Friday, December 24, 2010

A Early Gift..

The people that brought us the other little kitty decided it was time we adopted another. This time they went to Adopt A Pet here in Victoria and gave us this character yesterday for Christmas.

The shelter called her Addison, since we haven't thought of a better name, I guess that's it.

She is a lovey dovey young cat so far, with some of the most golden eyes I've ever seen on a cat.

When we talked about the last kitten, the person who brought us both of them said, " The last one wouldn't have lived another day by itself on the side of I-45, she had a good, but short life, but her accident has made room for another young cat searching for a home."

I don't think anyone could have said anything more fitting and that meant as much.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

South Texas Roadrunner travels

Over the last three months I have been privileged to observe the travels of, I guess I'll call him, the Weesatche roadrunner or Head East, like the 80's band, it fits.

Once a week I travel to the Weesatche Cafe and Hall in my business travels.

About three months ago, I drove up and there was a Roadrunner hanging out in the parking lot, it didn't seem afraid of people or the tomcat that was 20 yards away resting, and not worried about the bird.

Since this was the summertime, and I have been to cheap to fix the AC in my truck, I left my windows down.
I went in the Hall, did my business and commented to the owner Scott about the roadrunner in the parking lot and how the tomcat ignored it.

He told me that the roadrunner had been hanging out for a few weeks, that at first the cat tried it's best to catch it, but failed every time and had given up. I guess the cat was smarter than Wiley Coyote!

I went out to leave, and the roadrunner was in my truck! Unfortunately so was my cell phone with the camera.

I opened my drivers door and the roadrunner jumped in the back seat, extended cab truck, he/she was looking all proud standing there I have to admit.

I walked around to the passenger side, open the front door and the little back door, the roadrunner went to the driver side, so I walked back around to the drivers side and the roadrunner exited my truck.

The next week the roadrunner was in the parking lot, I rolled my windows up. the week after that, no roadrunner in the parking lot.

For the next five weeks, no roadrunner and Scott said he hadn't seen it either.

Three weeks ago when I went to Weesatche, no roadrunner either, but on my way back I saw the roadrunner, about a mile away on FM 884.

The next week I didn't see him, but last Wednesday, there he/she was again, four miles further down the road, almost at the Hwy 183 intersection, heading east.

What a bird, not only did he/she check out my trucks interior, it follows the roads I travel.

On the map is where I have seen the fowl, it's about 6 miles from Weesatche to the Google locater thing.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Could this be the difference of the two new HS.?

A thought occurred to me, I don’t know if I am right or not, but events tend to lean toward the I am right side.

Before the debacle of consolidation of Stroman and VHS was corrected, stories and tales where told about a preference shown to some students over others, be it Football, Baseball, Band or virtually any group at Memorial High.

Now that we have two brand spanking new high schools, a few other schools, a state of the art auditorium and Natatorium coming soon, it seems to me that just maybe all the talk about about a preference being shown just might have been true.

Let’s be honest, most of the preferred students would be the ones from the higher end of Victoria s population. And it seems that a majority of those students ended up at West HS.

West HS received a brand new football coach, and lots of people thought it was the best thing since sliced bread. West also had the honor of having the National Award winning Drill Team instructor as a part of the faculty.

Well, we all know, so far how those selections have turned out.

At East HS, the bad old Memorial football coach was placed and the Drill Team started with a brand new instructor.

All the drama with the West Drill Team, and the better than any one thought results of the East football team point to one conclusion, IMO.

All the Memorial students that had to take a “back seat” to the preferred students are now showing how talented they really where all the time.

Once the “privileged” students moved to a campus where they can continue to be “privileged”, the true talent of the truly talented un privileged students is now reveled.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

How my mom and Dad met

I know this won't mean much, except to me, but it is a tale of the way things changed because of WW2.

Before today, all my mom had told me about how her and my dad met had to do with when Patti Welder High School played Bloomington High School in a football game in 1943.

Being a Bloomington girl, she was mad that a Patti Welder player had broken a Bloomington players leg during the game. Understand that Bloomington had all of twelve players on their team, now down to eleven.

She got in my dads face and said, "How could you?", He said , "Hey that's the game."

Anyway, my dad graduated from Patti Welder at the end of the 43 year, and enrolled at Baylor.

He stayed at Baylor for about six months and, much to his moms disapproval, joined the Marines.

He ended up being stationed at Pearl Harbor as a Sargent when the Pacific war ended.

Ok, back to how my mom and dad really got together....

My dad came back to Victoria and drove to Bloomington one day, to look for a girl he use to know. He couldn't find her.

He saw my mom and stopped his car and asked her if she knew Annabelle, ( yeah I asked my mom if her name was Annabelle Lee, the Edgar Allen Poe one.)

Anyway, my mom tells him yeah, she is married and has a baby. Then he asks my mom if she wants to go get a coke.

51 years of marriage, four sons,eight grandchildren and four great grandchildren, here we are.

What a strange twist of fate, if I say so myself.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Are pet's worth the heartache? Yeah they are, but it still hurts

I write this blog tonight with sorrow in my heart.

Captain Hook, the dog on my avatar, we had to put down, we knew it was time.

About three weeks ago a friend of the family called and said that they had found a little kitten of off I-45 in Pasadena and would we like it. We said yes, so we now had Sissy cat, a half Siamese blue eyed cute little kitten.

The first name we thought about was Dena, for Pasadena, but we decided on Sissy, you know the name of Travolta s girlfriend in Urban Cowboy which was filmed in Pasadena.

The little cat was a character. She loved to play with anything, from a crumpled up piece of newspaper to empty pill bottles.

In the living room we had one of the big Japanese fishing floats, ( the big glass ones with a net around them), setting on a table.

Somehow, I guess, Sissy cat climbed on the table and on the fishing float. The fishing float rolled off the table.
And, well, let's just say it was a sad site to see.

Rest in peace Sissy cat, we didn't know you for long but you where a joy while you where here.

Ok, I gotta go mourn my little friend some more.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Another letter 11-21-1862

Camp Hellena
Nov. 21st 1862

Dear Parents,I am well and doing fine. We got here last night and had a pretty good time coming down the lines. Our company has gone down to White Water after the jc sesh(?). There is a few here now and they are all sick. There ain't anyone we know. But Will Dow is here working in the hospital. The boys will will be back before long I guess. it seemed to me quite like getting into camp and have a nigger cook for us. I got a letter from Martin Wilbur last night,they are all well. We stopped at Columbus two days asave(?) were coming down and saw the rebel foritify cation there. There was some thundering, big guns there. There is a fairly good fortify artillery here. There is some big gun boats here, the Mississippi River from St. Louis down is well supplied. with gun boats that looks like great mind(?) turtles(?)

Has Baly taken the flak not or yet. I want you to take care of that saddle of mine for I think I will be home next summer to use it.

With these few lines I will quit at present

Direct you letter to St. Louis

From your son
W Mc Cord

Saturday, June 5, 2010

A Interesting forecast by the City of Victoria

City of Victoria
2009 to 2013 Revenue Estimates

2009 189,881,217
2010 186,252,402
2011 190,219,926
2012 196,697,345
2013 203,365,683

The increase is due to only a few revenue streams...

Parks, Rec & Community Development from 2,375,871 to 2,521,225
Police from 8,652,581 to 9,465,866
Conference Centre from 7,720,724 to 8,072,936
and last but far from least....
Property Taxes from 93,164,446 to 114,806,920

Expense Estimates 2009 to 2013

2009 189,881,217
2010 186,252,402
2011 190,219,926
2012 196,697,345
2013 203,365,683

To the dollar, expected revenues match expected expenses...amazing..

Increased spending

Corporate Administration from 1,830,605 to 2,034,199
Legislative and Regulatory Service from 5,035,232 to 5,568,698
Finance Department from 4,634,362 to 5,152,961
Human Resources from 1,497,358 to 1,659,402
Fire Department from 12,070,386 to 13,879,594
VEMA from 427,075 to 472,129
Planning and Development from 3,339,195 to 3,669,985
Parks, Rec & Community Development from 13,568,496 to 14,952,702
Greater Victoria Public Library from 3,461,221 to 4,369,646
Police Department from 41,217,000 to 46,765,023
Conference Centre from 7,720,724 to 8,072,936
Debt Principle and Interest 7,827,583 and remains at the same amount, to the dollar
Capital Budget Financed from Operating from 9,885,335 to 14,888,592

One observation, the Engineering Dept in 2009 spent 61,839,496....20,622,496 MORE than the police department.

But we all know public safety comes first....

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Free Money!

Well Gee thank you Nielsen ratings,

For the second time this year, the
Nielsen rating people have called, both times I told them I'm not interested, been there done that, it is a pain.

Both times they have sent the log book and the $5 cash, so thank you
Nielsen ratings, I will keep your money but I am not interested in filling out your log!


That's all!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

A little about my mothers side of the family

Edith asked about my father side of the family today, so I thought one of the interesting parts of my mothers side of the family was in order.

The McCord branch of the family had two sons that fought in the Civil War. One joined the Confederate army and was never heard from again, the other the Iowa Volunteers, part of the Union Army.

Here are one of his letters home, I have others, and his discharge papers.

The handwriting, and printed words, used at the time are hard to decipher, I did my best and included [illegible] where I could not figure out what word was written. Also one footnote about the discharge papers, they where also altered sometime in the past.

The Letter on the bottom.

My transcription.

Family Feb 7 1862

You see that I wrote some time ago but failed to send it.

I left the Island day before yesterday lodged that night under niggers roof.
Yesterday I came to Uncle Ami Smiths was taken with a pain in my knee. the severest pain I ever had. Old Mother Smith
deeloved me like a mother indeed, to day I am about. I received a letter from Lawton last week he was in the fight at Springfield
Charely Dixon was wounded in the back by a shell( not very bad) another man wounded [
illegible] arm.the third was killed, a man by the name of Smith, that was all that was in [?]avin company.
I have had no letter from Oscar for 3 weeks. he is all right I suppose
I heard from them since I come here George Gibbs and Clark Smith have lots have written home Robi [
illegible] was killed by a shell it fell at his feet exploded. Tore off his leg and arm. C Smith, G gibbs and W Bodwell buried him C Smith says he was scared time of battle he says he cannot
describe the firing of guns better than the throwing of salt in the fire.
So quick and fast.
We are talking now of having game and children go with me to Ottuawa[?] and meet you there about the first of Aprilor if you want to come sooner you could come to Ottuawa and stop with Dixon.
I am told he is living there I have recieved no money from the boys since you left but they promise to.
Send me some even perhaps.
They have sent you some .
I got that note from Dave Seagrams sent you some and s/out the next for over shorts and to pay for washing, making and mending
Be sure and bring one of the girls with you

Yours O Mcord

The discharge papers on the top.

My transcription


Know ye, that William O McCord private of captain A R Andysons company of 16 A/ 4th regiment of Iowa Infantry volunteers who was enrolled on the [
illegible] one thousand eight hundred and fifty two, to serve three years or during the war is hereby discharged from the service of the United States
this 31st day of December 1863 at Meadville Alabama by reason of re enlistment Veteran Vols [
illegible] on day 191 1863

Saint William O McCord was born in [
illegible] county state of Wisconnson is Nineteen years of age¹, five feet eleven inches high, dark complexion, grey eyes, dark hair and by occupation when enrolled farmer.
Given at Meadville Alabama this 25th day of January 1864

Richard Roman 13th infantry

¹ Some one screwed up on the age, he was about 26 at discharge.

Interesting stuff, it is also cool to hold a letter written during the Civil War in you hands.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

I am Tired of This Winter

Finally a winter, unlike last year, but I am seriously tired of it.

Besides the cold and wet this the effect it has on the black gumbo soil in Victoria.

Having ceramic tile is a curse. Sure it looks nice, you don’t have to vacuum it like carpet and it doesn’t stain, but enough is enough.

After the first really cold spell, a section of tile “bowed up”. I removed the tile, clean the thin set off the slab, cleaned the back of the tile, reset and grouted the tile. Three weeks later another are of tile “bowed up”, I fixed it too. Last week another area of tile “bowed up”. Yesterday I did the final cleaning on that area, and thought to myself, tomorrow another area will do the same.

Low and behold, last night about midnight, I heard “popping”, yeah, I knew it, another area “bowed up”.

I am seriously thinking of a side line job in tile repair, I have had lots of experience lately.

GO AWAY LOWS IN THE 30˚ range and HIGHS IN THE 60˚ range.

I miss summer!!!

OK, I’m done for now.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

The err, first attempt... a 14 year olds sailors story


No, not on the road, on the intercoastal canal………..

The beginning of the tale…

A person who lived in or around Long Island , bought a boat at a salvage sale from the US Navy. Manufactured in 1942, a torpedo retriever, originally built to collect the practice torpedoes fired from PT boats and submarines during training, and also to haul targets for naval gunnery practice.

Originally equipped with a 670 diesel, this owner replaced it with a gas powered Chevy 350.

He retired and decided to take his boat, wife and there three cats to Florida. They made it, barely, unfortunately, the Chevy engine didn’t.

Short of cash, he sold the boat to a broker, who sold it to a person in Texas. How it arrived in La Porte, I don’t know.

Enter my part in this hitchhiking trip.

The boat was purchased when it was docked in La Porte Texas, no engine and all, to supposedly live out its life as a dive boat in Port Aransas.

Day one of moving it to the yard in Engleside Texas , we spent the night in La Porte, every time a ship would pass by in the Houston ship channel the tide would rise about 2’ over the piers, and then go down leaving all kinds of feces, toilet paper ect. All of that laying on top the piers in the boatyard.

This was about 1974; the Houston ship channel had the black water then.

Bright and early the next morning we towed it from the marina out in the ship channel with a 16’ 50 hp outboard. (Understand the boat was 42’, with a 12’ beam and drafted 3 ½ ‘)

The first night we spent just off shore from a refinery in Texas City. The next morning the person in charge of this fiasco decides that instead of towing the boat, we hitchhike on push boats. All well and good, we got a hitch with a Louisiana push boat for a few miles, and they got us another hitch with another boat, again a Louisiana push boat. The push boat crew had just cooked, and err…. that’s the reason I hate fried liver to this day.

One of the strangest things I saw, or maybe these surfers were just dedicated, was that there were 3 or 4 of them, in the Houston ship channel. They would paddle out and wait for the tankers and cargo ships to come by and ride the waves from the ships wake. (The waves looked to me to be about 6’ to 8’, of course black, like the water was.)

Anyway the second push boat took us all the way to the swing bridge at Sergeant, but……going thru the locks at the Colorado River, we lost the out board, and almost lost the big boat, the pilot of the push boat scrubbed it up against the bulk heads at the locks. (When asked, they said they where breaking in a new pilot).

While we where anchored at Sergeant, the current changed and started to turn the boat, so I went to reset the bow line, a 12" passage by the cabin with rotten wood took care of almost half the skin on my foot. My shipmates flagged down a pleasure fisherman, got a ride to shore and went to the store in Sergeant, they bought first aid stuff, a hamburger and a 6 pack of Bud, hot food and cold beer fixes everything..

The guys also went to the swing bridge operators office?, cubicle? Whatever, and heard that the Margo Kelso was coming thru.

One of my shipmates was a commercial diver who had removed a wire rope that was wrapped in the Margo Kelso’s wheel previously, so he knew them. The bridge operator let him talk to them and, believe this or not, they came thru the swing bridge, dropped there barges, and came back and picked us up.

Good Lord oh mercy, a nice push boat, with air conditioning and a shower!!!!!, and as far as I am concerned some of the best spaghetti I ever ate

They took us all the way to the entrance to the Victoria barge cannel, radioed to get us another ride all the way to the bridge over Copano bay where a boat from the Engleside boat yard picked us up. Solid ground at last, then of course followed 3 months of scraping, re-caulking, painting and cleaning out the nastiest bilge that you can imagine (the previous owners 3 cats remember).

A 5 day trip, hitchhiking, eating cold Campbell’s soup straight out of the can most times, kudos to the generosity of the push boat crews that shared their hot meals, they were very much appreciated.

After all was said and done, the boat was a lemon, installed a 470 diesel and it vibrated like hell, had the shaft turned, still vibrated, it turned out that the packing box was warped.

We ended up selling it to a commercial fisherman, so as far as I know, it is still in the Rockport area.

Lot’s of sweat and a lot of memories with that old boat.


A Jungle Story

The top lion of the jungle ascended to his throne about 5 years ago.

The previous top Lion challenged him but alas the jungle inhabitants decided to choose a new leader.

Things went great for the new leader for a few years, all the lesser power lions agreed with ever decision he deemed correct.

Then a new, lesser power Lion manage to make it all the way into the inner circle, this little Lion would question some of the top Lions decisions.

Lo and behold, the jungle inhabitants decided to listen and elect new lesser power Lions.

One of the most trusted lesser Lions was replaced, this came as a great shock to the top Lion. But he felt secure in the election of a different lesser Lion he knew, and he assumed that that lesser Lion would agree with his views and all would be right in his view of the jungle.

At first,smiles and fair greetings were exchanged between the top Lion and the new lesser Lion.

But things weren't what them seemed, and the top Lion found himself dealing with the lesser Lions that expressed the true feeling of the jungle population.

What to do? Asked the top Lion to himself.

"I know" thought the top Lion, "I will keep making the lesser Lions vote over and over until they agree with me."

Little does the top Lion realize, or maybe he does and he won't accept it, that a new vision for the jungle has been embraced by it's inhabitants

Now the top Lion, faced with adversity, snarls, grunts, rolls his eyes, demeans the new lesser Lions and dreams of the way HE USE TO RULE THE JUNGLE.