Sunday, May 03, 2009

Junior Brown at Willie's Place

Junior Brown played the Willie's Place theater Friday, April 17, 2009 at Willie Nelson's truck stop/restaurant/biofuel-station/theater along I-35 in Carl's Corners, TX. I have wanted to see Junior Brown play a live show ever since Curt introduced me to his music way back on Jane Street. He played his "steel-guit", and had two backing musicians, a drummer and a upright-bassist.

This was my first Junior Brown show, and I was stoked to see Junior Brown play "Broke Down South of Dallas" at Carl's Corner's about an hour south of Dallas:

He played a new song about "Green Chilies":

And this new one is called "You Do the Math":

If you get a chance to see Junior Brown play live, GO!!! We were buying tickets when an older couple asked if they should bother staying to see the show. "Junior Brown is about as Texas as country music gets. It's worth it!" That couple stayed, danced and loved the show. We missed the free show that Willie did yesterday at his own Theater to celebrate his 76th birthday (can you imagine that!!!), but we'll try to check his next local show this summer.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Friday, December 05, 2008 marks 75 Years . . . of American Libation!!! .

You do the math, gentle reader over the age of 21, and then reward yourself with a cold one or a hot one, a short one or a tall one. A single? A double? A domestic or an import? A red or a white? Dry or up on the rocks? Mix it up or take it straight? Whatever you want!

You owe it to yourself and your-great grandpa to knock one back in a few short weeks.
And say a prayer for the Doughboys who never returned, and those returned and couldn't have one.

At a loss for what to order? I recommend a Gin Rickey, any IPA, a Jameson Mint Julep, a Chelsea Sidecar, or any fine Pinot Noir. Cheers!!!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

As with any long, multi-state roadtrip, you encounter unusual sights. On the trip from Boston to Texas, we had just crossed into Tennesee

when we saw a vehicle:

Click on these photos so you can make out the details of what this fellow has engineered on his vehicle.

I have never built a car from a kit, or from scratch, so I can't criticize him in any way. Clearly this Summer-Sunday-Touring ... vehicle, includes the best of your porch and patio, your pontoon boat, and everything else homemade or leisurely. Items of note include: the propane tank gas tank visible from behind; the front porch lighting fixture visible in profile.

Many modern car manufacturers allow you to add features and "design" your own model, adding or subtracting specific features as you wish. But this fellow is incomparably original! He drives every Do-It-Yourselfer's dream, and every teenaged-kid-who-gets-dropped-off-at-school's nightmare. I love it!!!

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Take a look at this lazy lot of loafers. What a way to spend a Saturday afternoon, right? They need to rest though, because in a few hours, like it or not ...

... they will be in the spotlight!

This is outside of the Bell County Expo Center in Belton, TX from last weekend (Saturday evening) where the Central Texas State Fair took place.

Like most state fairs, there are games and rides and livestock competitions where animals are judged and peered over like, well like livestock.

Some animals are shy ...
others are indifferent...
some are there to work ...
and some working animals are not shy. This horse took a very long hard pee, in the middle of the arena before thousands of people. He didn't care, had to pee, and knew some serious work may be coming out of that chute any second.

Thus, the highlight of the fair, for us at least was the PBR, or Professional Bull Riding. We had never seen live bull riding, and thought Pabst Blue Ribbon must be a sponsor some of these events, but ... anyways. What you have here is a pretty good ride.
The riders get a score but the details of the scoring system were foggy. Was the world record only an 8 second ride? Some guys were on their bull for longer than that... So, following the rodeo, we watched the movie '8 Seconds.' This helped, and informed us about Lane Frost, who was a true champion rodeo cowboy, but the why the timing was important, how the score came about... was a mystery. A web search led us to the PBR rules. To quote: " The total score possible for a bull ride is 100 points. Half of that total is based on the performance of the bull and how difficult he is to ride. Judges look for bulls with speed, power, drop in the front end, kick in the back end, directions changed and body rolls." ... "The other half of the ride is determined by the rider's ability to match the moves of the bull beneath him. Judges look for constant control and good body position throughout the ride. Spurring the bull is not required but extra "style points" are awarded for doing so. The rider must stay aboard the bull for eight seconds. The clock begins when the bull's shoulder or hip crosses the plane of the bucking chutes and stops when the bull rider's hand comes out of the rope or he touches the ground. The bull rider must ride with one hand and is disqualified if he touches himself or the bull during the eight-second ride." Source But the best part of the show? Mutton busting! It's pretty self-explanatory, so watch and enjoy!

Monday, August 11, 2008

We have moved from the Boston area to the Great Nation of Texas. We have found a home, some work (some), and the cat is becoming acclimated to being an indoor/outdoor cat. This is a work in progress, as he hasn't QUITE figured out the "Medium"-sized pet-door that the house came with.

We did have to use plums, pieces of cat-bite-sized plums to lure him out with, so as to learn the tricks of the "medium"-sized pet-door that the house came with. Our(?) cat is medium sized... he is 17 pounds.

Ahh... on to the cultural bits. We came in need of a new dresser. New to us. And after scouring the Craigslist and local newspaper, today, we happened upon a yard sale, all-day every-day yard sale, with dressers. We easily spotted the first one from the road, but upon closer inspection (all while side-stepping cow pies), we discovered that the dresser was beyond repair. A few cow pies later, we'd found another (better) dresser that we eventually purchased and squeezed into the back of the VW Golf.

There's something to be said for people who run yard sales (all-day, every-day) in any state (or the Great Nation of Texas) who want to sell things for a profit... but are also completely bored. Poor Mitch. Mitch sold us our new (to us) dresser. We couldn't help but feel a bit bad that we'd pulled up in our car and pulled Mitch away from his post at the TV, watching some Nicole Kidman historical piece.

We have to hand it to him, though. He was a bit of a salesman.

"We'll be back with the cash for that dresser," we said.
"That mirror," said Mitch. "I'll take $10, it was $20. And I'll ask my brother what he wants for that lawnmower. Come back tomorrow. I'll tell you if the weed-eaters eat weeds."

Thanks, Mitch. You're a pal.

Other bits of cultural information:

- "Jiffy" is now an adjective. As in, "they aren't real jiffy about it."
- There is a helicopter for purchase. It's displayed along I-20 headed towards Dallas from Tyler, TX. We'd like to buy it, but we're not sure that there's room for it in the garage.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

News for the ADD set. Posted by ...

Found myself with friends snowboarding and skiing at Pat's Peak in NH. It looks like this at night in the winter.

Saw some flamenco dancers at the Spanish restaurant Tasca. They looked like this.

Cut a friend's hair for free. It came out alright, and looks like this.

Saw a swampy fen in the winter. It looks like this.

Took a dog to Jamaica Pond for a walk. When he sees ducks, he looks like this.

Found a turkey between the neighbors houses. It looked like this.

And that's about all. I am doing some work. I am being prodded by a dog to finish.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

A Word About Deposits on Bottles and Cans: Print your Slip Before You Walk Away !
- or -
How Two Dollars Didn't Change My Life for the Worse.

Some states have deposits on bottles and cans. You can take your recyclable bottles and cans to a store and get your deposit returned. At some participating stores, you simply hand the bottles and cans over to a person, and they give you money. Other places, you interact with a machine. It reads the UPC code, and if it accepts the item, smashes the glass bottle, and tabulates a running credit for you until you press the receipt-print-out button with your total deposit credit. You take your credit slip to a register where a clerk will scan it and pay you your deposit.

I did this yesterday. Folks came over this weekend, and there were enough bottles afterward to warrant a trip for getting a return deposit. I visited a participating store to redeem roughly two cases of bottles and a case of cans. I handled two of the four paper bags of bottles in my trunk into the store. The clerk directed me to a pair of machines labeled 'Bottles.' The first one read "FULL" and following the written directions on the second, I began placing bottles into it. There were not other people there, but someone had left a balance of $1.85. Hmm? Shouldn't they have printed this out? I left a thirty cent balance on a machine at a grocery store last fall because ... well, it was thirty cents. I didn't care what happened to the thirty cents. Someone else, some kid or some old person will benefit from this anonymous gesture of mine. Now, another person had left a random act of kindness for a stranger to find. For me to find! It was shaping up to be a good day after all. The rest of my afternoon, I would ...

"Hey!!! DUDE!!! What are you doing? Stealing my deposit?"
"Excuse me?"
"That's my machine! My bottles!"
"I'm sorry, but nobody was here."
"That's my money!"

A 40-year-old, clean-shaven, gray sweatshirt wearing, Patriots beanie cap guy was ready to take out his 18-1, near perfect season, Super-Bowl-loss aggression out on me. He was not dirty. He was not smelly.

"My bottles! Those are my bottles!!!"

I had already added an additional dollar in bottles to this machine, and was not finished with my business. It must be his money, so I would give him his neglected deposit. After I finished with my business.

"Look... There was nobody here when I started. It said $1.85. When I finish, I will give you your $1.85. You just have to wait." He must've weighed the options and decided not to smash me, like so much glass in those machines. Instead he muttered, angrily, about how how people don't pay attention, how he just stepped outside, and he gestured to the door where he exited. I continued feeding bottles into the machine. On the sidewalk by the door was a grocery cart with folded black bags, and filled bags.

The machine spat a bottle back out. "Cannot Read UPC. Please Try Again." Some nervous beer drinker had peeled half the label off. When the machine declined again, I put the bottle in a bin of random bottles behind me.

"Oh!!! Now your stealing my OTHER bottles, too!" Super-Bowl-loss-embittered man stopped feeding from his paper bag into the adjacent machine to come harass me more. "My bottles! Those are my bottles!!!" He was not dirty. He was not smelly. He was angry.

So I put the bottle back down.
"There. You can take these other ones, too. This store doesn't sell them so you take 'em somewhere else when you go."
"This is the only store I go to. If they don't take 'em, I don't want 'em."

Fine. He printed his slip, and walked away. I printed my slip, walked outside to get the other two bags of bottles in my car.

"Hey!!! You come back here!!!" shouted the man as I opened the door.
"Just one moment please," I replied, gesturing upwards with a polite finger that I was returning momentarily. I slowly opened my trunk, retrieved the other two bags and headed back inside.

Back at the machine, I stuffed two dollar bills into my front pocket to give this guy when he returned. I did owe him that money, and I didn't want to cheat him. It was his money. And then he returned.

"Dude. This is your two dollars; take it," I said, and began loading the machine again. "I would print my slip before walking away next time. It's just easiest and safest that way." He walked back over and handed me two dimes. Neither one of us looked at the other, but kept loading bottles.

"I hate small tickets," he grumbled, and went on about the burden of taking several slips to the counter for redemption. I printed my fourth slip, nodded affirmatively to him, cashed in for $4.65 and left, grateful that a misunderstanding over two dollars didn't change my life for the worse.