you know anyone who wants a swing Big Band { y'know, sorta like Glenn Miller and those guys } give Jerry a call - he'll book us if we can all get free that day.   Try  903-390-1058.  Lemme know if that doesn't work.   We work cheap.

That is enough for today - must work on my taxes and drink my unsweet tea.