Friday, November 30, 2007

TRANSCENDENTAL

"HOW 'BOUT THEM...?
And how about Water Baby's Marching Band...when she participated last year they took 2nd...
We all cried to find that this year they placed first with the Highest Score ever attained.
We all cried because we know how much Blood Sweat and Tears goes into the perfoermance from all involved.
We all cried because she was a part of such a special program and a mentor to these Champions.
We cried to know that mere humans, kids that won't hardly (just like me) clean their rooms, can make an effort that comes so close to perfection.

On Water Baby's site, you can view the performance which includes Music from Labyrinth, composed by James Horner.
Or you might want to click on the Marching Band label at the bottom to see some of the fun filled idiotic posts I did last year to Chronicle her experiences in an outstanding program. In large part that is how I bacame a Bloggin' Fool.

Grand National Champions, L.D. Bell High School
On Saturday, November 17 at the RCA Dome in Indianapolis, IN, the L.D. Bell Blue Raider Band was named the 2007 Bands of America Grand National Champion.

1 L.D. Bell H.S., TX
2 Avon H.S., IN
3 Carmel H.S., IN
4 The Woodlands H.S., TX-
5 Marian Catholic H.S., IL
6 Broken Arrow H.S., OK
7 Plymouth-Canton Ed. Park, MI
8 Stephen F. Austin H.S., TX
9 Richland H.S., TX
10 Lawrence Central H.S., IN
11 Center Grove H.S., IN
12 Harrison H.S., GA
L.D. Bell additionally won the highest achievement awards for Outstanding Music Performance and Outstanding General Effect. Earlier in the day, after Semi-Finals Competition, L.D. Bell was named the National Champion in their classification, winning the highest achievement awards for Outstanding Music Performance and Outstanding General Effect.
In Semi Finals, L.D. Bell scored a 97.8, which reportedly is now the highest score awarded in BOA history.
This was the band's fifth time to compete in BOA Grand Nationals since 2001, placing 4th, 5th, 3rd, 2nd and 1st. The L.D. Bell Band now has earned championships at the Area, State, Regional, Super Regional, and National levels.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

The Traitor

Now the Swan it floated on the English river
Ah the Rose of High Romance it opened wide
A sun tanned woman yearned me through the summer
and the judges watched us from the other side

I told my mother
"Mother I must leave you
preserve my room but do not shed a tear
Should rumour of a shabby ending reach you
it was half my fault and half the atmosphere"

But the Rose I sickened with a scarlet fever
and the Swan I tempted with a sense of shame
She said at last I was her finest lover
and if she withered I would be to blame

The judges said you missed it by a fraction
rise up and brace your troops for the attack
Ah the dreamers ride against the men of action
Oh see the men of action falling back

But I lingered on her thighs a fatal moment
I kissed her lips as though I thirsted still
My falsity had stung me like a hornet
The poison sank and it paralysed my will

I could not move to warn all the younger soldiers
that they had been deserted from above
So on battlefields from here to Barcelona
I'm listed with the enemies of love

And long ago she said "I must be leaving,
Ah but keep my body here to lie upon
You can move it up and down and when I'm sleeping
Run some wire through that Rose and wind the Swan"

So daily I renew my idle duty
I touch her here and there -- I know my place
I kiss her open mouth and I praise her beauty
and people call me traitor to my face

And people call me traitor to my face

Leonard Cohen

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

89 CENTS

Yesterdays post seemed to insinuate that the Water Baby was financially irresponsible. This would not be true and her being overdrawn waas not her fault in the least.
In fact the Water Baby is the only one of the bunch of us that has a lick of Fiduciary Common Sense and Self Discipline.
She always has, since she was only a child.
Her Cowgirl Boots were Red, and her Little Jacket was pink. We bought those boots about 5 sizes too big and it seems like she wore them all the time between the ages of 4 to 11. Like any other young girl, she loved Horses but her love for them was way uncommon.
She had about 100 of them in her room; some were to play with and others were fancy Horses, only for show.

I would take her to the store for a Candy Bar and she would study and examine each and every one of them asking
'How much for this one?"
'Those are 89 cents Baby"
"Oh my, that's too much" she would say and scrunch up her nose and put it back.
She would spy one that was slightly larger and look up to me with those big pretty eyes
"How 'bout this one daddy?
'That's 89 cents too."
And she would hug that Candy Bar and raise her face towards God, grinning so big her eyes would close and you could feel the Heavenly bliss emanating from all her pores.
Then she would gaze longingly at the other selections and put it back, moving on to see if there weren't maybe a slightly better deal for her 89 cents.
We would generally spend about 45 minutes looking through the Candy Bar section before she would really get down to business and ask

"Daddy, how much are carrots?"
"Carrots are about 89 cents for a package"

Then we would drive to the Grocery store and get a bag of Carrots so that we could go around the corner and down to the Creek to feed Brownie.
Brownie was the Chestnut Mare that lived in the little plot of land that the local water tower was on.
In her Red Cowgirl Boots and Pink Jacket, she and Brownie would work that 89 cent bag of Carrots. I've never spent ANY money to any greater effect.

The Water Baby can get more *POP* outta 89 cents than anyone I've ever known.
God, how I love that little girl.

Monday, November 26, 2007

YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR

MY THANKSGIVING

Yvette (the XMrs Bulletholes, not her real name), says
"Steve, Water Baby is overdrawn on her account...can you give her some money?"
"Sure, how'd that happen?"
"I don't know"
"How much does she need?"
"$200"
"OK"

So Water Baby, Rip, Yvette and I are in the car going through the drive up ATM....Water Baby is at the wheel ...

I hand her my card and a lightbulb flashes on in my mind and I try to keep a straight face....
"Whats your PIN Daddy?"
"Y-V-E-T-T-E" I spell out...
All 3 turn and look at me like I must be nuts and Yvette says in a real concerned voice
"Its not really is it?"

So I say
"Gimme a break"
and give them the real code.
First there is a huge sigh of relief....
Then we all crack-up...

That was worth like $200 (almost)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

THE MARINERS CHURCH OF DETROIT


When I was in the third grade in Detroit Michigan, a lady came to give the class a book she had written called 'Legends of Green Sky Hill". Her name was Louisa Walker and she signed my book and read aloud to the class from it.
It was all about the Chippewa Indians and their Great Spirit named Manibozo. I was thrilled by the stories in the Chippewa tradition that explained why Turtle has his shell, and where the four winds come from and the Maiden that died to give us the first Strawberries.
I loved that book and still have it
There were also stories of the big lake called Gitchee-Gumee. Lake Superior is known for violent storms that can come up without warning especially as winter approaches. The Chippewa tradition has it that to be lost in the November winds on this lake means to be taken both Spiritually and Physically to the next world.

The Edmund Fitzgerald went down sometime during the night of November 10th, 1975 and all 29 on board were lost.
Gitchee-Gumee got 'em.
This tragedy pales in comparison to November 13, 1913 on Lake Superior when 12 ships and 250 crew members were lost. True to the Chippewa legend, no bodies were ever recovered.
Gitchee-Gumee 279
Sailors 0

The 5 Great Lakes are huge, like inland Seas; Superior is the worlds largest Freshwater lake. I have been on all 5. The Freighters are huge as well. The Edmund Fitzgerald was two and a half football fields long and could carry 26,000 tons of ore. I think that comes to 52 Million pounds, and the ship herself weighed half of that empty.
On any afternoon while the lakes are not frozen over I could go to the end of my block and watch a steady procession of these boats go by...at least one every hour.
When President Kennedy was assasinated in Dallas in 1963 it resonated with me in particular because I was from Dallas.
When '"The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" hit the airwaves in 1976 it resonated with me because of my familiarity with the Chippewa, the Great Lakes and even the Maritime Sailors Cathedral (Mariners Church of Detroit) because I had lived there.
They strill ring the bells for the 29 every year in Detroit, as well as candles being lit on Belle Isle in the Detroit River.
The ships Bell was salvaged and it is rung every year at a lighthouse on Whitefish Bay in Wisconsin.


The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald
by Gordon Lightfoot

The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down
Of the big lake they called 'Gitche Gumee'
The lake, it is said, never gives up her dead
When the skies of November turn gloomy
With a load of iron ore twenty-six thousand tons more
Than the Edmund Fitzgerald weighed empty.
That good ship and crew was a bone to be chewed
When the gales of November came early.

The ship was the pride of the American side
Coming back from some mill in Wisconsin
As the big freighters go, it was bigger than most
With a crew and good captain well seasoned
Concluding some terms with a couple of steel firms
When they left fully loaded for Cleveland
And later that night when the ship's bell rang
Could it be the north wind they'd been feelin'?

The wind in the wires made a tattle-tale sound
And a wave broke over the railing
And every man knew, as the captain did too,
T'was the witch of November come stealin'.
The dawn came late and the breakfast had to wait
When the Gales of November came slashin'.
When afternoon came it was freezin' rain
In the face of a hurricane west wind.

When suppertime came, the old cook came on deck sayin'.
Fellas, it's too rough to feed ya
.At Seven P.M. a main hatchway caved in, he said
Fellas, it's been good t'know ya
The captain wired in he had water comin' in
And the good ship and crew was in peril.
And later that night when his lights went outta sight
Came the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.

Does any one know where the love of God goes
When the waves turn the minutes to hours?
The searches all say they'd have made Whitefish Bay
If they'd put fifteen more miles behind her.
They might have split up or they might have capsized;
May have broke deep and took water.
And all that remains is the faces and the names
Of the wives and the sons and the daughters.

Lake Huron rolls, Superior sings
In the rooms of her ice-water mansion.
Old Michigan steams like a young man's dreams;
The islands and bays are for sportsmen.
And farther below Lake Ontario
Takes in what Lake Erie can send her,
And the iron boats go as the mariners all know
With the Gales of November remembered.

In a musty old hall in Detroit they prayed,
In the Maritime Sailors' Cathedral.
The church bell chimed till it rang twenty-nine times
For each man on the Edmund Fitzgerald.
The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down
Of the big lake they call 'Gitche Gumee'.
Superior, they said, never gives up her dead
When the gales of November come early!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

FITZGERALD

A Retrospective from two posts I did last year.


NOVEMBER
A more somber month there could not be... we are on the downhill slide. Gordon Lightfoot captures the feel of this month very well with a quite popular song from years ago that is very well known...

A lesser known song from a much lesser known artist is one of my favorites... it takes me back to a day when I was 6.
A cello and slide guitar create a hollow whining windy sound...
The deep-softness of his voice combined with the lyrics paint a picture... and though he barely even mentions JFK, we know that is what it is all about.
The song is by Greg Brown and the song is called...

"BRAND NEW '64 DODGE"
Money comes out of Dad's billfold.
Hankies come out of Mom's purse.
The engine hardly makes a sound
even when you put it in reverse.
It's got a push-button transmission,
hardtop convertible, 4-door.
It's November of 1963
and the brand new Dodge is a '64.
Brand new Dodge.

And we're rolling slow down Main Street
-the asphalt and gravel crunch.
Church is finally over
and we're going to have our Sunday lunch.
And then I will play football
with my buddies down in park.
Later I'll dream about my girlfriend
as I lie alone in the dark.
As I lie alone.

She's got short red hair and blue eyes
and her swimsuit's also blue
and her little brother is retarded,
but Jesus loves him, too.
And Jesus loves our president,
even though he is a Catholic.
There's a lot for a boy to think about
as he walks along the railroad tracks.
As he walks along.

And my sister won't get carsick
'cause we're going only half a mile
and the car still has that new car smell
and dad looks like he might smile
and the world is big and full of Autumn
and I'm hungry as can be
and we're in our brand new '64 Dodge
November of '63
November.

greg brown from "the poet game"



His song inspires me to this tale from my chldhood:
Grosse Point Park, Michigan;
3 miles north of Detroit;
3 miles north of the Maritime Sailors Cathedral located in downtown Detroit; the very same Cathedral from Lightfoots song :

"In a musty old hall in Detroit they prayed
In the Maritime Sailors' Cathedral
The church bell chimed, 'til it rang 29 times
For each man on the Edmund Fitzgerald."

Louis Agnon was my best friend and lived 5 houses up on the corner of Essex and Trombley. In November of 1963 we were both 6 and in Mrs. Sherman’s (the German, we liked to say) First Grade class.
Every house in the neighborhood had a basement except for mine. Louis’ house was special as well in that he had a detached garage and even the garage had a basement. We were not allowed down there and there were locks on the doors to keep people out and the windows were soaped to keep anyone from peering in.
There was an Acorn tree, tall and slender, in my backyard and this is where Louis and I spent most of our time. We could get so far up, up in the tippy-top and we could make that tree sway back and forth creating a swath that could easily measure 15 feet. It was like riding a 50 foot high teeter-totter with him on one side of the “trunk’ now tapered to only 3 inches and I on the other.
From our perch we could see out over the rooftops and a block away to Lake St. Clair where the big ore boats took their loads to the Steel mills. They had come from Lake Superior and were relatively safe now having put some distance between themselves and “the big lake they call Gitchee-Goomie”.
From our perch we would discuss what could possibly be in the mysterious basement of his Garage. It could’nt be good, that much we knew.
Maybe it was flooded and filled with old tires, reptiles and detritus of all kinds.
Maybe the was a cache of stolen money, bags of gold coins and bundled bills.
Maybe his father knew some tough guys that used it to “squeeze” people like James Cagney did in the movies.
Probably there was some mutant monster, a terrible creature that had gone long unfed, waiting, waiting, waiting...

The ‘Summer of Love” was still 5 years away, Rob and Laura Petrie were still safe in separate beds, and Louis and I knew nothing of the mechanics of Sex ... but we did know that there was definitely SOMETHING there. We would talk about all the girls in our class and which ones were kissable and how we would go about getting them alone to do just that.It was Lori Sundburg that emerged as the 1st Grade equivalent of Marilyn Monroe.

In 1963 September turned to October and October to November. We were forced to abandon our trees for the shelter of my room to watch T.V.“Maverick” and “The Man from UNCLE” and "Wild Wild West"... We played 'mousetrap", "Monopoly" and"Life" and Mother brought milk and cookies.

Then one day in the most somber of months the news broke like a lightning flash.
“The Winds of November came Slashin'......
the Witch of November came Stealin'"
And the Steel guitar in Gordon Lightfoot's Song about the Edmund Fitzgerald along with his haunting lyrics describes the month, the day and the gloom that fell over the country.
The President was dead.
He and that ship had a lot in common.
The T.V. man said "Assassinated".
November.
1963.

Of course Louis and I had much discussion over this event and when they caught the guy, the Assassin, we were delighted to imagine what to do with him.
Hangin’ from a Sour Apple Tree was too good for this guy.
Stabbing with a thousand little knives was too quickly done.
Chained to a bag of concrete and dumped into Lake St. Clair offered no real appreciable trauma.
First Runner up in our choices was to lock him up into the aforementioned basement to be chewed up by whatever the hell was down there.
But the worst thing we could imagine, Louis and I, was to have the slimeball’s wiener cut off.
We had no idea why but we knew he would miss that the most.
November.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Thanksgiving

A Renaissance Man if ever there was one. I love you, Dave...I just wanted to say it... and even John Wayne gazes on in admiration!

My favorite Thanksgiving dish is an Asparagus Casserole' that my Momma used to make.
You take Wheatsworth crackers and crumble them up in the bottom of the biggest baking pan you've got because no matter how big that pan is, there will not be enough. Then you take canned Asparagus and put it on top.
Be generous.
Now you slather a good layer of Cream of Mushroom Soup ( the Duct Tape of the Kitchen) on top of the Asparagus and top all that with grated Cheddar Cheese and Sliced Hard Boiled Eggs. As good as the Asparagus is its really the Eggs that are "where its at".
Now you slide it into the oven...and ...cook ...it ...till its...done.
If you have gotten this far you will know when that is.
The classical Culinary term for a garnish of Bread Crumbs and Hard boiled Eggs is "Mimosa" although "Polonaise" might work as well.

I used to be a Chef, but I could never cook this one.
The one time I tried, I used some kind of fancy-ass Cheese, and made my own Mushroom Soup and used the Fresh Asparagus and some kinda crumbled Brioche for the crust and it was pretty much inedible.
No ma'am just stick to the Housewifey Recipe' and keep it simple.

The X Mrs. Bulletholes provides this dish since Mom is no longer around and the Water Baby may just love this stuff as much as I. The Water Baby can barely make a cup of Ramen Noodles by herself, but she has already mastered this one.

My favorite condiment at Thanksgiving is the Cranberry Relish. I love to mix great gobs of it in with my Dressing and Mashed Potatoes and lace all this with Turkey. I think it is much underutilized throughout the year, and goes very well with Pork and Chicken.
I have a nice variation for Cranberry Relish that is great for Game and Smoked Meats. quite simply, follow the instructions on the package of Fresh cranberries, but throw in a good measure of Chiffonade/Grated Fresh Ginger, and substitute Rice wine Vinegar for Orange Juice.

Now I don't know if Dave Mows Grass is going to making his Really Juicy Turkey/Iron Mountain Bird this year, but in typical Machinist fashion he produces a crust that Joeseph Whitworth could probably make bolts from and you have to have a Jackhammer to get to the meat. but once you do, ddave assures me, it is larrapin' good. (very good)

It was Abraham Lincoln that gave us our Thanksgiving holiday. In the months prior to the 1864 election he said 'I am going to be beaten, and beaten badly."
He was not, and the results of the Election were quite remarkably in his favor despite the fact that he did not even appear on the ballot in several states. Something like that.
I'll have to research and append this post.
At any rate, he had much to be thankful for; the nation , though at War even with itself, did as well; and the same holds true for us today.

From his Thanksgiving Proclamation;

The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict ...


Heres to Softened Hearts.... and an end to Military Conflict.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

BROTHERHOOD OF THE POINTY TOES


FOR SOUBRIQUET ON HIS BIRTHDAY


Well, when you're down on your luck,
and you ain't got a buck,
in London you're a goner.
Even London Bridge has fallen down,
and moved to Arizona,
now I know why.
And I'll substantiate the rumor
that the English sense of humor
is drier than the Texas sand.
You can put up your dukes,
and you can bet your boots,
that I'm leavin' just as fast as I can.


I wanna go home with the armadillo.
Good country music from Amarillo and Abilene.
The friendliest people and the prettiest women you've ever seen.

Well it's cold over here, and I swear,
I wish they'd turn the heat on.
And where in the world is that English girl,
I promised I would meet on the third floor.
And of the whole damn lot, the only friend I got,
is a smoke and a cheap guitar.
My mind keeps roamin',
my heart keeps longin' to be home in a Texas bar.
I wanna go home with the armadillo.
Good country music from Amarillo and Abilene.
The friendliest people and the prettiest women you've ever seen.


Well, I decided that, I'd get my cowboy hat
and go down to Marble Arch Station.
Cause when a Texan fancies he'll take his chances,
chances will be takin, now that's for sure.
And them Limey eyes, they were eyein' a prize,
that some people call manly footwear.
And they said you're from down South,
and when you open your mouth,
you always seem to put your foot there.
I wanna go home with the armadillo.
Good country music from Amarillo and Abilene.
The friendliest people and the prettiest women you've ever seen.

"london homesick blues" by gary p. nunn


Frank Lucchese out of El Paso makes one of the finest boots in the world and Soubriquet will need a Pair cuz after we wear out our share of the Sisters, we will be going to the North Side of Fort Worth to a little Honky-Tonk name of Filthy McNasty's and start in on a coupla few cousins I know.
Then we can head over to the White Elephant Saloon to ride the Mechanical Bull and wrestle the Bear.
We can then call him "True Grit in the Gears".
Between Soubriquets Chivalrous nature and youthful good looks, together with my ability to put my foot in my mouth in the most charming fashion, we just might have us a time!

Hold it...I was sposed to be talkin' about the boots I got for Souby...they are Hand Made from Caiman Crocodile with 'Parched Wheat" Uppers. These are not for shit-kickin or doin' the "Cotton Eyed Joe"....these are for Steak and Candlelite and a nice bottle of Montrachet and CremeBrullee' and VSOP with a Lady from the Sisterhood;
not anything you'll find at FilthyMcNasty's.
Happy Birthday Soubriquet!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

MALE BONDING

No fortune Cookie or Magic 8-Ball required


I got a call from one of the Rips teachers on Saturday (don't these people take a day off) and it would seem that he is having a little (lot) of trouble getting to his 3rd period Class on time. In addition, he has fallen so far behind in his homework that he is in danger of failing!

None of this comes as a very big surprise, but is still something that needed to be addressed . It is quite compounded by the fact that I get a call from the Ex Mrs. Bulletholes every day at the break of dawn to check on "our Boy".
It was during the discussion he and I were having concerning tardiness, homework and these early morning phone calls that we both simultaneously developed a black eye!
But that evening he was quietly doing his homework.

He had just finished up when an old friend came by. She surveyed the two of us with our black-eyes and, all aghast, wanted to know what had happened.
We explained it was about "homework".
She began to tell us about a special program he could get into where he wouldn't have to do any homework, he could go at his own pace, so to speak.
I told her that we would be doing this the old fashioned way, where they give him an assignment and he does the assignment. She began to protest, and the Rip and I looked at each other and grinned and proceeded to escort her to the door and throw her out on her ass.
With the door closed , we looked at each other and just cracked up.
Ain't it funny how things work sometimes?

Friday, November 02, 2007

FROM "SLANT SIX MIND"

Whatever It Was

She's got a slant 6 mind and a supercharged heart,
The little princess is singing about her parts,
She says, "Come hither", but when I get hither she is yon.
I was looking for what I loved.
Whatever it was, it's gone.

TV spreads and tension mounts,
Like a guy in a bra it's the idea that counts,
It's a picture of a picture of a whore holding a picture of a john.
I was looking for what I loved...
Whatever it was, it's gone.

In the chemical fields by ammonia light,
I would offer my prayer to the Corn Goddess tonight,
but they chopped off her head and stuck her body out on the lawn.
I was looking for what I loved...
Whatever it was, it's gone.

My generation takes what it can get,
Are you surprised that the kids are all upset?
They're looking at Nothing and Nothing turns away and yawns.
I was looking for what I loved...
Whatever it was, it's gone.

Can't go to the country - the country isn't there,
It got chopped up and mortgaged and vanished in thin air,
It's a paint-by-number and it costs a million bucks down at the pawn.
I was looking for what I loved...
Whatever it was, it's gone.

An electronic head and feet of clay,
gonna be a lotta roadkill on the Information Highway,
Someone stole the video of the everfresh and lovely dawn.
I was looking for what I loved...
Whatever it was, it's gone.

You might be streetwise. You might be real bad,
I guess you forgot that you also are a dad,
Your kids won't forget it when they're trying to find someone to lean on
I was looking for what I loved...
Whatever it was, it's gone.

The little towns are lying on their faces,
All that's left are fading parking spaces,
It's been quite a week, there was a drive-by shooting in Lake Wobegon.
I was looking for what I loved...
Whatever it was, it's gone.

A Native American told me this whole deal's a mistake,
and this implosion is just icing on the cake,
If the Great Spirit is gambling, I'd say the con is a bigger con.
I was looking for what I loved...
greg brown