Journal

Galveston Has Big Plans

Hotel Galvez

I grew up about 80 miles east of Dallas Texas, if I’ve grown up at all. For those of you not looking at a map that is a little over 250 miles from the ocean. Where I’m from we call the Gulf of Mexico the ocean. The place we found ourselves if we drove straight to the ocean was Galveston.

When I was so small no one would have considered me grown up I saw a cartoon describing vacations. It said when people go on vacation they go to one of two places: to the beach, or to the mountains. The cartoon illustrated both types of vacations and the activities associated with each. It’s been a long time since I saw that cartoon, but I think mostly you sit on the beach and hike in the mountains.Watch Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download

I like the beach and the mountains, but I’ve been exposed to more beach in my life and have sought time on the beach more often. If I’m sitting on the beach listening to the waves hours can pass without me noticing. I find the surf captivating.

Now, Galveston’s beaches aren’t in the same category as Florida’s snow white sand and turquoise water. But there is a lot to Texas beaches besides them being ours for a fellow to like. I can drive down to Galveston and hang a right, go over the bridge at San Luis Pass, and pretty soon I can be driving down the beach. When I find a place I’d like to stop I can get out, pitch a tent, and stay a few days. Try that in Florida why dontcha. Also, I’m likely to catch a big fish on a Texas beach. I might catch a few fish in Florida off of the beach, but none of them are going to be 30 inches long. That sort of thing happens all of the time fishing in the Texas surf.

I was in Galveston last week with my wife, taking pictures of the old historic Hotel Galvez. While there I remarked that it’s been a long time since the area really thrived economically. I wondered what the local government might do to encourage more growth.

Well, today I saw an article on how a former mayor of Galveston is working to upgrade downtown. We traveled the streets of downtown in a horse drawn carriage with my parents not too many years ago. Galveston is a town full of history and charm, and I for one applaud any efforts to promote it. You can read about their plans in the Houston Press and Galveston Daily News.

Smile

Today is world smile day.  I don’t know about you, but that kinda makes me want to smile. If you don’t know how here’s instructions.

Starting Something

I have decided to start, or at least attempt to start a writers critique group for the Magnolia/Tomball area.

A writers critique group is a meeting where writers can meet to read compositions to other writers and get comments on the work. Discussions of available resources for writers and proven techniques can follow along with the actual critiques toward a goal of mutual support toward initial and continued publication.

The first meeting will be at 7:00 pm in room L212 of the Lonestar College Library in Tomball, 30555 Tomball Parkway, Tomball, TX 77375 on the evening of Wednesday, Oct. 6, 2010. I will be conducting the meeting.Roblox Hack Free Robux

More details can be found at the meetup.com page I have created for the group. Everyone interested in writing is invited.  I hope to see you there.

Underneath it All

Dirty Little Secret
photo by kirainet
The lion and the calf shall lie down together but the calf won’t get much sleep.
– Woody Allen

Ten days ago I shopped for and purchased some new underwear. Normally that’s not an event worth noting, of course. But this time was different. This time it mattered. But, wait. No, I can’t keep you in suspense any longer. I have to tell you about it.

When I bought underwear in the past I went to a discount store and bought a huge pack of cheap skivvies. Of course I bought the colored pairs to hide the stains. I’m not stupid.

But this time I treated myself. This time I went all out. This time I had a discount coupon for a major Department Store.

When I got to the store I walked clear past the 6-to-a-bag shelves and up to the stuff on hangers. That’s right. Underwear so extraordinary each pair it hoisted up on a rack by it’s own hanger cialis gel. That’s what I’m talking about. The good stuff.

I checked the price and choked. Goodness my precious they were proud of those bvd’s. Still, I was determined. And equipped with that coupon.

I didn’t bother trying them on at the store. I know my size. I don’t like it, but I know it. Kinda like my age. Too big a number.

I negotiated with the clerk and we settled on me paying the asking price minus the coupon. Once home I tried on one of the sharper sets and was releaved I hadn’t gained any weight recently. Good for me.Watch Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download

I modeled them for my wife. She was overcome with lust and wanted to do it right there in the hallway. Did I just say that?

Now, just ten days later, I look back on the change with amazement. I hardly noticed it at first, but gradually and smartly my world has improved.

Birds sing a little more sweetly. Cornbread tastes a little bit better. The sun shines more, and people look at me with more respect. That’s right. Down deep I’m now a man to be reckoned with, and it shows. I may be wearing the same cargo shorts on top, but underneath it all I’ve got it going on. Now I’m not just sliding through life, I am “IT” sweetie.

This morning I was running some numbers on my calculator and I estimate this change in undergarments has resulted in a 32.7% improvement in my quality of life. I know it’s hard to believe, but those are the numbers: 32.7%. In ten days!

I’m both thrilled to have discovered this addition to my life, and sad it took so long. What really haunts me is realizing that women have evidently know this for years. Women know the importance of good underwear. I’m convinced of that. But however late to the party, this dumb male has finally stumbled onto this little secret and figured it all out his self. That’s right baby. I’ve arrived!

Farming Setback

I noticed this morning half of my green bean plants had their tops removed. I suspect rabbits. I didn’t see any deer tracks and the ground was soft this morning so I would have seen evidence if the muncher were as big as a deer.

Of course we have rabbits nearby as well as other wildlife. We had a family last spring and summer. But we also have a pair of red shouldered hawks nearby. One day I saw a hawk swoop through my front yard, 10 feet off of the ground and travelling 100 miles an hour. It pulled up and sat down in my driveway, next to where the bunnies like to play. Soon after I didn’t see bunnies around the driveway, but I saw a couple further back on my property recently.

I didn’t think the deer would come this close to the house.  I was thinking about deer and forgot to worry about the rabbits.

Farming Update

I’ve really been working on putting together a selection of plants in my garden both to try my hand at growing a few things and to wind up with some tasty stuff to drag into the cabin’s kitchen.

My raised beds are, for all practical purposes, fully planted. I have a different selection of veggies and herbs than I envisioned when I started this project, but I’m thrilled with how it’s come together.

Here’s the breakdown:

  • Tomatoes – 4 cherry tomato plants (standard, yellow, and grape) and 5 slicers
  • Green Beans – Two varieties
  • Spinach – Two varieties
  • Bell Peppers – Red, Orange, Yellow, and Chocolate
  • Jalapenos – Two varieties, mild and hot
  • Pablano Peppers
  • Onions – Texas sweet
  • Herbs – Greek Oregano, German Thyme, Mint, Cilantro, Flat leaf parsley, Sweet basil, Texas tarragon, Chives, Dill,

I also have a Bay Laural tree and some Pineapple Sage I planted in pots. I’ve got a couple of Okra seedlings I have yet to find a pot for, as well as some assorted peppers and basil I’m not sure where to plant.

The only thing thats not doing well so far is the spinach. It’s been a disappointment, but it’s still growing, at least some of it. It’s too soon to give up on it yet.

I’m anxious to start harvesting things out of there. I have cut a few mint sprigs for my tea already, but not much and not regularly. The first herbs I planted will be providing for the kitchen though very soon.

At some point I should be able to make salsa completely from the garden. And if those wild hogs come back this summer I may have some local pork.

Farming

I discovered I was able to grow virtual crops in a game called Farmtown in Facebook.  But I also decided I would rather eat real food than virtual food. So I moved my farming operation from my computer to the back yard.

The ground outside of my back porch can be a little wet at times as it’s low. To make sure I got good drainage I put in two raised beds for a few vegetables and herbs.

So far I’ve planted about a fourth of it.  I planted a few rows of Spinach and Green Beans. I’ve started some peppers, parsley, and basil I’ll transplant into the beds at a later date. I will not get a huge crop of anything, but what I get will be a lot better for cooking and eating than the virtual stuff I was growing on Facebook.

An Open Door

Delusions of grandeur make me feel a lot better about myself.
– Jane Wagner

When July began in 2006 I started to feel disoriented and clumsy. Two medications I was taking which had been getting along together decided not to play nicely with each other. My condition deteriorated over a very few days. At the suggestion of my doctors, my wife and son took me to Methodist Hospital at The Medical Center in Houston. This was on Friday, the 6th.Watch Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download

I remember quite a bit of the trip to the hospital and my being examined in the emergency room. I remember being taken down a hallway and elevator toward Intensive Care. By the time I reached ICU I was unconscious and unresponsive.

Several days later the doctors told my family they were “not optimistic”. Despite all they had done I was not responding. It started to dawn on my wife she might be called upon to attend to funeral arrangements.

I heard music and got up from my hospital bed where members of my family had gathered and I went searching for the source. Traveling up some stairs near my bed I found a small chapel or cathedral directly above my bed on the lower floor. Inside the chapel were five towering beautiful black speakers. I went up to one of the speakers and examined it.

I was overwhelmed by the music coming from those speakers. I realized the sound coming from the speakers to be angels singing.  It sounded like the very voice of God. Standing in the center of the room with tears in my eyes the waves of music washed over me.

I walked out of the cathedral and was greeted by a young woman. We sat at the top of the curving staircase I had climbed moments ago and listened to the music. She insisted on tending to my bare feet.

After a short while I left to go back down the stairs and tell my family of the cathedral I’d found on the floor above my bed. I was eager to tell them of the beautiful speakers that rang out with the voices of Angels.

Only there was no cathedral. No speakers. No stairs. I had not left the bed. They told me days later what had really happened.

Five men came to my bed at the hospital and introduced themselves as members of the Harbor Light Choir, a division of the local Salvation Army. They came to the hospital weekly and visited beds at random. They asked for permission to sing and pray around my bed, and were given that permission. As they started to sing I started to respond.

Over the next few days I gradually and slowly recovered, making my way back to the people who love me. It was not instantaneous. It involved straight jackets, breathing tubes, and a visit to a tavern filled with creatures I could only describe by referencing the bar scene in the first Star Wars movie. It involved more attention from my doctors, my parents and my wife. It involved walkers and embarrassment and a lot of time spent regaining my strength. But all of that came after the visit to the cathedral meilleur site pour acheter cialis. To my mind it was as if I woke up from a long sleep to hear the music.

I recently read a few members of the Harbor Light Choir visit Methodist Hospital every Thursday. I was told some people in the hospital turn them away rather than give them permission to sing and pray. They bring the voice of God, music from the angels, ask for nothing in return, and are turned away. What a shame. What an unrivaled pity.

Note: The image above is from a painting by my wife, Melinda Patrick.