Thursday, December 31, 2015

Crazy Lone Star State Laws


Like other states, Texas has old laws that once made some sense but no longer do. For some reason they were never taken off the books.

Here are a few of them:

Having a pair of pliers in his or her possession. - Goes back to the days of open range when some folks cut fences.

Hanging offense to steal cattle. - Cattle rustling was taken serious in Texas.

Shooting buffalo from the second story of a hotel. - I guess it was okay on the ground floor.

Only registered pharmacist may sell condoms.
- Don't know why, but probably had something to do with quality.

Flat Crazy (Blanco County Mysteries Book 3)

There are other laws that are equally crazy still on the books in the state of Texas, but these were the ones that made me smile the most.

Happy New Year!

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Wednesday, December 30, 2015

2015 Rainfall Breaks Record


We already knew that 2015 was a very wet year in Texas, but it is now known that this year was the wettest seen in this state since records started being kept in 1895.

Along with that record rainfall came misery for many folks all around the state of Texas. In addition to the many deaths reported, other Texans lost everything they own during May of 2015.

Old State Maps - TEXAS (TX) BY RAND MCNALLY 1891 - Glossy Satin Paper

From an economic standpoint, many businesses that owe their very survival to smooth running rivers in Central Texas are now in financial stress after spring flooding closed popular vacation locations from San Marcos to San Antonio and beyond.

It wasn't that many years ago when rather than too much water is was record droughts that caused problems in Texas. Sadly, most droughts end when mother natural opens up the sky and brings forth an abundance of rainfall. That is what happened in 2015 in the state of Texas.

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What A Hero Looks Like


Have you ever wondered what a real American hero looks like? If so, here's a video describing one. His name is Kyle Carpenter. The amount of trauma his body was subjected to is greater than any man or women I can recall.

Shortly after he was awarded the Medal of Honor by the President a year or so ago, CPL Carpenter appeared on the David Letterman show. As Letterman went down the list of injuries suffered by this young man, he was almost in tears. It must be difficult to sit in the same room with such a brave and honorable man.

Still in the Fight DVD

How many times have each of us sat around and felt sorry for ourselves because of small and insignificant things? I can only speak for myself, but after watching the video of Kyle above – it made me feel ashamed about some of the things I have worried about in my life.

I have saved the video above and plan on watching it on a regular basis next year when I start feeling bad about my lot in life or some other minor thing or event. Because, when I compare my problems with those faced by Kyle Carpenter – it's clear I am nowhere close to being a real American hero.

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Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Mother Of The Year, Not


My grandfather told me long ago that 'the nut does not fall far from the tree' and when it comes to Tonya Couch he certainly got that one right. While most reporters in the mainstream media are clambering to see Ethan Couch put behind bars for a long time, the real person who should spend serious time in jail is his mother Tonya.

Don't get me wrong, the deaths of those four people at the hands of Ethan who was drunk as a sunk when he killed them is horrendous. However, even after he was given the sentence of a lifetime by a now retired judge - he continued to snub his nose at his puny punishment and his mother was right there helping him continue to make a mockery of the Texas legal system.

The Anatomy of Violence: The Biological Roots of Crime

The picture of Ethan looking like some kind of male dancer when arrested in Mexico on Monday proves to what extent his mother was will to go to in order to help her son evade justice once again. Part of what's wrong in the world today is the fact hardly anyone faces any real consequence for bad behavior anymore.

Being a parent is a responsibility and with that responsibility comes the job of making sure the children are taught right from wrong. While it will be difficult for Ethan to get the justice he deserves because he was put on trial in a juvenile court, the same does not apply to his mother Tonya. I hope the judge throws the book at her.

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Low Oil Prices Good?


I must admit that in recent weeks a big smile comes to my face each time I pull into buy gas and the price has fallen once again. Especially the past few days as I traveled to see family over the Christmas holiday. However, while millions of Texans are enjoying a break at the gas pumps, tens of thousands of our fellow citizens are out-of-work and facing foreclosure because they are broke.

Some people believe that low oil prices are good for the economy, because they allow consumers to spend more money on other retail items and travel. However, just as many other folks believe low gas prices are a predictor that big economic problems are just around the corner. I'm not sure what I believe when it comes to these two schools of thought.

Understanding Oil Prices: A Guide to What Drives the Price of Oil in Today's Markets

I do believe a major contributing factor to the most recent decline in oil prices is due to the decision of the Obama administration to negotiate with Iran to remove sanctions and that decision caused the oil market to crash simply because Iran had so much oil just sitting around with nowhere to go. Now it will flood the marketplace causing a glut of petroleum.

I hard truth is that when oil prices get too low, the net effect on the Texas economy is a negative one. It's difficult to remain happy with low oil prices when they end up costing our friends, neighbors and family their jobs. That said, for decades the oil and gas business has moved between boom and bust markets and that system is likely to continue for many years to come.

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Open Carry Concerns Some


There are more than a few folks in Texas who are worried about the new open carry law that goes into effect the first of the year. My wife is one of those Texans and no matter how much I try to ease her concerns, she still worries about seeing all those guns when she goes shopping at the mall or grocery store.

The whole idea behind open carry was to give law abiding citizens a fighting chance in businesses and places of entertainment like movie theaters, if a crazed gunman walked in and opened fire on innocent people. I am one of those Texans who believe more guns could help save lives, but this new law is not working out the way it was intended.

OutBags OB-16L (RIGHT) Nylon IWB Conceal & OWB Open Combo Carry Gun Holster for Glock 17 / 19 / 22 / 23 / 31 / 32 / 38, Ruger 22lr / P89 / P95 / SR40, Hi-Point 45 ACP, Walther P22 / P99, Beretta PX4 Storm, and More

Already, many businesses both large and small are preparing to forbid open carry in their establishments. While this is totally okay and permitted by law, the fact thousands of public places will not allow open carry is defeating the whole purpose of the law in the first place.

Many other states are looking at Texas to see how our open carry law works before decided whether to do the same thing themselves. At this time I am concerned the added stress this new law will place on our citizens will not be worth the small amount of protection that will be offered by having more Texans available to defend others from the actions of criminals.

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Monday, December 28, 2015

Tornado Victim Names Released


The names of the people killed in the Garland, Texas area on Saturday night have been released after their next of kin were notified. There were: Petra Porras, Kimberly Tippett, Kamryn Crain, Cecil Lowrie, LaShondra "Shon" Whitaker, Sharva Sanders, Timothy Harris, Jose Ovieodo Juarez, Jerry Brazeal, Jerry Glenn Funderberk Jr and Aleya Santillano.

It is so unusual for such strong tornadoes to cause that much devastation and loss of life at the end of December. And the fact they occurred over one of the most populated areas in the United States (Dallas/Fort Worth) is even more strange.

Tornadoes

Please pray for the friends and families of those who lost their lives in this terrible natural disaster. In addition to the fatalities, many other Texans were injured and they need your thoughts and prayers too.

Clean up continues today in the communities of Garland and Rowlett. Dozens of homes were completely destroyed when multiple tornadoes touched down across the DFW Metroplex. Included in this number were homes owned by local members of law enforcement.

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Sunday, December 27, 2015

Texan Of The Year, Elizabeth Laird


Like many other Texans, I feel gratitude for the men and women who make up the members of our armed forces. While most of us do what we can to show our love and appreciation to our soldiers, one special lady went above and beyond the call of duty for years to make sure hundreds of thousands of troops received a hug before departing for assignments overseas.

On Christmas Eve, Elizabeth Laird lost her battle with breast cancer in a Central Texas hospital. As has been the case in previous wars, thousands of front-line troops begin their overseas deployment from Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas. It was from there that Laid lined up to give thousands of those deploying troops a big hug.

Rapiddominance Army Back to the Basics Cap, ACU

When I first learned about this special woman, I was emotionally moved by her act of compassion toward total strangers. I also felt guilty because my contributions to these wonderful Americans does not hold a candle to what she accomplished in her lifetime. We owe so much to soldiers, both current and veterans of past wars and conflicts.

The next time you pray to God, please thank him for giving Texas wonderful people like Elizabeth Laird. One of the main reasons I love living in Texas are the wonderful and selfless people who make the Lone Star State their home.

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Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Will Texans Vote Trump?


Everyday the GOP primary in Texas gets closer and before long Republicans here will decide who they will support as their party's nominee to run against Hillary Clinton next November. Right now Donald Trump is in the lead, but will that continue?

If you look at history, it is almost a certainty that Donald Trump will not only win all the GOP delegates from Texas, but he will win the nomination nationwide as well. Why? Simply because history says that whenever any Republican candidate is 20-points ahead of their nearest challenger at Christmas in the year before the party chooses a candidate, that person always wins the nomination.

Crippled America: How to Make America Great Again

Not only is Donald Trump leading his many challengers at this point, he is way out in front of all of them. After watching presidential politics for most of my life, I have never seen anything come close to the voter loyalty shown to Trump. It does not seem to matter how controversial his comments become, because he not only holds his own in the polls afterward but increase his margins with each passing day.

Conventional wisdom would suggest that Senator Ted Cruz should win the GOP delegates from Texas, but that does not look likely right now. At this point in time, there does not seem to be anything or anyone who can stop Donald Trump from winning the Republican Primary in Texas and he is very likely to be the Republican nominee for President of the United States long before the party holds it's convention in Ohio next summer.

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JJ Watt Is The Best


While running backs, tight ends and quarterbacks get most of the attention in the NFL. Die-hard fans always like the big guys who play defensive end the best. In the modern era no player is better than the Houston Texans' JJ Watt.

While most of the famous Texas defensive tight ends have played for the Dallas Cowboys, none of them were better than JJ Watt. Even folks who are not Houston Texans fans know who Watt is and many follow his career with intense interest.

NFL Youth Boys 8-20 MID-TIER JERSEY -TMC WATT J TEXANS DP Obsidian S (8)

Like many other great NFL players, JJ Watt is involved in charitable work in the Houston area. It is not uncommon to see Watt walking the halls of children's hospitals in Harris County giving hope to sick kids who look at him as a superhero.

Sadly, most of the news media attention in the NFL these days is given to the players who are up to no good when they are not playing football. The 2015 season has been no exception to that unfortunate rule. That is why I'm glad there are players like JJ who give of themselves to not only be the best of the best on the football field, but follow that same policy when they are not.

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Monday, December 21, 2015

Rural Lone Star Beauty


Like many city slickers, I can trace my roots back to a small Texas town. For me, that was a place called Memphis in the Texas Panhandle. My father taught me the benefit of hard work by making me farm with him during the summer months.

In addition to farming cotton, dad also raised a few head of cattle and the picture above reminds me of one of the places they wondered around eating. That old fashion windmill was exactly like one I would see everyday when I went to work with him.

Buying Rural Land in Texas

Back in the 1960's and 1970', when I was growing up, there were no such things as cellular telephones or the Internet. When we needed to communicate with each other, we did it the old fashion way by driving to where that person was and doing it in person.

We did have CB radios and they were fun to play with. I wonder sometimes if the youth of today are so unhappy, because they never learned the benefit of a good hard days labor? My parents always wanted a better life for my sister and I and then we turned around and did the same thing for our kids. In hindsight, I wonder if that was a mistake?

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Houston On My Mind


More Texans live in Houston than any other city. While I have never lived in Texas' largest city, I have visited there many times over the years.

There are many fun things to do in Houston, like visiting NASA. As a kid and still today, space exploration has always been something that interested me. While the oil and gas industry created most of the population growth of Houston over the past five or six decades, NASA also aided in bringing high paying jobs to the area as well.

Insiders' Guide® to Houston (Insiders' Guide Series)

Another thing I love about Houston is it's downtown section of tall skyscrapers, which are very artistically beautiful compared to other large cities. It's easy to know what city you are looking at when the downtown section of Houston is shown in a picture or on television.

There is one thing I really don't like about Houston and that is the large number toll roads that are easy to accidentally get trapped on by folks from out-of-town trying to travel around the city. That said, I think the benefits far outweigh the downside of bad traffic in Texas' largest city.

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Man Bites Head Off Snake


I have lived in Texas all my life, but did not hear about this story until today. While it was published by the Associated Press back in 1996, it might just be another 'tall tale' from the Lone Star State. In either case, it's a great story to pass along to everyone here.

In May of 1996, a man by the name of Valentin Grimaldo was walking along side a rural Texas highway when he reached down to pick something up and was bitten by a coral snake. In a flash, he grabbed the snake, bit it's head off and wrapped it's body around his arm like a tourniquet.

Coral Snakes (The Really Wild Life of Snakes)

Fortunately, a passerby stopped and took Grimaldo to a nearby hospital. He was treated and eventually released from the hospital. While rattlesnakes are very abundant in the state of Texas, there are a large number of coral snakes as well, especially in the wide open spaces of the west.

If you would like to read more about this story from the AP, click here to visit their website. There are so many of these stories in Texas history, it's difficult to know what is true and what is not. However, it does appear that this really happened.

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Sunday, December 20, 2015

Bill's Backyard Classics Amarillo


If you love old cars and you are going to be passing through the Amarillo area, you might want to check out a place called Bill's Backyard Classics. Bill Pratt has had a passion for older cars for much of his life. Included in his collection are Smart Cars, Corvettes, Model A's, street rods and many other vehicles in excellent condition.

What I like best about old American cars is the personality that was seen in the various different models. In the modern world, all cars look the same. Whether they are made in Detroit or somewhere outside the country – it's hard to tell the difference between a Chevrolet and a Toyota. However, when it comes to a classic car like the 1957 Chevy or the Model A – it only took one look to know what type of vehicle you were looking at.

Car: The Definitive Visual History of the Automobile

Bill's Backyard Classics is located at 5309 S. Washington St in Amarillo, Texas. Admission is current set at $10 per person and a portion of the proceeds are donated to the Children's Miracle Network. Kids under 12 are admitted for free. Current inventory contains 90-vehicles which are constantly being maintained and upgraded to restore their original beauty.

Bill Pratt might also be able to help you restore one of your own classic cars and possibly add it to their collection. Bill's Backyard Classic is not located on either of the major Interstate highways that pass through Amarillo, so it might be a good idea to give them a call for directions when you're ready to visit. Their telephone number is (806) 373-8194

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Welcome To The Lone Star State


Many Texans view our great state as more of a country than just a sibling of the United States of America. From a square mile standpoint, Texas is larger than many counties and in recent years our population has been growing as well.

It's not just the size of Texas that makes it special, but the different types of climate that are found too. For example, normal weather conditions in El Paso are completely different from what are found in Amarillo, Corpus Christi or Tyler / Longview. It's not uncommon for East Texas to see more rain in a one week period of time than areas of the Big Bend will see in an entire year.

There is one constant when it comes to the state of Texas and that involves the friendliness and neighborly personalities shown by most citizens. Especially in rural areas of the Texas Panhandle and far West Texas near Midland and Odessa, it is not uncommon to witness acts of kindness given freely to both friends, neighbors and total strangers.

Every time I leave my birthplace and home, my heart becomes homesick within a matter of days. After a long vacation outside of Texas - seeing that 'Welcome To Texas' sign always brings a smile to my face, because I know I'm home even though it's still hundreds of miles until I arrive at my house.

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Saturday, December 19, 2015

Who Will Replace Romo At QB?


It is any ones guess whether or not Tony Romo will be back in uniform leading the Dallas Cowboys as quarterback next season. I would list the odds at 50/50 simply because every defensive player now knows how to tackle him in a way to cause injury.

Many fans are excited about the prospect of Tim Tebow replacing Romo, but I just can't see that happening right now. While I like the clean cut image Tebow would bring to the team, the fact he does not have a good track record in the NFL does give me pause.

Dallas Cowboys light weight 50" x 60" Fleece Blanket

My personal choice as the replacement for Tony Romo would be Robert Griffin III (RG3). He too has a bad track record since joining the NFL, but I personally watched as he transformed the Baylor Bears football team from the joke of the Big-12 only a few years ago, to the assumptive champion every year since.

Sadly, the biggest obstacle standing in the way of the Dallas Cowboys signing a top tier young quarterback is team owner Jerry Jones. While it's clear Mr. Jones is highly capable of earning billions of dollars from the team, his ideas when it comes to winning another Super Bowl do not line up with most other owners or fans of the team.

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Friday, December 18, 2015

Hamilton Pool Water 68 Degrees


There are thousands of wonderful things to see in Texas and one of those is Hamilton Pool in Dripping Springs. This beautiful place features spring-fed water at a constant 68 degrees year round. It is a lovely place to visit and a perfect location to cool off during the hot summer months.

Dripping Springs in located in the Austin area, but it does take a little bit of driving to find Hamilton Pool. There is a limit on the number of folks allowed to swim there, so arrive early if you want to get right in or be prepared to wait.

Hamilton Pool Preserve Texas mouse pad computer mousepad

Being a part of the Balcones Canyonlands Preserve, Hamilton Pool is carefully managed in an effort to keep the location as close to nature as possible. When you visit, please keep this in mind and make sure you clean up after yourself before leaving.

Hamilton Pool is feed by Barton Springs which create beautiful waterfalls. It may be hard to believe that such a natural wonder could be located in Central Texas, so prepare to be amazed when you visit.

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Thursday, December 17, 2015

San Antonio Riverwalk Christmas


Winter is not normally the busiest time of year on the San Antonio Riverwalk, but if you have never been there during Christmas you certainly should make plans to go.

About 12-years ago, my wife and I decided to spend Christmas week in San Antonio and we had a wonderful time. Yes it was very cold when we were there, but that's why God made coats. Right?

Food Lovers' Guide to® San Antonio: The Best Restaurants, Markets & Local Culinary Offerings (Food Lovers' Series)

The best part of spending Christmas on the San Antonio Riverwalk is the awesome beauty of the millions of lights that turn night into day. Even though it was cold, just watching those twinkling lights out the hotel window was worth going.

While it might be too late to plan a Christmas vacation in San Antonio this year, make a note to yourself to go sometime. You won't be disappointed.

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Anissa Jones (Buffy) Family Affair


Quoted from: en.wikipedia.org

“Mary Anissa Jones (March 11, 1958 – August 28, 1976) was an American child actress known for her role as Buffy on the CBS sitcom Family Affair. She died from combined drug intoxication at the age of 18.

Jones was eight when her acting skills drew the attention of television producers, and she was cast as Ava Elizabeth "Buffy" Patterson-Davis on the CBS sitcom Family Affair (1966). In the opening plot line, Buffy, her twin brother Jody (Johnny Whitaker), and older sister Cissy (Kathy Garver) are sent to live with their Uncle Bill (Brian Keith) and his valet Mr. French (Sebastian Cabot) a year after the children's parents die in a car accident.”

I remember well watching this wonderful show when I was a very young man. While keeping up with the small problems written into the script each week for the kids was fun, I really enjoyed watching the facial expressions of Mr. French as he interacted with the children.

In 1976, just as it is today, death caused by drug overdose is such a waste of human life.

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Tupperware Salt & Pepper Shakers


When I was growing up back in the 1960's and 1970's it was completely common to see Tupperware salt and pepper shakers in almost every Texas home.

I just checked and those same type of salt and pepper shakers are still available for sale on-line at Amazon and in large retail stores like Walmart.

In recent years, Texans have changed from the old refillable salt and pepper shakers to a new kind that is disposable and already contains the product in the package.

Many times over the years I wondered how rich the person or persons became after inventing Tupperware products? Royalties on even a small portion of these popular items would have to be a fortune.

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Wednesday, December 16, 2015

1954 Chevrolet Corvette Dashboard


Quoted from: wikipedia.org

“In 1954, only 3,640 of this model were built and nearly a third were unsold at year's end. New colors were available, but the six-cylinder engine and Powerglide automatic, the only engine and transmission available, were not what sports car enthusiasts expected. It is known that 1954 models were painted Pennant Blue, Sportsman Red, and Black, in addition to Polo White. All had red interiors except for those finished in Pennant Blue that had a beige interior. Order guides listed several options, but all options were "mandatory" and all 1954 Corvettes were equipped the same.

In the October 1954 issue of Popular Mechanics there was an extensive survey of Corvette owners in America. The surprising finding was their opinions in comparison to foreign sports cars. It was found that 36% of those taking the survey had owned a foreign sports car, and of that half, they rated the Corvette as better than their previous foreign sports car. 19% rated the Corvette as equal to their foreign sports car and 22% rates the Corvette as inferior. And while many were well pleased with the Corvette, they did not consider it as a true sports car. The principal complaint of the surveyed owners was the extensive body leaks during rain storms.”

While newer versions of the Corvette are popular still today, millions of people from around the world attend auto shows to see first hand what great workmanship looks like in these classic 1954 Chevrolet Corvettes.

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What's Wrong With Ted Cruz?


I was unable to watch the GOP presidential debate last night on CNN, but it appears Senator Ted Cruz from Texas did well.

Many Texans are very supportive of Cruz, but for some reason I just don't like the man. I've tried to figure out for a long time now why I don't like Cruz, but I can't put my finger on the reason.

Even after watching excerpts from last night's debate and hearing Cruz say all the right things, I still could not warm up to supporting him. Maybe that feeling will change, but who knows.

It is clear that democrats are excited right now watching all this GOP infighting, but if you read history this kind of a primary puts them in a much better position to win next year than Hillary Clinton.


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San Antonio Needs NFL Team


This year like many others, my wife and I vacationed in the beautiful city of San Antonio. We love it there and not just because of the River Walk and other great places to visit, but because most of the folks that call the Alamo City home are wonderful individuals.

Many San Antonio locals have told us how badly they want an NFL team to take up residency there. Now that the City of San Antonio is larger than Dallas, one would think the NFL would be eagerly making plans to offer an expansion team to the citizens there.

I have heard many times over the years that Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is a major stumbling block in this process, but I don't know for sure if that is true.

The more than one million people who call San Antonio, Texas home deserve an NFL team and I hope someday soon they will see that dream become a reality.

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Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Wildflower Time In Bristol Texas


Quoted: richlandcollegelibrary.blogspot.com

“If you have only an afternoon, just hop into the car and head south on I45 for some bluebonnet sightings in nearby Ennis. A couple of years ago, they were prolific and spectacular in the Ennis area and all around its small neighbor, Bristol. Never heard of Bristol? According to the Memorial and Biographical History, Bristol was almost our state capital. It missed being chosen as the capital by only one vote in the Texas Legislature.”

You can find Bristol by heading east out of Ennis on Texas hwy 34, and turn north on FM 660. The fields of bluebonnets and wildflowers there can be amazing. Other areas of Texas that are filled with beautiful spring flowers are located in the eastern part of the state near Tyler and in the Hill Country near Austin.

People from around the world travel to Texas each spring just to see the millions of wild bluebonnets in bloom. Since it's winter, I thought it might be nice to see a great old picture taken during the spring in Bristol, Texas.

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Home From A Christmas Story


From the website @ achristmasstoryhouse.com

"A Christmas Story House, now restored to its movie splendor, is open year round to the public for tours. Directly across the street from the house is the official A Christmas Story House Museum, which features original props, costumes and memorabilia from the film, as well as hundreds of rare behind-the-scenes photos. Among the props and costumes are the toys from the Higbee’s window, Randy’s snowsuit, the chalkboard from Miss Shields’ classroom and the family car.

After reliving A Christmas Story at Ralphie’s house don’t forget to visit the museum gift shop for your own Major Award Leg Lamp and other great movie memorabilia. You can even shop through our online gift shop here. Proceeds from the gift shop help support and maintain A Christmas Story House & Museum."

Like many of you, I have watched this movie hundreds of times. What a great holiday classic. Check out the two photos below of the primary character 'Ralphie'. The first is what he looked like when the movie was made and the second is a more recent picture.

Happy 82nd Birthday Tim Conway


Quoted from his website @ timconway.com “TIM CONWAY is best known for his role on The Carol Burnett Show, an 11-year stint that garnered him six Emmy Awards, a Golden Globe, major accolades from critics, and three generations of fans. Conway played the funny guy alongside Harvey Korman’s straight man, often cracking up Korman midway through scenes. The spontaneous break in character became a hallmark to watch for in every episode.

Conway’s often-improvised humor, razor-sharp timing and hilarious characters have made him one of the funniest and most authentic performers to grace the stage and studio in the last forty years. In 1989, Conway received his much deserved star on Hollywood’s “Walk of Fame.” In 2002, he and Korman were inducted into the Academy of Television Arts, & Sciences’ Hall of Fame. In 2005, the duo joined the rest of the Carol Burnett cast in receiving TV Land’s Legend Award.”

Happy Birthday, Tim. You made millions of us laugh during our younger years and still do today!

Old VW Love Bus


Back in the 1960's a terrible war in Vietnam created a huge divide between adults who supported the conflict and young people who were expected to fight there.

This breakdown in communication between generations caused many young folks to rebel and one way they showed their displeasure was to take drugs and act out against authority.

The VW Love Bus became a popular symbol during the late 1960's and 1970's and were known to be a big hit with groups of young people called 'flower children'.

While there are a few of these old flower children VW Love Buses still on the road today, most are in museums and owned by collectors who guard them with their lives.

Who Ate Lay's Potato Chips Out Of A Tin Can?


In modern times, most folks have eaten Pringles out of a tin can. But did you know that back in the 1960's Lay's Potato Chips were also sold that way?

The picture above shows how they looked. Of course, back then there were no other flavors of Lay's Potato Chips and certainly there were no 'low salt' varieties for sale either.

It's interesting to look into our past to see how Americans products were sold to the public. Maybe it would be a neat idea, if Lay's would offer a short term promotion where they offered their world famous potato chips in a tin can once again?

Monday, December 14, 2015

Marvin Zindler Too Ugly To Work In TV


In 1950 Marvin Zindler became a reporter and cameraman for Southwest Film Production Company which produced the 6 P. M. news for KPRC-TV, but in 1954, he was fired by an executive who said he was "too ugly" to work in TV. Two years later, Zindler joined the Scripps Howard Houston Press to work part-time as a crime reporter and photographer.

On January 1, 1973, Marvin Zindler joined KTRK, a station with a news program languishing in third place. It was there where Zindler made a name for himself and became a part of Texas legend. Zindler made local and national headlines when he and reporter Larry Conners closed the Chicken Ranch near La Grange, after he made a news report on it in 1973. The Chicken Ranch story was featured in a 1973 edition of Texas Monthly magazine and was the basis for the hit movie The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. It was also the basis of the song La Grange by ZZ Top.

Zindler died from pancreatic cancer at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston on July 29, 2007.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Shiner Is Great Town To Visit


Shiner, Texas was incorporated in 1890. Like other small towns in Texas, Czech and German immigrants soon became the dominant ethnic groups, and Shiner developed a cohesive Czech community that still heavily influences the town's culture.

Shiner is the home of the Spoetzl Brewery Company, which is the oldest independent brewery in Texas. The brewery is most well known for producing Shiner Bock beer, which is sold in 41 states.

The downtown section of Shiner has many old buildings housing local businesses operating small retail shops.

Sandcastle Lessons In South Padre


Andy Hancock has been offering sandcastle lessons in South Padre for years. He is the creator of the largest permanent sandcastle in the US. His work is simply amazing! Thousands of people visit South Padre Island every year and many have taken lessons on how to build beautiful sandcastles. Here's a link to Andy's website, if you would like to get more information about this fun activity.

Here are a few additional pictures of neat sandcastles created by his student and Andy himself.

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