Tuesday, March 31, 2009

These dudes have balls of steel.

I wanna try this so bad I can taste it. I'd carry the scars on my arm like a trophy. Seriously!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Friday stuff.

Last Friday was a mix of mind numbing tedium, fun and good times.

My buddy Waters and I've recently been tasked by our boss to go out to San Saba on a few Fridays during a semester and give the THEA exams to prospective students. It's the exam these folks have to take to qualify for college classes at the prison.

Usually this is a job done by college administrators, but they've had a difficult time keeping those folks over at Saba. They had one lady in the job last year, just before I got there, but she was quickly let go. Still not sure why. When she was ditched, the administrator that runs the campus at the prisons in Gatesville took over the Saba campus. But now she's quit, taking a job with the Windham School District, teaching classes to the "Offenders" as they get ready to get out of jail.

So, as they fiddle fuck around, offering a minimal amount of money ( about 27 grand) to any college graduate who might check out the job, Waters and I will be going out to San Saba on the one day of the week when we're not supposed to have to. It's tedious as hell, but mostly harmless. It'll only be a few weeks each semester, but it'll take a minimum of five and a half hours to give the exams and handle the paper work.

We only had to be there for about an hour this last Friday, just long enough to get a picture of how they do the testing. Waters was Hilarious. He'd make snide remarks to the boss under his breath, bitchin' about how it sucked that he had to be there on his day off. I didn't have to say a thing. I just stood there tryin' not to laugh out loud. When she walked away he'd look up at me and say stuff like "I guess if we screw this up enough they'll get someone else to do it."

I just laughed and agreed with him. We watched her administer the exam this time, and then she let us go. After we got out of there I took Waters to the Dairy Mart so he could try the food I've been raving about for months.

It was my treat. I told him if he didn't like the food I'd eat it, but I knew he'd love it. He wasn't sure about the Jalapeno Sourdough Bread Bacon Cheeseburger. He's not really into peppers, but I told him I'd finish it... that we'd switch out if he didn't like it. I was having the ham and cheese po boy, with potato chips and a Diet Dr. Pepper. When the food arrived he started taking his burger apart, lookin' for the peppers. I laughed and told him "No, dude, they're baked into the bread!" A light went off in his head, he realized the jalapenos wouldn't be an issue, and he settled down to enjoy the meal.

Mostly, other than our troubles with the college, we talked about guns. Waters is my connection with the CMP, and he's gotten me some beautiful stuff. My beautiful, Korean war era Springfield M-1 Garand, and my WW2 era Winchester M-1 Carbine came to me through him. And you've all seen the shots of us shooting on his property. Now he's found out that he might be able to get an M-1C, a sniper version of the Garand from the CMP.

When he originally told me about this I got excited thinkin' about getting such a cool rifle, scope and all. But while we were talkin' Friday, Dave told me that these rifles won't come with a scope or mount. But, he has a scope mount for that rifle, inherited from his father. He says the scope mount is worth a ridiculous amount of money on it's own. He thinks he'll get the rifle and then have the mount and a correct, period scope attached to it. It won't be a perfect collectors piece, but it'll be cool enough anyway. I can't wait to see what he does with it.

After the feed we set off to head home. I called Mom and sis and told them I wouldn't be able to make dinner. In stead, I'd decided to take the little woman out to dinner, and to a movie. I got home and surfed my emails for a bit, waiting for her to get home from work. Once she got there, we looked at the shows and decided to go see Knowing, with Nicolas Cage. She said she was afraid it might be scary, but I looked it up and told her it was more of a Sci Fi flick. We also decided that after the flick we'd go to the Texas Roadhouse for dinner.

The movie was wonderful. There were several scenes that left me with my mouth agape, stunned. The plane crash for instance. I don't think I've ever seen anything like that before. Looking back on it, I think the realism of the film was easily up to par with anything I've seen before. It does for disaster flicks what Saving Private Ryan or Band Of Brothers did for War movies. The end might be a bit fanciful for some, but I liked it. It really was great, and I recommend it to everyone.

After the movie we went to a local liquor store near the theater and picked up some adult beverages. Mom was out of Tequila, and Denise needed some Seagram's 7. While we perused the goods, I noticed a new looking bottle of George Dickel, the brand of whiskey Mushy turned me onto a while back. It looked like a new produce, calling itself Old Fashioned Tennessee Sour Mash. Well, I dunno. As far as I can tell, they make two kinds... #8 and #12. The #12 is 90 proof, and the #8 is 80 proof. This new stuff is 80 proof, so maybe it's just another way of marketing the weaker stuff. Their web site says the #8 is sweeter, and this stuff is. It goes really well with Diet Coke. So...

Anyway, we went to the Texas Road House and ate dinner. We've never had a bad time at the Road House there in Killeen. It was great. Denise had the Smothered Chicken. Grilled, marinated chicken breast with sauteed onions, sauteed mushrooms and made-from-scratch cream gravy or jack cheese. I had the Smokehouse Burger. It's a ½ lb. of fresh ground chuck with sautéed mushrooms, onions, BBQ Sauce, jack cheese, and cheddar cheese, topped with shredded lettuce and sliced tomato. She chose a glass of wine, while I chose a tall Zeigen Bock. Good stuff.

After all that, we headed home and collapsed on the couch. The rest of the weekend was spent in a lazy stupor. We slept in, laid around watchin' TV, and ate in. As usual, we told ourselves that we'd get chores done next weekend. We'll see how that goes. Anyway, I hope all o f you had a great, relaxed weekend. Cheers!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Got an email from a good friend this morning.

Thought I'd share. One of my shooting buddies is talking about another one, who's been giving away old magazines lately. He's given me some too, and you'll hear about it later. Anyway, the email went as follows.

FHB (not his real name) --

Waters is slowly farming off a bunch of his old gun magazines to me. I've attached a pic to this email, I found it on page 89 of the July/August 2006 edition of "American Cop" magazine. I saw it and immediately thought of you and your blog. These cops know how to take crime and "nip it in the bud"!

Just a side note -- is it just me, or does the officer on the driver's side of the patrol car look a lot like the former governor of Illinois? :-)

Damn, I wanna play too... and that does look like Blogoyavitch. Hilarious!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

You drink coffee?

Naaaa, Diet Mtn Dew for me please. I whip up some milk coffee for the little woman every morning though, while she gets her business face on. I've just never developed a taste for the stuff.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Pictures, and the rest of the story.

Like I said, we flew up to Nashville last weekend to spend some time with Denise's kids and attend a huge St. Patrick's Day piss-up at a friends house.

This is us in the airport in Killeen, Thursday morning at about 7:45, before we were swept up into the vortex of evil our flight to Houston would soon turn out to be. I look like I'm in good spirits, even though it was the ass crack of dawn. Denise looks like she's feeling a little foreboding though. Women's intuition?

Here's Denise, callin' her kids from the Chilli's at the Houston airport, FOUR HOURS LATER! It was supposed to be a 45 minute flight.

She's tellin' her kids we wouldn't be coming in on the 10:10, or the 12:20 flight. We were there from about 12:30 till 5:30.

We killed a LOT of time playin' Gin on a bench near our gate.

That's me, shufflin'. I always loved to shuffle. Somethin' about the feel of it.

We got to Lynn's place by about 9:15. Then it was Show and Tell... Denise showing Lynn all the goodies she brought back from England for the baby (due in September)...

And the special British sweets she brought back for the girls. They grew up on the stuff, so it's always a special treat. The cat, Spice, got interested at this point, sensing there was something good to eat in the vicinity.

Friday evening, we all met at the Shnitzel Haus in Elizabethtown. They've been going to this place for a long time, and it's really good. The best German food in town. The shot above shows Denise's grandson Bryce, about to cut into his Zigeunerschnitzel.

Saturday evening we drove up to E-Town and went to the party at Joan's. That's me, smokin' a Macanudo 1968. I handed out Kuba Kubas to a few guys and shared my Yuengling.

One fellow, another Brit names Colin, enjoyed the Kuba Kuba, but really loved the Yuengling. I told him to get himself down to Tennessee and pick himself up some.

The party was a big hit, as I'm told it always is. I spent most of my time on the screened in porch, but came in now and then to mingle and surf the wild assortment of food.

After the crowd died down, a few people helped Joan clean up. I helped empty the bowl of Southern Comfort Punch, which you see there on the left.

That's Joan there in the green. She's a huge friend to Denise, the two having worked together on Ft. Knox for years. That's Colin's wife there in the Orange.

On the way home, Denise went nuts over these baby things at a store at D-FW airport. We flew home on American (the trip up had been on Continental) via Dallas. The flights home were easy peasy. No problems at all. We even made it onto an earlier flight than the one we'd paid for from Dallas and got home ahead of our bag. I had to go back to the airport in Killeen (10 minutes from the house) at 10:30 to pick it up. No worries!

We still don't know if Lynn's kid is male or female, so she had to pass them up. Everyone is hoping for a girl, since Denise's other daughter has already had two boys. I joke that I want a boy, and the others accuse me of tryin' to jinx it. I tell 'em there's already too damn many women in this family as it is. Denise's brother agreed with that.

Anyway, there you have it. It was a fun time, aside from the puddle jumper flight to hell to start it all off. Lets say, the trip stared in the gutter and could only get better from there. Later, Cheers!

Monday, March 23, 2009

We're baaaaaack.

First off, THIS is bullshit. I'm not against folks who voice dissent, but this guy is a prick, and the Navy must be thinkin' about keeping their support together in this Democratic Congress to want to give this asshat any acknowledgment.


Now, I'm back at the library in San Saba. I'm back to work after a week off for Spring Break. I had my regular Monday ritual (jalapeño sourdough bacon cheeseburger) a little bit ago and now I'm tryin' to catch up on emails and stuff.

I called one of my neighbors... one of the folks that lives out by my property and told him I was selling. I think I could smell the saliva on his breath as he heard the news. he's wanted it bad for a long time, so I don't think I'll have much trouble getting what I want for it.

Denise and I got back from Nashville last night around 7:15. We spent the last four days up in Kentucky, visiting her kids and grand kids and attending a big throw down at the home of a friend of hers. I had a great time, drinking Yuengling and smoking a few cigars on the porch. The food and company were both great.

We left Killeen Thursday around 8:50 AM for what was supposed to be a forty-five minute flight to Houston. However, that short hop turned into a four hour flight, due to fog that socked in the Houston Airport and a detour to College Station to refuel. Four hours in a little turbo prop puddle jumper! Not pleasant!

Of course, we missed our 10:10 flight to Nashville, and then the 12:20 flight they signed us up for, and then missed the stand-by seats on the 3:30 flight. So, we were in Houston, eating and playing cards till about 5:45. We didn't get to Nashville until about 7:30. We were supposed to be there by about noon. I tell ya, it was the day from Hell!

We rented a car, a Chevy Cobalt (CRAP!), and drove the hour or so up to Bowling Green and spent the night at Denise's daughter's house. We stopped at a Stop-N-Rob just south of the state line and I picked up a couple of 6-packs of Yuengling and a bottle of 7-Up. They still don't sell Yuengling Traditional lager in Kentucky, and Denise needed the soda for her "Shandy".

We got to the house in Bowling Green by about 9:15, and then I watched and took pictures (I know, shocking) while Denise showed off all the baby clothes (Lynn is pregnant, due in September) and sweets she'd picked up for the kids in England. We had a late dinner, ordering a pizza, watched a little TV and eventually hit the sack.

We slept in Friday and then spent the day at the mall in Bowling Green, looking at baby stuff. Then we zipped up to Elizabethtown. We had a great dinner at a local German restaurant there that Denise and her family have been going to for decades, and Denise's other daughter and her two boys joined us there. We went over to their house for a bit and then headed back down to Lynn's.

We slept in Saturday and then Denise, Lynn and I went to Panera Bread for brunch. We gassed up the Cobalt (friggin' guzzler!), left Lynn back at home and then Denise and I drove back up to E-Town to connect with her friend Joan.

The St. Patricks Day party at Joan's place has been an annual ritual for many years. Denise has missed the last two because of work, so I was happy to go along and join her on this one. It's a huge affair, with all sorts of local folks, lots of interesting food to eat and good booze to drink. I still had one six pack of Yuengling and three cigars left by Saturday evening, so I spent much of the night out on Joan's screened in porch, introducing a few other guys to Acid Kuba Kubas and the fruits of America's oldest brewery. Both went over BIG!

It was a great time. After it all ended, Denise and I spent the night at Joan's. We got up earlyish Sunday, said our good-byes and drove over to say goodbye to Denise's older daughter Chantel. She's an Emergency Room Nurse there at the local hospital, so we just drove over and grabbed her from work.

After that we drove down and spent a little time with Lynn and her husband, and then we headed south to Nashville. We gassed the guzzler up just outside the airport, turned it in and were sitting with our tickets, bag checked with plenty of time to relax and check out the stores in the concourse. We had lunch at O'Charley's, and I was disappointed to find that the restaurants in the airport don't have Yuengling, on tap or otherwise. Tootsies didn't even go there. At one store I found a funny t-shirt advertising Moon Pies. I had to explain to Denise why "Eat More Pie" could be taken as a rude reference. You know, she's a lady, and she ain't from around these parts.

We were flying west towards Dallas, taking a break from the card game to eat pretzels and drink orange juice when I glanced through the Sky Mall catalog in the seat pocket in front of me. On the cover, this little item caught my eye. I must have swooned and giggled uncontrollably, because Denise cracked up. Can you imagine how cool it would be to have that thing in your living room? Looking at it, I briefly had a vision of myself, teaching my college class while sitting in it. I know, hilarious!

Anyway, they're about to close up the library, so I'll tell you the rest and show you pictures another day. Cheers!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Down under.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Pure wisdom.

It's about freedom folks. Absolute and unadulterated. Anything else is just the thin end of the wedge!

What an asshole!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Gettin' stuff done... takin' pictures with the phone.

I gave blood down at the school last Friday. I didn't know they were gonna have the blood bus show up that day. Denise was stayin' home from work, sleepin' in, gettin' over her jet lag from the flight back from Britain. It was an early out day (pep rally or something), so I got out of class way early. I didn't have anywhere else to go after class, job wise, so I decided to cut loose with a few pints.

Last time I gave I had to spend a hour explaining all the countries I'd been to in the last twenty years. But this time it was easy. Haven't been anywhere in the last few years. Haven't used a pro, or been a pro in the last few years. Nope, I haven't had sex for money in a good while. Can't find anyone willing to pay up. They don't know what they're missin'.

A few of my students were in there when I got there. It was fun, messin' with their heads, tellin' 'em how big the needle is that they use. You know, they need volume, otherwise you'd be there all day. Told 'em to poke one girl about five times for me. She's sweet, but can be a pain in the ass now and then. Her mom too. She's one of those that emails me wanting to know why her little dear didn't make a better grade on the exam. Tedious! I don't EVER have to deal with shit like that at the base, or at the jail.

Anyway, I sat myself down and got jabbed, and got a cool t-shirt for my trouble. Apparently my blood is special. There's a virus that most people get that contaminates their blood. But apparently I've never had that virus, so my blood is particularly good for little premature babies, and maybe AIDS patients. So it makes me feel really good to give. Still, I don't do it often enough, so I take advantage of the opportunity when the blood bus comes to Florence.

The week since then has been fun. Time off for good behavior? Naaa, just Spring Break. Been spendin' a lot of time in front of this computer, gettin' stuff done and relaxin'. Denise has had to work this week, so I stay home and cook dinner. We had BBQ ribs Friday night, and then left-overs Saturday. We took Mom out to Dynasty for Chinese food Sunday, and then had chicken and a big salad on Monday night. Tuesday evening, we met up with a good friend from work at a place in Killeen called the Pizza Palace. They make the best pizza in town, hands down.

I drove up to Gatesville and shot the new toy at Dave's place yesterday afternoon. Got up there and discovered that ol' Dave's has a new woman in his life.

She hasn't got a name yet, but she's cute as can be. He said she just wandered up one day a few weeks ago. She's about doubled in size since then. Oh, and she and Red get along fine.

I picked her up a cuddled her, forcin' myself on her the way I'm prone to do. Next thing I know she's purrin' and walkin' all over me. I tell ya, I've got the touch. Pretty soon Red is pushin' her head into the mix, feelin' jealous of all the attention the cat's gettin'. So I had to talk sweet to her too.

We loaded up the truck and headed out, findin' the ground to be mostly dry. He said he'd gotten at least five inches of rain in the storm that rolled through last week. We've been so dry for so long, most of that soaked right into the ground.

That's my new toy, and my shooting bag. The clip is from Dave's new Tokarev, and that's his Garand in the white bag. He traded an extra Garand for the Tokarev from a guy he knows. He asked me to bring mine up so he could compare them (they're slightly different). I also brought him a reference book, so he could read up on a few things. He shot his Tokarev and one of his new Garands. I just shot the Galil.

We rolled up and found his shooting bench broken down. No tellin' if it was a cow, or the storm. We just propped it up and it worked fine. I forgot to bring my camera this time, so I was reduced to taking pictures with the phone.

He sighted in his Tokarev, and then his new Garand, and then I blasted away with the Galil. It shot fine with the Russian ammo. For some reason, the brass cased NATO .223 I had kept sticking in the chamber. The lacquered steel Russian .223 shot smooth as shit. I've heard stories about the lacquered steel rounds leaving a build up in the gun and messing with the brass. Maybe that was the issue.

I also found that one of the three clips that came with the rifle doesn't feed properly. The other two work perfectly. I'll have to tinker with it and see what I can do with it. All in all, I'm very happy with it. I even have plans to get a few extra parts and pieces for it. We'll see how things go.

Today is my last day to chill before we fly up to Nashville and then drive up to Kentucky to visit with Denise's family for a few days. We fly up early Thursday and then fly back Sunday afternoon. By the time I head back to work Monday I'll be a pooped padna. You have a great week and we'll talk after. Cheers!

Any Prius owners out there?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

My woman's home, and I got a new toy.

Denise got home Thursday night after a week in England, her Mother Country. She had a wonderful time, helping her younger brother calibrate his 50th birthday. She had a smooth trip, for the most part, only suffering through some drama on the return flight. It was wonderful to have her back, and we've spent the weekend getting reacquainted.

When she got back home Thursday night she broke open her bags and look what spilled out.

When she left she took a bunch of Christmas and Birthday presents for her family, so on the return trip she had lots of space left in the bags. So, she filled the empty bags with English treats that she can't easily get here.

Anyone recognise any of this stuff? Anyone who's familiar with what they have over there will be amazed at this stash.

Their chocolate is richer than ours. Not sure why, but it is. It's like the beer... higher alcohol content. More potent. Well, the chocolate is the same way. Otherwise, the rest of this stuff is just English food that she can't get over here. Oh, we're not gonna eat it all. She'll share it out with her daughters when we fly up there at the end of this week and spend a few days with them.

She also got some baby clothes for the new Grandchild, due in September. Her younger daughter is expecting. We'll fly out of Killeen this Thursday morning and rent a car in Nashville. Fly back Sunday, just in time to go back to work.

Also, I drove over to Temple Saturday afternoon and picked up my new toy. That's it, on my work bench. I should get a chance to shoot in this week. Waters and I plan a shoot ether Tuesday or Wednesday up at his place. Can't wait.

We went to see two movies over the weekend... The Watchmen, and Race to Witch Mountain. Of the two, The Watchmen was my favorite, but I also loved Race. Race was fun, but it's basically a kids movie. Watchmen is the opposite of that. Way too friggin' many full frontal shots of Dr. Manhattan, frankly, but the story was great. The violence was over the tip, in a good way. The little guy from Breaking Away (you remember?) plays the baddest dude in the movie. Wonderful stuff.

The scene between Silk Spectre and Night Owl in the flying machine, and the scene with Rorschach in the prison cafeteria are both worth the price of admission. You'll love the flash back in time to an alternate history, even if it is stupid and insulting in some fundamental ways (Nixon as President in 85? And he and Kissinger itching to set off a global nuclear war? What silly liberal tripe!). Anyway, it's well worth seeing.

Check out Race too. You can take your kids to that one and enjoy the hell out of it. There are even some cameo appearances by the actors who played the two kids in the original movies. Watch closely in the scene where the Rock takes the two kids into a dive to eat while the cab is being fixed (by Cheech Marin). Of course, the evil, sinister government is the villain again in this flick. You'd think Hollywood would tire of that old theme, but I guess it works.

Anyway, I've got a week off from everyone, Spring Break, so I'll be chillin' here at the house while the little woman toils away. You guys try to have a good week. Cheers!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Love this.

Gun Control isn't about guns. It's about control.

I'm cool with this...

Just so long as they're finally forced to own up to this.

Thursday, March 12, 2009


I think I might soil my armor on that one. Looks like something I'd do though.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

STOP! They had me at "Corvette".

Sold! But please, the dudes from U.N.C.L.E. did NOT drive Corvairs.

Wasn't that a hoot? makes me wanna cuddle up on the couch and watch reruns.

Monday, March 09, 2009

The weekend.

I got out of class Friday at about 10:40, tossed my briefcase in the trunk and headed back up to Killeen. I had a date of sorts, with some ammunition.

As I told you in last Fridays post, a retired CTC Dean who lives near my house had some .223 for sale. We'd talked the last weekend at the Gun Show in Belton.

$35 for a bag of 100 rounds. of reloads. That's the five bags there, on my work bench. I'd called his number about mid week and he'd told me he had 500 rounds. When I told him I wanted it all he said he'd round the price down. I ended up getting it all for $150. I found out when I got there that he's also got some .30-06 for sale, and some .30 carbine, but his price is a bit steep. We've been paying about .35 a round for Greek rounds from the CMP. Decent enough, but he's got Lake City, '68 and '69 manufactured, for .70 a round. A 400 round can for $280. I'm thinkin' about it. We'll see.

After that I headed to the Pharmacist, and then to Best Buy. I blew about $60 on new CDs. Got some B.B. King, Susan Tedeschi, Derek Trucks and Don Williams. Then I headed to the house and plopped in front of the computer to rip the new tunes and have a listen. At some point I wandered over to the couch and took an unplanned cat nap. I'd been up late with Denise the night before and was draggin' a bit. I was supposed to leave the house to head up to Waco at 4PM. Because of the nap, it ended up bein' more like 4:20. Oops. My bad.

I jumped up in a panic, got a quick shower and hit the road, headed for Glenn's place. I rolled up there a little over an hour later. He's a musician and a music teacher, teaching at an elementary school there in Killeen during the day and then for TSU on Ft. Hood in the evening. We've known each other for about ten or twelve years, teaching along side one another and sharing lots of laughs about this and that.

He lives up on the South side of Waco, east of I-35. It was easy to find. He showed me around his house briefly (a very cool place) and then we jumped into my car and headed for Big "D".

I'd payed for two tickets to see Derek Trucks at the Granada in Dallas a few weeks before, but then my girlfriend decided to fly to England and surprise her brother for his 50th birthday. I asked another buddy of mine who lives in Duncanville, but he was gonna be out of town that day. So Glenn was my third option. If he didn't want to go I was gonna have to go by myself and try to sell the extra ticket.

I asked him last Tuesday when we saw one another out at school and he was interested. He called me Wednesday morning to tell me his wife had given him the green light, so we were on. He gave me directions to his house Thursday, while we were both giving final exams.

We got up to Lower Greenville Ave. and found the show totally sold out. We parked on a residential street a few blocks from the gig and looked for somewhere to get a meal. There was a little Chinese place across the street from the theater, so we decided to give it a try. We finished our meal, good stuff too, at about 8PM... just in time to stroll across the street and get in line.

Once we got in they gave us some of those paper bracelets as IDs. Then it was $5 for a mixed drink and a stroll to the front of the stage, where we found something' to lean against for the next four and a half hours.

The place was much changed from the last time I was there. It was about 1984 then, and I was there to take in a Soviet film festival. OK, give me a break. I was in college then, taking Russian and thinking about becomin' a spook. Da, ya ne znayoo!

Anyway, it was a real theater then, but they've pulled all the seats now and replaced some of them in the upper tier with folding chairs. There are a few bars here and there, and they cook decent looking food too. Next time we'll pass on the Chinese and just get a beer and some pizza at the gig.

The lead act, Gary Clark Jr., was supposed to hit the stage at 8PM, but it was more like 9:15 when they came out and started to play. I didn't know what to expect, but was pleasantly surprised. The played some great music, and Mr. Clark there does know how to play that pretty red guitar. He's even got a decent bluesy voice. Their music swung from straight forward Rock, to classic Blues, to Funk. I liked it enough that as we were leaving, at about 12:30, I stopped and shook his hand and bought a CD.

They had several, so I asked him "Which one sounds like what we heard tonight?" He hesitated for a moment and then grabbed one. We tossed it in the player on the drive home and it was AWFUL! Badly recorded, and nothing like what we'd heard at the show. Damn, I hate it when that happens.

I went through the same thing at Terlingua one year. A guy named Max Stallings, played a set there one night with his band. I loved their live show, so I bellied up to the table there and bought one of their CDs. But when I played the friggin' thing it turned out to be nothing like their live show. It sucked. Bummer. Huge!

After about 20 minutes spent changing up the stage, Derek Trucks and his band came walking out from the curtain at the back of the stage and the real show started. It was amazing.

Trucks is the nephew of Butch Trucks, of the Allman Brothers. He plays guitar with them , and with lots of other folks. But his main thing these days is his own band, based out of his own recording studio at his home in Florida. After this show, I'd be willing to say that Trucks is about the best slide guitar guy around today. It was amazing. I was in heaven.

They put on an amazing show. I was a bit worried that Glenn wouldn't like the music. After they played their first few jams I leaned over to him with my arms out and made the "Well?" gesture. He smiled and said it was good. I said something like "Damn straight it is!" It turned out he liked it a lot.

They played for about two and a half hours, runnin' through lots of tunes from several of their CDs. Towards the end they brought Gary Clark and a few of his guys up and jammed with them. After a few more tunes the show ended, and then we walked back to the car and started the drive home. I got Glenn to his front door by about 2:15, and then I hit my own garage door about an hour later, and then spent the next hour and a half workin' on these shots.

It was another wonderful show. It turns out the Granada films it's shows and puts them on YouTube. Here's the link to their site. The show we saw isn't up there yet, but I'm sure it will be soon. Head over there anyway and check their other shows out. There's some cool stuff in there.

I slept in Saturday and then continued working on the pictures. I called Mom at some point and asked if she and sis wanted to go out to eat, but she said she was plannin' to cook chicken, so you know what happened next.

I got there late, too wrapped up in the computer to pay attention to what time it was, but then enjoyed a great meal there with the family. Mom had left the food in the oven to stay warm. That's home made fries on the left, cut by sis and fried my mom in her little Fry Daddy. And that's french bread on the right. Goooooood stuff!

Of course, the star attraction is Mom's chicken. She made enough so that we could all have extra chicken to eat for a while. I killed mine off Sunday afternoon. I tell ya, it's even good cold, right out of the fridge.

Mmmmm, good. After eating and having a little after dinner tipple, I headed back home. I sat up, playin' with the computer and watchin' TV. Then the phone rang at about 10:30. Denise and her family had just rolled in from the pubs, drunk off their asses. It was almost 4AM there. It was a hilarious call, and a sad one. Denise and I both wish I could be there with her, but I've got to work this week.

Anyway, Sunday was a lazy day. Sat around and surfed blogs, which is something I usually don't get much time to do any more. I watched TV and relaxed. I'll go back to work Monday, give a few late tests on base Tuesday night, and then Denise will fly home Thursday. That's when my life will get back to normal. I miss my wowman (said with an exaggerated southern drawl).

You guys take care, and we'll chat again later on. Cheers!

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Some close friends suffered a loss earlier today.

Go over here and read about it. I dare ya not to start ballin' like a baby. I did. We've all been there before.

It tugs at your heart, knowing that folks who are so close to you are goin' through such a sad time. But the time always seems to come when you've got to pay your four legged friends back for all the years of unconditional love and joy. You've got to put your own feelings aside and do the right thing. And they did, puttin' old Baylee down today.

I've been lucky to be invited to visit Paul and Judy there in Herriman a few times now. Both times, Baylee met me at the car with a tail wag and a smile. She always greeted me, wanting me to throw a toy and join her in play. I wish now that I'd spent more time doing that.

So, here's to a dog who was a sweet, great friend to some great friends of mine. And hugs to my two friends, who I know are hurtin' bad right now. Cheers!.

Friday, March 06, 2009


Lots of stuff goin' on today, so this'll be quick.

Denise is on her way to England. She flew out of Killeen Thursday afternoon and should have landed in Manchester this morning. She's surprising her family over there with a visit, particularly surprising her brother for his 50th birthday.

They were originally going to come here for the event, but his wife Carolyn couldn't get off from work. So Denise is gonna surprise him there. It should be great. Wish I could be there, but I have to work next week. So I'll be batchin' it for a week, till she comes back next Thursday. It's gonna be weird. I haven't slept alone in this big bed for 18 months.

I gave final exams in two classes last night on base, finishing up the semester there, and then went to a dive pool hall in town to join my Friends in the 9-ball team. I guess I played decently. Two beers, a fat cigar and a win later, I headed to the house.

After I get out of class in Florence this morning I'm gonna head back up to Killeen and try to find a guy's house, just south of where I live in town. The guys name is Ben Wickersham. He's a retired Dean from the college I teach for.

He's a gun guy, like me and most of the people I know, and he likes to get a table now and then at local gun shows and try to sell a few things. Denise and I ran into him at the show they had last weekend in Belton. He told me then that he had some .223 for sale, and the price was right. $35 for a bag of 100 rds!

It's reloaded ammo, but he swears by the quality of the reloads. Says he got 2000 rds. of the stuff a while back from a guy who's since taken a job loading rounds for the military. He used to reload all sorts of stuff but the government's been keeping him busy lately with orders for 50 cal. and .308 sniper rounds.

Anyway, he's got 500 rds. left. He said he'd round it down and sell it all to me for $150. Can't pass a deal like that up, what with a new Galil AR in the works (I'll take possession of it next Friday). So I'll drive up after class today and try to hook up with him. I've actually known him for a long time, through some other guys out at work. But we've never gone beyond a passing acquaintance. It'll be nice to see his place and see what he's got goin' on.

Later today I'm gonna drive up to Waco and pick up another guy I've known for many years. Glen Kueck is a Music teacher who teaches classes in the same building, across the hall from me on the base. I'll be teaching History or Government and he'll be playing some obscure Blues tune from YouTube. My students always laugh when I pause, smile and try to recognise the music. He usually plays great stuff.

We've known one another for many years, always teaching down the hall from one another. We even taught at a prison together a few years ago. He's a pretty cool guy, with a long history of seeing lots of great bands live and having lots of fun in the process.

Anyway, I've got an extra ticket to a show in Dallas Friday night. With Denise gone, Glen and I are gonna drive up and find somewhere to get dinner on Lower Greenville Ave. (should be easy), and then head to the Granada Theatre and see Derek Trucks and Guy Clark Jr. in concert. Trucks is an awesome guitar player who's worked with the likes of the Allman Brothers, Government Mule, and Eric Clapton. He's got his own band and makes lots of interesting music. Here's a taste.

It should be a wonderful evening. I'll drop Glen off again in Waco on the way back here and probably hit the sack around 3AM.

It'll be a quiet weekend after that. I'll head over to Temple to take Mom and Sis out to eat at some point, but mostly I plan to lay around and relax. Maybe clean up the garage. We'll see how motivated I get.

Anyway, you guys have a great weekend too and we'll chat again Monday. I should have some great shots from the gig. Cheers!

UPDATE: Denise called this morning, just as my alarm was set to go off. She made it to Manchester OK, and so did her bags. Her friggin' brother met her at the airport! Remember she was supposed to be surprising him. Turned out he was on the net, surfing for flights, planning to come here on his own. So Carolyn had to break down and tell him his sister was coming.

All is well there, She said she'd already had some good Fish and Chips, and some "proper" mushy peas, and some "proper" bread... YUK!

Anyway, I'm gonna go get dressed and drive to the Stop-n-Rob and get some "proper" Corn Dogs. Mmmmm, now there's a meal. Cheers!

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Last weekend.

Took Mom and Denise to BJ's in Temple last Friday. It was our regular Friday night outing. It's been switched up now that my sister is living at home there with Mom. She and Denise don't really get along. It's a long, stupid story that I won't go into. Suffice to say, there's a hell of a lot of folks who don't get along with my sister, and Denise hasn't been trained like the rest of us to take her shit. So there's friction.

So, I take Mom and Denise out one Friday, and then Mom and sis out the next. Yep, these women folk have to share the FHB. It's a HUGE struggle. Cat fights. Ugliness. Such is life, when one is slathered in womenfolks.

I jest! We all get along pretty well. Well, until sis shows up.

Denise and I drove over from Killeen and stopped in Salado so I could get a haircut. Then there was a brief stop at the local cigar store, and then we headed to Temple.

We picked up mom, and then I drove over to BJ's, on the West side of I-35. I dropped these two to the front door and went off to find a parking place. By the time I got in they'd already bellied up to the bar and ordered the first round of drinks.

This is my Blue Moon, off the tap with a slice of orange. Mmmmm, good.

They've got a few pulls there at BJ's, but not as many as I'd like.

At one point the bar tender served the girls a mixture of his own. He saw Denise order her "Shandy" (beer and soda mixed), and thought she might like his own little concoction. I think it was one of their own beers (they brew their own for the place) and some king of liquor. I took a sip and thought it was nasty as hell, but Denise liked it. Go figure.

At one point the little electronic thing went off, buzzin' and flashin' lights, almost scarin' the piss out of me. Then we were led off to our table. That's what's left off Denise's "Shandy" there on the left, my second Blue Moon in the middle, and Mom's Margarita on the right.

When the time came to order food, Mom and Denise chose appetizers, but I went for the Patty melt. Those are Tater Skins on the left, and Southwestern Spring Rolls on the right. Of course, I had to help them finish. Had too. It was just the polite thing to do.

After that Denise and I tried to see a movie. We wanted to see The International, with Clive Owen. But the theater at the Temple Mall only had a 9:50 showing, and we wanted to get into an earlier one than that. So we drove back to the theaters at Harker Hights and Killeen, but nether of those places had the movie showing. So, we blew it off for the night and decided we'd try again Saturday.

Saturday morning, we piled back in the car and I took Denise back to the mall in Temple. I left her at penny's, and then I drove back to Belton and met my buddy Dave at the Gun Show they were having there at the Expo Center.

Along the way I pulled out one of the new Macanudo 1968 cigars I'd picked up at the store in Salado.

Mmmmm, wonderful smoke. Nice and rich. Expensive, but well worth it.

Dave and I had a good time at the gun show, walkin' up and down the aisles and checkin' out the deals. I ended up getting a new sling for my Garand, a sling for my Finnish Mosin Nagant, and falling head over heals for a Galil ARM this guy was sellin'. $850!

Always wanted one of those. I was a good boy though, even though I'd just been paid and was flush with cash. I decided I'd go home and do my online bill pay, and then see how much money i had left after. It turned out, of course, that I didn't have enough left to get the rifle, but that didn't stop me. Plans and schemes began to work their way through my head.

I'd told the guy I might be back Sunday, but there were things to do first. I met Denise back at the Mall and we saw The International. Excellent flick! Great story, and a killer shoot out at the Guggenheim. How many movies can you say that about?

Anyway, Sunday started with the annual Wilson Family Reunion, at Morgans Point, near Belton. We've been going out there, to the Bell County Sportsman's Club, the first Sunday in March of every year, for as long as I can remember. This was the first reunion since dad passed, so I was figuring it would be emotional.

Mom and sis haven't gone to one of these in ages, each for their own reasons. But mom always cooks a platter of her famous chicken. Last year Denise and I failed to get into line fast enough and we didn't get any of this stuff. Of course, the Wilson's, Huey's and Rampy's (all descendants of the original Wilson who came here from Alabama in the early 1890s) all know about Mom's chicken.

So this time, when I got back into the car, Denise said "where's the chicken?" I told her it was int he trunk. "Well, get it. I want a piece!" I laughed and went to get the goods. We shared a piece or two on the way. I tell ya, it's GOOOOOOOD stuff.

All the regular folks were in attendance. Lots of cousins, a few aunts and one uncle, the last one left alive.

One of the family members came up with a new picture of the old family Patriarch. That's William Samuel Shields Wilson (known as WSS) and his first wife, Frances Adams Rampy. We think this was taken around 1891, just before they came here to Texas.

After the big feed, Denise and I took part in a long standing tradition. After the gut bustin' feed, we take a leisurely walk down the road to the lake. I saw along the way that the Red Buds were bloomin'. Must mean that Spring has sprung.

they sure are pretty. I've always love Red Buds.

There were lots of things sproutin' out all over, despite the drought were in.

Found this funny lookin' rock along the way. Some sort of Limestone, with all the softer bits worn away. It's about two feet across.

Belton lake has been goin' down steadily for a good while now. It's hard to believe that only a few years ago it was closed to the public due to the high water level. If you look closely at this shot you can still see the dead tree line way up on the bank, showing how high the water got that year.

Yep, we need some good rain. Lots of it.

Anyway, after the reunion, Denise and I took a drive out to see dad. I cried a little, and then we drove back to take mom her platter. Bot the girls were napping when we got there, so we didn't stay. I drove us over to the Gun Show and I talked to the guy with the Galil. We made a deal. I gave him $50 and we signed the deal, and when I get paid again in two weeks it'll be mine. Wooohoooo!

Also, you remember this guy? I remember him mostly from the TV show The Virginian, when I was a kid. Well, he was at the show in Belton, sittin' at a table and sellin' autographs. I tell ya, it was sad to see, but you do what you gotta do.

Anyway, they're gonna kick me out of the library here. time to go teach the jail birds again. I'll see you again later. Cheers!