Monday, March 23, 2015

Monday the 23rd

Today was a great day.  It was.
I turned my tax info over to the lady who files my taxes.
If that is not a great day, what is?
Let's re-think that.  It is not the bit that I love to pay taxes.  It is grrrrreat because it is over.  All over.  Kaput!!  Until next year again.  Meanwhile, that part of my desk is cleared.  Let's dream up something else to do now.
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Fortune cookie:  (received this past Sunday)  "You will never need to worry about a steady income."   Since fortune cookies are always right, I wish I had had that one about 50 years ago.
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Thinking about student loans so many have ... I was so fortunate that my parents paid all of my college.  I had dance jobs that gave me a bit  of spending money - and helped to pay for my wife's engagement ring our final year (before our final semester).  A friend, Gerald Heath, worked every year at a grocery store.  Gerald's father was our barber in Levelland.  Another friend had a paper route - everyday - throwing papers.
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I do feel sorry for the kids that have all that debt (including my own).  i suppose I feel the most sorry for those with big debts and worthless degrees.  Knew a kid who got a degree in trumpet performance, and he was not as good as I was.  I betcha he had to go back to school eventually - or - maybe he found a job at Home Depot.  Sorta sad really.
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Oh no.  On TV there was just a commercial for me (or you) to meet beautiful girls from Asia.    There were beautiful young ladies of oriental backgrounds smiling into the camera - and I can meet these girls just by going to  asiadate.com    The Question:  Do you think anyone really goes to this website?  If you were an Asian girl, would you want to meet someone who was desperate enough to dial up this website?
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it seems to me that there is probably websites for:   russiandate.com    or  Eskimodate.com   or    Loweramazonriverdate.com     Perudate.com  Ugandadate.com
The list may be endless.  Keep in mind all of these girls are about 5 ft 10,  thin, and have beautiful smiles  (extra white teeth).
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I heard about a Senior citizen who started studying  karate - 
has worked up to a Gray Belt.
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how about a photo of my 4 dogs
L TO R   Oscar (ball at feet), Greta,  Bruno, & Liesl
My title for photo is   "Daddy's Home"
I don't know what Liesl is looking at - certainly not me

g'night all
m

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

ramble

I am sittin' here a thinkin' and a waitin' for Matlock to come on TV - He comes on every weekday evening at 10 pm - working my way through his complete series - during this hour time slot, it is the best thing on - for sure.
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Oh rats, I've seen this episode before  - One of the episodes with Ed Wingate, the FBI agent who is a little bit off.  Right now Ed is soaking in his bath tub with his sun glasses on ---  it is pretty cute episode though, might be worth a 2nd gander.  
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Tomorrow sometime I have my yearly eye doctor appt.  I know he is going to mess with me.  I have this problem that he never seems to get right.  My lenses are those progressive things - you can see up close and far away.  That is all well and good if you want to lift your head up high and look down through the bottom of the lens to see the computer screen.   Perhaps, I will explain that better.
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The lens is made so you can read a book with your head level.  Then you can look up through the middle of the lens and see the other side of the room.  It works.  When  I was band directing, I could see  my director's stand pretty well and still be able to see that jerk kid on the back row as he was setting fire to the band room.
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But the computer screen is not on my lap.  It is right straight ahead.   It is hard to see the puter this way - so, I look over the top of my glasses.  Can you say this is ideal? But the worstest (new word) thing is reading my music when I play my horn.  The music stand is at eye level.  I fight it every time I play with da band.
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Do I have any sympathy yet?
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Now let's discuss Income Tax time.  That's enough said.
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The wife & I went to the Dallas Arboretum on Monday - in between our days of rain.  As always, it is a beautiful place to go.  Perty Purty Place  (see below).   One of the best thing is that we always eat lunch at Dickey's BBQ down the block.   This is an interesting Dickey's. There are always policemen and firemen there.  I am guessing that somewhere nearby is a school for policemen and firemen - y'know - one of those places you go to get in more practice and learn a bunch.  Several times there have been lots of firetrucks parked outside.   Sorta fun really.
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The other day my phone weather app taught me that a light breeze is called a
Zephyr.  How about that.  Never knew that.  Now you know too.  You're welcome.
enough.
see ya.
m
  

Friday, March 13, 2015

Band prob etc. #1

This is the start of a new series - The series will be short stones (stories to the uninformed) about things that have happened or are happening  to me as a band student or director or watcher of other groups - In other words, an old guy doing what old guys do - talking and remembering things - telling them like listeners are interested in hearing them.
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Example or Two:
#1    One fall, I took my Ardmore band to a marching contest in Altus, Okla.  I don't know why we went that far.   I wanted to get a marching appraisal from some different people, so we went.  It was an all day affair.  I was not happy with the way the group performed, but so it is.
        We sat in the stands watching the other bands.  Along came this band - can't remember the school - they were doing their show.  It was not too good.  Maybe 40 or so in band.  You could hear a tittering in the crowd.   The cymbal player was the center of attention.
         This young man was having a wardrobe malfunction.  His pants were falling down.  Let me review.  Losing his pants - cymbal player - what does he have in each hand?  That's right; he has a cymbal - big ones if I remember correctly.   He would march a few steps and use his cymbals to pull up his pants - march a bit more, grab his pants with his cymballed hands, pull up, and go.
         You know he was a young boy.   Most cymbal players in small bands are the younger drummers.   This young man did a sensational job of marching and fighting the trousers.   The show was coming to a close.  For the big ending, the band pulled up in front of the press box and did a majestic last chord.
          Our cymbal player knew it was the final chord - the one that leaves everyone with a lasting impression - the CLIMAX of the show.    He couldn't miss that final necessary last crash.    WHAM !!  He crashed the cymbals together letting his arms fly upward to expose the cymbals to the crowd - And the pants fell, all the way to his ankles.  He stood there until the end of the chord, gathered his pants, and marched triumphantly off the field to a Standing Ovation.
          There was a lady next to me who made an 8mm movie.   I own a copy of this movie.  I don't know where it is - grainy - focus? - it is somewhere in my stuff.   I hope somebody finds it someday.
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#2      Same Ardmore band, different year I think, my excellent drum major Lee Ann Harris was standing on the sideline directing the band at a home football game.   She had a beautiful drum major uniform including one of those tall Busby fur hats.   I was too busy watching the band and missed her problem.
           The strings inside of the hat gave way.   The Hat fell down over her entire face.  She could not see a thing but the inside of the hat.  What would you have done?  She continued to conduct the band without a pause.  Someone in the stands snapped a photo (guessing her mom).  I have a copy right beside me attached to a filing cabinet even today.   Lee Ann was one of the finest drum majors that I ever had.   She went on to play in the One O'clock Jazz band at North Texas.  Excellent.  As a matter of fact, she was offered the opportunity to tour with Maynard Ferguson as the aux drummer. She declined.  I think it was because she would have been the only female traveling with Maynard's band.  What a great resume. 
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more later
m

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Whar's the Beef?  no,  No,  NO !!! Not whar's the beef.   WHAR'S THE SUNSHINE !!!
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I awoke this morning expecting to see sunshine.  Wrong!  Maybe if I had listened to the nightly weather report, my expectations might have been lowered.  I am not a total believer in weathermen (and/or women if you must have that included).  They get it purdy near right usually maybe...if...  What did they study?  I betcha Beethoven never almost got it right.  Tomorrow?
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Big news story yesterday.  Okla U.  SAE fraternity in a bus on the way to somewhere to frolic sang a song stating no Negro will be in SAE (I paraphrase) and hang him from a tree. Jerks.  They are just overgrown kids in a Fraternity Suit.  They have no brains. I'd bet if you'd pull any one of them out of that bus, he'd treat all Blacks with respect and not have a racist bone in his body.  Now?  The Univ. Prez threw em out of school.
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2 things:  (at least 2 for now)  #1  I bet they have been singing that same song on the bus since the 50s. . . pre-integration.  Back then, there were no Blacks in the University but it was coming.  It was their way of letting off steam at that time.  And, nobody, because they are stupid kids, never thought to quit singing that song on trips.  They probably have other wild and crazy songs they sing too.
    #2  What stupid kid took out his camera and made a video?   Sure, they others are as wrong as can be, sure.  But the clown who took out his cell phone was so very stupid.  Who did he send it to?  Did he make the video maliciously?  Was he just innocent and stupid.  Maybe he thought he was bringing down the Government.  If I were the other bus riders, I would find him and ask.  If nothing else, let him know he is a traitor to his own Fraternity.
     #3  Does this excuse the other clowns?  Not at all.  They have all learned to watch their backs.  I assume none are enrolled in O.U. anymore.  Will they be allowed to return and finish their degrees?  If yes, will they list  S.A.E. on their resumes.  None of these will ever get to run for President, not even Governor unless they are affiliated  with the democrat party and move to New York.
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Lighter Stuff:  Went down the "As Seen On TV"  aisle at Walmart yesterday and bought a can of Flex Seal.  $12.99.  Our gutters leak on every corner.  Let us see if the stuff really works.  On TV last night, I saw the advertisement.  One can for $19.99.  I felt good about the purchase.  Wait!  Act now and you get 2 cans for $19.99  plus this other can of sealant.  Sigh.  Not a good buy @ Wally's store.
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When I was in high school  (had driver's license at 14), I decided I need some more money.  I could pick up a buck or two when mom sent me to the store - keep the change.  And Bro Jim and I had a business.  We both owned a roto-tiller and worked for $3.50 an hour (each).  Our father lined up the jobs for us.  That was $7 an hour to the home owner.  It was a good biz and lawns need that in Levelland.  Back then, $7 an hour for anything was good pay.
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I had a girl friend in high school  We needed to have some dates.  Why have a girl friend if you never see each other - well other than in the hallways of L.H.S.  I carried her books to class at times.  Not that she'd care if we went out on weekends - guess that is one reason I married her - certainly not a gold digger, which is good since I went into public school teaching.  
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Extra cash.  I saw an advertisement for a paper route.  I called the guy.  He was interested in hiring me.  I got up early one morning and rode with him on his route.  
He showed me the route and his method for remember where the houses were.  His method involved the number 3.   On this block, skip a house throw 3 in a row.  This block, throw a paper after the 3 bushes.  Now on this block, throw the 1st house, skip one, and throw the next 2  (1+2=3).  The man was a mathematical wizard with the number 3.  3 birds sitting on a telephone wire - throw a paper.
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He proudly showed me his skill for tossing the paper.  I cannot remember there being any cute plastic bags - rubber bands.  He had a skill.  Bubba threw out his own window to the left.  For the houses on the right, he threw out his window over the top of his car....and it was a ratty car.  We chugged up and down the streets as he distributed the news.
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One day.  One day riding with him.  One day riding with him really really early in the morning - I resigned.  There must be an easier way to make money, or we could stay in and watch TV.  Thanks to my mom for sending me to the grocery store often. I wonder if she purposely forgot to get stuff at the store.  It does make you wonder.  Maybe it doesn't make you wonder, but it makes me wonder.
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later -  send in the Sunshine, I'm ready.
m3

   

Monday, March 9, 2015

Is it just Monday?

Is it just Monday?  I feel like it is - oh, let's say, Thursday.  Using my Irrational Irritated Mood Meter, I calculate it to be a Thursday afternoon.   Maybe I just haven't relaxed from the weekend.  Then there was that losing an hour. That will be another stone.
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(Please note the use of the word "just" twice in the paragraph.  This is just one of my pet peeves.  Just this; Just that; Just dese and dose.  At high school football games, they would try to squeeze in a prayer or thoughtful moment prior to the Manslaughter. I use to try and guess the religion of preachers who gave the sermon ... uh, prayer ...   If the prayer used the word "just" over and over, I would proclaim the praying person to be a Baptist.  I was usually right.  Methodist don't seem to use the word as often in prayers.  Of course, Catholics have a whole different language thing going.
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This has absolutely nothing to do with what I am about to say unless you happen to notice the mood I seem to be in ..... ended that sentence with a preposition.  Just stay tuned and you will fall into the flow.
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I would make a great band director / teacher today.  I am ready to raise my voice at the slightest provocation.  "Hey, kid, sit down in your chair and shut up!"  "Do you want to be hung up by your thumbs, Moron?"  "Somebody get my #8 club from my office."   "So, how are you enjoying your last day in band class?"  Some children should not be seen  or heard - ever.  And today, in this mood I could take care of that effectively.
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Rain / Cold / Weather / I am sooooo tired of this weather.  My wife hints it to be cabin fever.  Nope, wouldn't argue, wouldn't argue at all.  Sure, I get to drive into Corsicana once in a while.  But, is this a fun city?  Some people love to go camping on a lake to get away.  I live on the lake; and, it is down 9 1/2 feet.  Something else to fuss about.  It rains.  That should raise the level of the lake.  I'm sure it does.   But Fort Worth is drinking from our lake.  Are they cutting down on their drinking?  I think not.  They just sit up there on the Cow-Like Thrones, guzzling my water.  "Get me another pitcher of water, Cowgirl Ethyl."  No relenting.
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I have this little motorhome in which we travel and see the world.  It is winterized.  The rascal needs to be pulled out and checked over before we can go anywhere.  I know or think it was winterized properly; but, you "JUST" never know fer sure until you hook up that ole water hose and turn on the spigot.  
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Two weeks ago - yes, 2 long weeks ago, I planned to pull it out on a Wednesday and do my water checks.  Has it quit raining or snowing or icing or just JUST J-U-S-T plain winter in the past 2 weeks?  Good guess, bat breath.  No, it has not.  Today it is raining- solid rain for 2 full days.  Not a good hard rain & it is over.  Nah.  Instead we get this nice slow drizzle that is so wonderful for crops, lawns, lakes - you name it. Cows even seem to like it best.
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Tomorrow.  Nice weather maybe.  Yard will still be a muddy slip & slide.  Oscar & I can't play ball in the mud, and he knows it.
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So on a past Wednesday - church choir and church bell choir rehearsed.  On this particular date (not all weeks are the same), the spouse drove the FLEX to her rehearsal.  I had a rehearsal soon after and drove the Marauder.  Well the Flex was about out of gas.  I volunteered to fill it up - and, the wife drove the Marauder home.  I am so benevolent. 
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Now, I blame her, naturally.  She had parked by a light pole in the lot.  It has a concrete base about 3 foot high, just low enough to be hidden behind the car.  It is night and the light pole is painted black.  I got into the Flex - nobody is parked near me - I drove straight forward out of the lot - (didja know in England, these are called Car Parks? - not parking lots?)  I drove straight out.  I turned the wheel ever so slightly to the left which slightly swung the back of the car out.
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A very small portion of the Flex caressed the concrete - ever so softly.  It was as soft as a baby's bottom.   I barely felt any contact.  Scratches on the right rear area.   Small. Bad enough I worry about rust developing.   TWO WEEKS LATER of bad weather I get the Flex to the insurance people.   $850 to repair.  $850.  Can you imagine?  These auto repair shop owners must be driving BMWs or better.  $850.  I have a $200, maybe $300 deductible - who knows?  It's only money.   This morn we got up early and delivered the FLEX to the shop. Thursday is the retrieval date.  It breaks my heart.
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This is the 2nd time for the Flex to visit the body shop - see a previous bluggy about meeting the buzzard on the highway.
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In my process of preparing to go to town, I noticed the Marauders tires were low - aired them up.  Every tire was below 23 psi from just setting in the driveway.  My back tires are lacking tread in the center.  That'll be another stack of dough.  The Marauder used at least 2 new tires every year.  Having retired it somewhat, I had hoped to stretch this destruction out some.
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Have I fussed about the weather yet?
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It is Monday - 11:15 a.m. - we are home.  Oscar climbed into my lap and loved on me. Bruno followed suit when he saw an opening.  We cuddled - if indeed you can cuddle with Bruno.  He thinks I can.  That put me in a much better humor.  JUST think how much I might rant if the dogs had not done their thing first.

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Heads up announcement.   I have a list of 4 blogs (bluggys) to write.   
If I can just - YES - "J U S T" settle down & in, we'll get right on 'em.  
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Green Chile Stew for lunch.  That'll help.
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Y'all take care - go motivate a teenager or something useful -----
mtz 

Monday, March 2, 2015

March 2nd

Isn't today Texas Independance day?
I started this blog with a purpose.  Now, another.   I typed "Independance" on the page. Then, I typed "Independence" on the page.  My spell check did not flag either one.  Yet if I type "house" wrong,  hous, it gets flagged.  I have to look these words up in my phone dictionary --- "dictionery" is flagged..
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indepenDANCE is a variant of  indepenDENCE, first used in the 15th century - an antonym.  How about that.  All these years I could have been making English teachers squirm with my vast knowledge.   The Merriam-Webster app found the answer - the Dictionary.com app did not.   Gads, I learn so much everyday it just hurts my brain.
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Now for the purpose of the blog.  My wife has gone to her monthly quilt club meeting (The Corsicana Piecemakers Quilt Club) and won't be home till after lunch.  This means that I, a renown chef in my own right - or rite - will prepare my own lunch. Today I shall be opening a refrigerated can of Salmon,  a refrigerated can of pork n beans, a whole onion, and 12 crackers  (plus a hot pepper of course).
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A word about pork n beans.  I was raised as a child eating them out of the can - or even better - out of a can that had been refrigerator.  It was not until  we had moved to Texas, Levelland to be exact that I attended a cover dish supper at the Methodist Church and experienced heated pork n beans.  They did all sorts of cruel and unnecessary  things to those great beans.  I had trouble gagging down the few that found their way upon my plate.  
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I have since learned that most people think heating is the proper method.  They are wrong.  I was raised in a family ripe from the depression who had no refrigerator ...   ice box, yes ... refrig no. It could be that cooling the beans became a cause and effect from living with an ice box surrounded by depression era parents.  That's my theory, and I'm sticking to it.
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I know Jim will be jealous when he learns of my impending feast.  I wish I could find red salmon instead of settling for pink salmon.  Canned Salmon, a can of pork n beans (liberally sprinkled with Tabasco), a whole onion, 12 crackers, and a hot pepper. Sometimes I have the little green peppers you find in the jar filled with vinegar that you can sprinkle out flavored vinegar....those little pale green peppers - I cannot think of their name.  
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My mouth waters as I type.
Jealous?  Well,   Suffa
mtz