Saturday, August 26, 2023

H.S. SPORTS {& side bar on names}

This morning, I had no intention of doing another blog/blug thing.  Sat. morn.  Nuthin' goin' on'.  We have no plans for today.  Could run into town to the farmer's market - cascade into Temple for a couple of estate sales - visit Belton Walmart to make fun of people - side trip to Killeen for Chinese food - slog over to Stillhouse Hollow Lake to look at the new sand bars (we are getting thirsty)  =  stay at home and not watch TV.  What's on TV on a Saturday?  Golf. Sports. Cooking Shows. Bad News. Cartoons. Must be something interesting on TV.  Jewelry sales?  Emeril hawking toaster ovens? Prostate shows?   Nah, none of these meet our standard.  We do have standards.

Got up.  Put on pants.  Walked out front to retrieve newspaper ( "i" B4 "e," except after "C" ).  Pulled a couple of Eggos from our deep Frozer.  Sugar free syrup + butter  and OJ.  Pretty good breakfast.  I'll be hungry by noon.  Opened newspaper to sports page.  3 articles on the  1st page that got my juices going.


The first.  Wait.  I am not a sports fan except when it comes to Texas Tech.  That is only because I went there.  I want them to win because it makes ME look better when I apply for a job.  At 82 and 5/6ths, I apply for a lot of jobs ya know.  Still, granddots attend Tech.  I support them & Tech in every way except spending money and waving flags,

Back to regular subject:  the first article.  Two H.S. in Belton.  Belton HS (as you may have guessed) and Lake Belton HS north of town.  Interestingly, I believe Lake Belton is located in Temple city limits.  Hmmmm.  L.B.H.S. is pretty new.  They have only been playing competition ball for a couple of years or so.  or so.  SOOO, they played Leander Rouse last night, Friday, at LBHS.   One Minute before halftime,  L.B. is ahead 34-10.  WHAM!!!   BAM!!!!  Sparks Flew!! Everything went black.  A transformer serving the stadium blew up.  

As darkness settled on the stadium the moon was shining.  It was a cloudless night as most nights have been since it quit raining in central Texas last June.  Give your eyes a moment to adjust.  We have 2 hostile football teams lining the sidelines - 24 on the field facing each other with a (moon) gleam in their eyes.  Behind 34-10, I'm sure Rouse stood ready to play in the moonlight.  

It was just 1 minute before halftime.  Two bands are poised on the sidelines ready to march forth and demonstrate their wares.  Moms sitting in the stands wringing their widdle hands afraid their 6' 5" linebacker will somehow be electrocuted - maybe Chicken Fried if you will.  The good thing about dying at the game:  the school will dedicate the yearbook to you in the spring.  That is worthy of consideration.

I can see it now.  Nobody is moving except a lone hawk soaring over the stadium looking for a lost hot dog slathered in mustard.  The coaches meet the refs in the middle of the field.  Here comes the Superintendents and Principals and various other important figures (in their mind, important).  Much talking.  Much gesturing.   Much  looking at flaming transformer, sparking its heart out.   They called the game.  Right there.  It's over.  Nobody volunteered to climb the pole and spray water on the flame.

As the stadium empties - there must be no P.A. system to announce anything I would guess - all grope for belongings - teams scour the area to find all equipment and Gatoraide bottles - the bands tramp back to the stands to retrieve everything.  Their either head for their local bandroom or to the band buses.  Cheerleaders, not quite with the program, are still on the field making pyramids and flying through the air holding lit candles in their teeth.  

An hour later, all is quiet.  Not even the scoreboard is broadcasting the 34-10 first half score.  Band Directors are pleased to be getting home an hour and a half / maybe 2 hours / early.  I wonder if either band tried to do their halftime show in the moon light - just for practice of course.  It would have been a glorious - bring a tear to the eye.

The one redeeming factor:  everyone, NO, LET'S SAY EVERYBODY, turned on their cell phones, flashlights and all.  They could have aimed the phones towards the field and finished the game.  How fun would it have been to see a marching band flashing their phones to the rhythm of the music.

AND, THAT, was only # 1 from the sports page.


#2  I'll try to keep this short.  Temple H.S. FOOTBALL team has entered the record books by winning its 800th game - that is 800 games since football started in Temple maybe ABOUT 100 years ago.  They scratched through records and reports until they found 799 games.  Playoffs last year provided the chance for number 800.  But, the tigers lost in the playoffs.  Eagerly, we held our breaths as one, together, awaiting the 2023 season in order to score that 800th game.  Now, it has been done.  The thrill still lingers for those who were part of this season ... we will remember it in our hearts for years to come.  I imagine that at least one of the players will have it listed in his obituary 60 years from now.  "Bubba had 12 children and was on the Temple football team that racked up their 800th win for all time.  Members of team were: ......"  No mention of his children's names.

There was an article in the Temple paper last week.  You can find it online if you want to know what other Texas schools have triumphed 800+ times.  I know Amarillo HS was one.  I think they used to hire oil field roustabouts to come into town on Friday night and play for them - before you sue me - I'm not really sure about that; it was a rumor I once heard when I was teaching across town.

It is interesting that only 4 teams have ever had 800+ wins in their entire existence.  

Just a quick calculation.  100 more wins to 900.  10 games a year not counting playoff games.  If they don't lose again, they can have 900 in 10 years....assuming they don't win any playoff games.  If you have a 7 yr old football player, move to Temple now so HE/SHE can be a part of the 900th win.  Oh, the anticipation.


#3   I once read about a visiting team that took the opening kick and ran for a touchdown.  The home stands went silent.  On the next kickoff, the home team ran for a touchdown.  7 to 7    They began the game again, even.  Wish I had been there.

      Last year I read about a team that made the playoffs in Texas.  The locals were thrilled.  It was written up in the newspaper and the coach was praised.  Their record that year was 3-7.  In Texas, the top 4 teams in all districts advance to the playoffs.  Let's say there are 4, maybe 5, schools in your district.  All you have to do is beat ONE team to make the playoffs.  With only 4 teams in your district, your record could be 0-10 and still be in the playoffs.  Yes, we praise the coach.  I admire him for taking advantage of the situation to support his team (and his future job offers).  Wouldn't it be nice in life to be able to lose everything and still get a bonus?   I love sports (snicker).


#4 Before I start this last epic, I would like to apologize to anyone who may be directly insulted.  I really mean no harm.  The chances of mentioned people seeing this note is very small.

I was reading another sports page story when I ran across some first names.  In the article in the order they appear, here are the mentioned football player's first names.

We have Ja'Quorius covering a fumble - Braylan throwing a touchdown pass - Kardias ran for a touchdown - Kason caused a fumble - Coach is Rick - Cody recovered a fumble - Elijah scored  a touchdown - Dominic scored - Homero kicked a field goal - and Cole covered a fumble.  Sure were a lot of fumbles.

Whoever did this report must have had a list of players.  First names are interesting to me.  Some day go find a list of the local cheerleaders or drill team members.  The names are so different than when I was a kid.  We had Pat - Mike - Jim - George - John - Jerry.   My wife was a Brenda in elementary school.  There were 2 other Brendas in the same classroom.  Thus, she became Brenda Joy.  Preferred loved names change over the years.  You can't find many Brendas anymore.

I read that Katrina and Ida use to be popular names until the hurricanes hit New Orleans.  Now, nobody wants to name their kid Katrina - ?? afraid the kid will be a hurricane in the house ??

I'm through.  Keep your first name.  It's okay with me.  In the future, the world will have to learn to spell it.  My middle name is Eugene.  My mother blessed me with that, naming me after Uncle Gene.  There have been some great Eugenes in the world.  Perhaps you have met a few.

see ya, love ya, don't do stupid things....


Tuesday, August 22, 2023

The life and times of ...

 yes.  The life and times of .... me. 

My previous blog mentioned certain things that always happen.  At my age, I am in a rut.  I do certain things on certain days.  Our water company (I don't own.  When I say "our," I mean the one we use.)  They limit us to watering one day a week.  I project, soon, they will eliminate that too.  Our lake is low.  

We water on Wednesday.  It may not be in the true spirit of the issue, but we water GOOD on Wednesday.  I have the system set to start at midnight plus 30.  The entire yard gets sprinkled.  Then, when we get up in the morn, we hand water the trees.  By 10 a.m. we are through.  They ruled that you can water from midnight to 10 a.m.  and from 8 p.m. until midnight.  We have, We done, We did.

Monday, I took the wife to a podiatrist.  She has some funky toe nails that are real tough.  The guy worked on them - then, after I asked, he said we should find one of the stores that does nails and go regularly.  It is our plan.  another thing to add to my  monthly rituals.  She gets to put that smelly Vaseline type stuff - can't remember name of it - children put on the chest when they have colds.  Blue stuff.  Anyway, doc has her put on toe nails to make them softer for cutting.

Today, I am going for a haircut.  It happens regularly.


That didn't work out.  The above was written a while back.  I paused to do something of earth shaking importance - never returned.  Could you tell?  My, how a couple of weeks change things.  I'll try to take them in some type of order.

1st of all, the haircut.  Didn't happen.   I hate going to barbers.  Not really.  Yes, I do hate it.  I will not go into one of those fast places full of 12 year old girls cutting hair and trying to make you love them - I don't mean love in the LOVE sense.  They want return customers.  I'm too old to believe that any female in that position really cares what I am doing or doing it with.  Leave me alone.  If you must talk, speak of innocuous subjects.  Never loved sports or talking about them.   The weather is good.  "Yep, it is really hot."  "Nope, I don't think it is gonna rain anytime soon."  Cut my hair; leave me alone.  "Yes, I know my eyebrows are bushy."  Uhhhhhh

I have found a barber in Belton - small shop on 6th street - so far no female cutters - just burly guys getting the job done.  I tried a couple of other places in town.  Didn't work out.  One had this really short lady.  I don't think I've ever had anyone be so rough, banging around on the top of my head.  There's not much up there;  be careful  (that's not much inside and outside).  This 6th street shop has several different barbers.  I'm not sure that I have ever seen the same one twice.  $14.00   Back in Corsicana, I found this guy who cut it for $7.  Liked him a lot.  Too far to drive to save $7.

So, I went into town.  Big closed sign on the door.  Went on to Walmart with every intention of returning.  Returned.  Same "Closed" sign - noticed a smaller paper taped to the inside of the door.  Sighed.  "Vacation.  Be back on the 15th"   That is next Tuesday.  This was Thursday.

Returned the following Friday week.  The barber eliminated my burly hair mess and left me shorn.  [ you shear sheep.  Shear, Sear, Shore, Shorn, Shorned]   When I taught,  students would make fun of my hair cuts - let's face it - they made fun of everything I did.  I always explained that I had found an Indian Barber who enjoyed his work.  That was especially true sounding when I taught in Oklahoma.  

I started life getting burr cuts.  Later, I advanced to a cross between Dagwood and Dennis the Menace.  In mid-High School times, say 1955, my family conned me into getting a flat top.  it worked for me through college into the mid-70s.  Returned to the Dagwood cut when we lived in Ardmore.   Now, the top is thinning.  There's a little hole in the back of my head.  When I wash hair, my scalp is way too easy to see.  I come close to a shimmer.

I walk into the barber shop - 2 guys in front of me.  Chairs were sparse unless you wanted to sit right beside another.  We guys frown on that kind of elbow touching unless it is with your wife or another beautiful creature.  Finally, the big man in front of me sat in the chair.  I'm next.  The barber and customer seemed to be old friends.  I'd guess they went through high school together.  In walks a black garbed giant with a gun on his hip - badge printed on his shirt.   Within 2 minutes, another black garbed giant with Sheriff printed on his back - he joined us.  I felt safe.

The man in the chair had a short burr hairdo.  He said to the barber, "Can you make it shorter, this weather is really hot."  { Really?  Wear a hat! }  Assuring the friend customer, our bearded barber (he reminded me of the guys on the duck call show) soaped up the head, dome if you will - wrapped it in a hot towel - twice - pulled out a blade and shaved the head.  I have these age spots all over my face and head.  If you used a blade, I would be a bleeding mess covered with band-aids.   Enjoy your 50 year old youth feller.  The spots are coming.

My turn.  I told him to cut it back.  He did.  I gave him 3 fives and split.  Wanted to stay and see if the black garbed, gun totting, badge encrusted giants talked about the weather or shoot outs.  Never will know.


WATER.  See above:  we had been cut to one day watering a week.  Not now.  The water company is doing repairs and "IMPROVING" the system (sure), no watering at all outside.  This distressed us.  We have spent pretty big bucks on trees and bushes and crepe myrtles and fruit trees and our vegetable garden.  No water for 2 to 3 weeks in this 105+ weather will surely kill all.  Already, the bermuda has died.  It is too expensive to re-buy trees.  Digging the holes in this soil is back breaking.

My daughter bought 2 - then another - big rubber tanks with in and out takes.  We load them up in the truck - drive into Round Rock (as an example) and fill the tanks with water.  Back home, the water is divided among the trees.  We capture water from showers, baths, and kitchen sink.  This is all taken outside to the plants.

Here is my question.  We have this problem.  Will the water company do anything to make it better for next year?  Really?  What are they planning?  

In Salado we have I-35 running down the middle of things.  East of I-35 gets well water.  West of I-35 pulls water from Stillhouse Hollow Lake.  I'm on the west side.  The east side, primarily the real town and old settlers and country club, they still have water.  The west side, primarily new developments of housing, we do not.  I wonder, is there a big valve somewhere that connects the east with the west?  If there is, why won't they share?  Bunch of socialist ...

Maybe the west side needs a few wells to take the pressure off the lake problems.  I don't know.  Did I study "Water" when I was in college?  Nope.  Should have.  This driving to fill up water tanks, and, then, hand delivering it to the plants.  That is hard work in the heat. I'm open for suggestions.


I have one more stone about out air conditioner.  I tire.  Time to get the mail.  Save the AC for another time.  School buses just rolled by.  5 bouncing children exited and scurried down the street.  My pooch Sadie told them "What For!!!"  

see ya later, MM

Friday, August 4, 2023

Here we are again.

So many things come around again and again.  We expect some and even happily anticipate others.  I like Christmas.  My wife doesn't like the hoopla.  I've lived with that negativity for years.  Thanksgiving:  who doesn't like the day with family and specialized food.  I used to like it more; but, since this diabetes thing where I should not eat certain things, it has lost a bit of charm.  No pie or sweet potato covered in marshmallows.  Still I get a turkey leg and klubosniks.  

For years in my family - I mean all the way back when I was a little kid too - I got the drumstick.  Every year.  Every year.  I savored the treat.  Then, about, say 4 to 5 years ago, two of my granddaughters stated they wanted a drumstick as we sat down to eat.  There were only 2.  It made me a bit mad.  I tried to handle things correctly.  My true feelings were there.  

The next year, I bought an extra package of six drum sticks.  It was better.  I do try to be in place to grab one of the 8 drum sticks early.  With ornery children, you never know what has been plotted in the back smoky filled room.

So, certain days are anticipated.  We got that.  

Tomorrow, my wife and I have our 61st anniversary.  They do come around once a year.  61 years - that's a long time.  It wasn't all roses and lollipops.  On the average it was a pretty good run of sixty-one.  We drove off in my brother Marshall's 1962 light blue Ford convertible heading west for the Grand Canyon, HONEYMOON.  I was so naive.  Who would have thought you'd have to get a reservation to stay in main hotel of the Grand Canyon during the first week of August.  Never mind, though, we enjoyed the trip and didn't go broke.   Marshall loaned us his American Express card for the trip just in case.  Credit cards were foreign to us.  It was eye opening trip. in many ways.

Hopefully, we will make it to year 62.  Married in 1962 - celebrate #62 - that should be a bit noteworthy.  Bring on the dancing girls.

Taxes - birthdays - start of a new school year - Super Bowl - you can name so many repeaters.  My retired weeks and months roll around.  I pay my bills on a certain day.  We take out the trash on Thursdays.  My pitiful social security check comes on the 12th.  {side bar:  Texas teachers don't pay into social security - we have a retirement plan.  Thus, my few quarters of payments for various other jobs in the past, they do not amount to much.  Ten years teaching in Oklahoma got me 40 quarters.  Hey, the check  is not enormous.  I'm not giving it back.  Would you? }

My big issue of today, Friday.  The MEGA MILLIONS TAX.  That is what my son calls it when you buy a lottery ticket.  I think he was the one who said it.  I buy one ticket for $2.  That's a $2 tax since I never win the millions.  My own fault.  Stupid.  Very small chance of winning.  Tonight shows over a billion dollars.  I just have to pay my stupid tax.  Feel bad later about the waste.  My waist is another thing.

In my mind I have so many things I'd like to do with that money.  Scholarships to college.  Setup a company to disperse money out to certain high school bands who are always a bit behind the 8 ball, cash wise.  Gifts to certain lovely people I know.  The list is too long for here.  All of my family would become millionaires - not just my kids but nieces and nephew and brothers and who knows.  There are certain charities and religious groups who need my help.  I really "believe-In" places like the Methodist Children's Home in Waco and Boy's Ranch near Amarillo - gift to a past church choir -  the wife would never clean house again, Heck!! we could afford our own chef --

I've always wanted to open a museum of my junkie, worthless stuff.  Y'know, stuff nobody wants to see like my post card collection and stamps.  None have real value.

I bet in just this area, there are a hundred old guys with a worthless collection who are wondering what will happen to their collection of wickets after they die.  That's probably a waste of money.  So I babble.

I bet one of my few readers could come up with a million dollar project.  Perhaps, I could give $5000 to anyone who reads my blogs and actually leaves a comment.  

THAT is a rare commodity.

I close.  Time to go pay my tax and buy a big gulp.  The sun will come up, tomorrow, once again starting it all over again and again.