Sunday, October 30, 2011

halloween stories ... or not

My daughter and her BF WHERE going to stay at our land six miles NW of Yorktown after going to Western Days... her BF got the heebie jeebes when they went there, so they didn't.

Dakota could have been right... a little local lore...

Our place north of Yorktown is in the area of what some locals call crazy man woods.
The story goes that years ago a family lived in the area and had a "strange" son, probably a treatable disorder these days, but anyhow, they couldn't handle him so they kept him chained and in a cage. He would escape now and then and prowl all around the area, peeking in at and scaring other family s, stealing things and just being a pain in the ass, this was in the late 1930s.

My family bought the land in about 1984 or so. And we met our neighbors...

Felix and Anne Respondeck, a brother and sister that still lived in the house they were born in after their parents had passed away. Felix took care of their cows, drove his pickup to town and bought what they needed. Anne probably never left her little piece of land. You have to understand that neither one of them had every married and lived together in their parents house all their lives. Strange in these days but not so much in crazy man woods I guess.

Anne use to come prowl around our house at night. How did we know? Easy, she didn't own a pair of shoes and in the morning we would find bare footprints in the sand, the soil there is sandy.

She would come over during the daylight and stand at the yard fence and yell "Ello", she did have a accent, and be invited in to ask whatever she wanted. She didn't even know how to use a telephone, my mom had to show her. ANYway...I talked to her one day, this is what she told me...

"There is this old woman, a witch, who lives over there (pointed north), she can make herself look like a 20 year old and she goes to the bars in town and talks men into coming home with her, then she kills them, then she turns old again. She has 23 dead bodies in the house attic, she keeps them."

She also claimed that because her brother Felix had had a stock pond dug on their land, that the digging had set loose 16 dead spirits who now run around screaming, wanting to be buried again. Ohh and the long dead Indian that tormented her until she found his comb and gave it back to him.

I admit, staying there alone I have had a uneasy feeling before, but not ever time.

So was Dakotas fear justified or not?

It is not for us humans to glimpse the other world, or is it?

Monday, September 19, 2011

There are still some good guys out there

Sometimes you make the right phone call and talk to the right person.

I had a touchscreen monitor go out on a piece of equipment, I called my distributor in Houston and talked to the tech then the parts person.

The parts person said a exchange monitor would cost roughly $450, a new one $1300, but they didn't have any and suggested I call their other locations in Dallas and San Antonio.

Dallas didn't have any either so I called SA, they didn't have any but transferred my call to their tech.

I told him the problem and he asks what manufacturer the monitor was and then says "Does the screen just come on for a second or two when you turn it on and then go blank?" I said exactly.

He says "There are two 470uf capacitors on the board that the power cord plugs into, change them."

Two thumbs up, that fixed the monitor for all of $1.42 and a hour or so of my time.

$450 vs $1.42? That's a no brainier!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Rising From the Rubble

From Odd Todds site,

A ground view of the World Trade Center site.

Almost 10 years after, like the mythical Phoenix, a rebirth is rising from the ashes and rubble.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Lone Tree Creek Retention pond

Let me see if I have this right.

The Lone Tree Creek retention was built a quite few years ago. In fact the dirt from the pond was used to build the overpasses on Loop 463. How long ago was that?

Anyway, when the retention pond was proposed it was claimed that it would remove property from the flood zone. A study was voted on approved by the City Council to modify the flood plan map. Again, how long ago was that? At least 2001 if I remember right.

About 3 years ago, I asked my insurance agent that since the retention pond had been built at least five years before, that if a piece of property that is still in my name, still required flood insurance. He said "Well it's on the border line by the current 1981 maps, the city says they will apply to update the flood zone maps because of the retention pond. In other words, Yeah you still need flood insurance, the city hasn't modified the map.

TODAY, 5/19/2011, ten years later,a letter arrives from Atkins North American Inc., with the results of the study to modify the flood pain map, which basically says that "your property", not the one I asked about btw, has either changed from it previous flood plain status +1% or -1% for a hundred year flood.

To Quote...

"The BFE and floodway shall be revised from a point 1,550 feet downstream of the Southern Pacific Railroad to a point just downstream of John Stockbauer Drive. The LOMR will result in increases and decrease in the 1% annual chance of water-surface elevations with a maximum increas of 0.8 feet at a point approximately 350 upstream of Business 59 and a maximum decrease in the 1% annual water-surface elevation of 2.8 feet at a point approximately 900 feet upstream of Miori Lane. As a result of the floodway revision the floodway shall widen and/or narrow with a maximum widening of 710 feet at a point approximately 1,150 feet downstream of Airline Road and a maximum narrowing of 750 feet at a point approximately 1,250 feet upstream of Ben Jordon Street."

Did you get that????

The last sentence says... "Please feel free to contact Mr. John Johnston at 361-485-3320, at the City of Victoria, if you have any questions or concerns about the proposed changes or its effect on your property."

Now, how much did the city and county pay for this study that has taken 10 years to complete, and what exactly does it say? Guess I will have to call, but since the property wasn't in the flood plain before, why would it change after the retention pond was built?

Taxpayer funded studies are so much fun, I swear.

Monday, May 2, 2011

A golf ball update

The neighbor lady came to visit today, after small talk she complained about... GOLF BALLS!

I asked if they had a number on them, she pulled one out of her pocket it was numbered 48. She also said that a golf ball had broken one of her upstairs windows and the neighbors on the other side of her have found golf balls in their yard too.

I knew that air cannon thing was strong but geez, the culprits fire it from behind 710 and they land all the way at 702.

She asked for my collection of golf balls, asked if I knew where they came from, I complied with both requests.

So, she is going to make a report. She is the only one with actual damage, though a few feet to the right and I would have had head damage.

Anyway, it looks like, maybe, the great golf ball attack will at least be looked into.

(I,m glad I held off on the kitty litter revenge!)

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Am I getting to be the old grouchy guy ?

For awhile I have found golf balls in the back yard.

I figured they came from the teenagers that live on Maplewood behind my house and they had hit a errant practice shot from their backyard to mine.

In the last two weeks the golf balls have been numbered, I thought, oh well no big deal.

Today I went out to dip the leaves, clean the filter and feed the fish in the Coy pond.

I heard a, not loud, bang, and a golf ball came sailing by through the Oak tree branches and about 8' from me.

I said,"Damn good shot."

And things got quite from whence the golf ball came.

Occasionally there are a couple of hawks that enjoy our bird bath, last summer I found a hawk dead in the backyard and a couple of weeks later, two dead doves.

At that time, again taking care of the fish, I heard a air rifle going off, I bitched at the kiddos that time and have not found anymore dead birds.

Back to the present, it is obvious that the new thrill is some kind of air cannon thing that shoots golf balls.

That seems like a expensive habit to me, after all the pictured golf balls are Titelest, Pinacle and other brand names that look brand new, they aren't range balls.

So I hope if they run out, or their dad figures out he is missing all his golf balls, this will end too. Although the balls numbered from 11 to 77 so far tells me they have a almost unlimited supply.

Anyone want to buy some golf balls? They are not getting them back!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Mom doesn't want a new TV!

My Moms 10 year old 27" Zenith console TV was showing its age.

On some channels, no matter what you tried, the color just wasn't right, and the sound was funky on every channel.

Her oldest grandson offered to buy her a new TV for Christmas, he has been complaining about it for over a year, she shot that down by saying " I don't want one of those TVs that hang on the wall or set on a table, I like my console TV."

So I broke out the measuring tape, then went to Tiger Direct.

Now Mom has a new 28" flat screen TV... and the best thing for her, she still has her console! A win all the way around.

The Damn trim out to longer than installing the TV in the console. LOL

Finished product shown above.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Part Of My Life, It Was Fun

This is just a little tale of a part of my life.

About 1978, after going to school at what was then TSTI in Waco, I returned home, to work for my dads company.

While I was at school, he had hired a manager for the diner we owned. The managers daughter came to visit her dad, her mom and dad where divorced, and one thing lead to another and I ended up in Baton Rouge LA.

After I had went through about $300 of my $700 of cash on hand, I applied for, and was hired by Automatic Music Company in Baton Rouge, for all of $5.25 a hour.

In the 9 months I worked there, my pay was raised to $7.50, which was considered outrageous by my co-workers.

They had us “street mechanics” on a shift work schedule, week one, 8 am until 5 pm in the shop, second week, 8am until 5pm on the street, third week, 2pm until 10pm on the street, fourth week, 5pm until all calls where finished, sometimes as late as 4 am.

Some interesting things happened on the street work.

I went to the Al Green lounge on East Blvd.,(yeah, the singer owned it), where a employee waited to meet me outside and the sign on the door said , “No guns or Knifes allowed.”

There was also all the LSU college bars, the Tigers Lair, the Brass Rail, where a butt naked guy was getting hazed by his fraternity brothers and soccer was being played with a empty beer keg as the ball.

There was also the version of a Louisiana redneck bar, where a drunk lady told me, “if you don’t fix this jukebox, I’m going to squash you behind it.” I did fix it.

Then there was the gay bars, more than one believe it or not, one only a block away from the LA capitol building, where the Village people songs played over and over, at least while I was fixing their machines.

There was also the little truck stop on Airline Hwy, they also had motel rooms, while I was fixing the pinball machine, the owner, I guess, answered the phone, talked, then said… “That damn Cherry, every time she fucks a guy she wants fresh sheets, what makes her so special?” Yeah it was a “cat house”, like the one across the river in Port Allen, that had one one jukebox and 43 walboxes s , one in every room, $2 a hour for the room don’t ya know.

And of course, the little Italian restaurant, I fixed the jukebox and the owner say “Come, set with me, you want something to drink?”

He says to me… “I know you work for the New Orleans family (true, that was who owned AMC), I come from New York, and I am friends with the family there, can I get a newer box?” I passed his request up the chain of command.

When I decided to come back to Texas, my boss in Baton Rouge offered me his job because he was getting promoted to New Orleans.

That was one of those crossroads moments in life. I have wondered more than once, how my life would have been different if I had chosen the other path.

Don’t get me wrong, working for that company, no one did anything illegal, other than do a favor for a Baton Rouge city councilman for a favorable zoning ruling ;).

It was a great time to be a 20 year old, lots of fun, and if I would have taken it, a complete change of my life.