Monthly Archives: January 2015

Tuesday, January 20, 2015 – And So It Begins

Tuesday, January 20, 2015 – And So It Begins

And so it begins.

To the State Legislature:

What have you done for the citizens of Texas so far?

  1. Installed panic buttons in offices because of the crazy citizens of Texas. This is both sad and funny.
  2. Ensured the boys and girls of Texas can have cupcakes in their classrooms. I had no idea the cupcake lobby was that powerful?

What is on the To Do list for today?

Inaugurate a new governor. 

Comment: Listen to speeches and promises of a new Texas.

Go to a parade.    

Comment: Dear TEA Commissioner – how does one code a school absence for ADA when the Drill Team and the Drum Line are in the parade?

Go the lunch on the capitol grounds.

Comment: The caterer for the event is Eddie Deen. Two hundred staff members will serve up “four tons of brisket, 17,000 yeast rolls and a mile of sausages.”  I hope the staff members who are serving the food are legal.

Attend the Inaugural Ball.  

Comment: With sincere respect to the new governor.  I really hope he gets on the dance floor and spins, rolls and maybe even pops a wheelie.  This would make the ADA people happy. Note: this ADA – Americans with Disabilities Act – is not to be confused with the ADA above, which stands for Average Daily Attendance. Now you see why government is so confusing.

Note to non-cat lovers.  The Inaugural Ball is not the same as the Jellical Ball.  The Jellical Ball is described in Possum’s Book of Practical Cats by T. S. Eliot. The Jellical Ball is where the old, tired cat is transported up as its nine-lives are over and a new cat takes its place.  Oh crap, it is like the Jellical Ball.

Monday, January 19, 2015 – Dr. Martin Luther King Day – Let Freedom Ring

Monday, January 19, 2015 – Dr. Martin Luther King Day – Let Freedom Ring

Before I begin I forgot to shout out to CSE whose birthday was also January 13.  Hope it was a good one.

Remember when the Sears stores were called Sears and Roebuck?

Today is the celebration of the birth of Dr. Martin Luther King.  His date of birth is January 15 but it was moved during the Ronald Reagan administration as one of the floating federal holidays.

Every year on his birthday I either read or listen (usually both) to his I Have a Dream Speech. The Reverend King delivered the speech at The Lincoln Memorial on August 28, 1963.

I read the speech and view it in the context of our nation today fifty-two years later. It saddens me literally to tears. While we have made great strides, there is still so much to do.

I encourage you to listen to and/or read the speech in its entirety. It is as powerful today as it was in 1963. I pulled out a few key words and phrases that I try to live by on a daily basis.

“…judge people by the content of their character and not the color of their skin.”

“Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.”

In light of Ferguson, Missouri and other places, this sentence rang especially hard this year. “We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of unspeakable horrors of police brutality.”

And of course there is the powerful the closing line.

“When we allow freedom to ring—when we let it ring from every city and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing the words of the old Negro spiritual, Free at last, Free at last, Great God a-might, We are free at last.”

I remember learning the following lines in high school. The poem was written by the English poet Richard Lovelace. In fact, I once knew the entire poem, To Althea from Prison. He wrote them while imprisoned for questioning King Charles I and the clergy. The most quoted line from the last stanza is “Stone walls do not a prison make nor iron bars a cage.” Hatred, discrimination and social injustice also create prisons.

When I was small child I received a reprimand, probably a quick swat to the behind, and a lecture from my Mother for drinking from the “Colored” water fountain in the Sears and Roebuck. When my mother said, “That is the colored water fountain.” I replied, “I know. I wanted to see what color the water was.”  You know what? It is the same for everybody who wants a drink. The water and the world should be the same for everyone – FREE. Let Freedom Ring.

Richard W. Sears and Alvah C. Roebuck founded one of the best-known business partnerships in history. The firm was incorporated as Sears, Roebuck and Company in 1893. Alvah Roebuck died June 18, 1948. He was a Black man. He could not even get a drink of water at his stores in the South.

Friday, January 16, 2015 – Snarky Friday

Friday, January 16, 2015 – Snarky Friday

The trivia question for today is: Who said “”I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it?”

To the Honorable (?) Randy Weber, United States House of Representatives

Washington D.C

Dear Representative Weber,

Thank you for embarrassing Texas by both tweeting and comparing the POTUS to Adolf Hitler regarding the United States high level absence at the anti-terrorist march in Paris on Sunday, January 11, 2015.

May I offer just a few suggestions?

  1. Stay off Twitter. Or at least understand it and learn to use it correctly. It is designed to communicate something very rapidly and SOMEBODY will see the tweet before you can delete it. 140 characters, not words, but letters, do not really allow one to express complex thoughts and opinions, especially those as controversial as yours. Perhaps a better use of the technology would be “Giving my opinion n explaining it on my website.” Or “Giving my thoughts and opinions. Watch Fox News.”
  2. Karl Rovian tactics are so yesterday. Character assassination strategies are old and outdated. Perhaps you could try something new and different. Have you thought about the concept of compromise?
  3. Please take a course in world history. Even if it is a MOOC – Massive Open Online Course. Explore the faces of evil who have conducted holocaustic behaviors and genocide over time. Let’s see to name a few: there’s Attila the Hun, Genghis Kahn, Pol Pot, the Romans, The Crusades, the white man and the Native Americans, Osama Bin Laden, that guy in the country that used to be Yugoslavia, and you already mentioned Hitler. Next time you want to compare people you disagree with to others in history, perhaps these will give you more names of people who had their own agenda and proceeded to kill others if they were in the way.
  4. May I suggest you actually read The United States Constitution? This is the document that begins with “We the people of the United States of America in order to form a more perfect UNION…” It is kinda of important to be united. We have already tried that civil war thing and it really made a mess of the country. The Constitution is not the document that begins with “We the people, but only my people and those who believe as I do, to my God, and have the same values and language and religion and color and sexual orientation and …” It is also a handy guide for exactly how the government works. Not to be confused with your copy that is how you think the government works.

If you take that world history course, it will help you see Hitler’s name was spelled A-D-O-L-F.  Not A-D-O-L-P-H.  You were probably thinking about the meat tenderizer inventor. This is probably what caused you to tweet Commander-in-Chef, rather than Commander-in-Chief.  Unless of course unless you were actually referring to a cooking school.

And last, if the POTUS, or other high level officials, had gone to Paris, wouldn’t you have complained and tweeted that they should NOT have gone?

But aren’t you glad we live in a democracy where freedom of speech is a constitutional right?  That Voltaire guy had some good beliefs about speaking, freedom and democracy didn’t he? His philosophies and beliefs were an integral part of the thought processes when the English colonies were transitioning to The United States of America. He was from France you know.  Paris, in fact.

Sincerely yours,

DRDRD

The quote is often attributed to Voltaire, but it is actually Evelyn Beatrice who wrote under the pseudonym S. G. Tallentyre. She was an English writer best known for her biography of Voltaire entitled The Friends of Voltaire where she actually wrote the line to illustrate Voltaire’s beliefs regarding freedom of speech and a democratic nation.

Thursday, January 15 – The Heart Break of Periphrasis

Thursday, January 15 – The Heart Break of Periphrasis

I realized today that I am suffering from the heart break of periphrasis.  It is defined as “the use of an unnecessarily long or round about form of expression.”

While yesterday’s entry received several comments of its most excellence, it was way too long.  These postings were originally designed for a quick read. Today’s entry is shorter.  In fact, I’m finished.

Wednesday January 14, 2015 – The Doors – AKA –Molly, Odessa and Me

Wednesday January 14, 2015 – The Doors – AKA –Molly, Odessa and Me

Today we are getting in the Way Back Machine to talk about The Doors. No, not Jim Morrison and the 1960’s rock group – although a loud Riders on the Storm under the right conditions is always stimulating.

I am talking about the doors that were on the horizon on May 28, 1967 – The following day after I graduated from high school. When I tell these stories to the Great nieces and nephews (GNs), they look at me with looks of disbelief and almost shock when they compare their high school experiences to mine. It is not exactly from the When I Was in School Files but almost.  I did not walk five miles in the cold and rain.  In fact, I wouldn’t walk 100 yards, in the sunshine crossing over a fence via a style (Google it).  By the time my mother and I got to our garage and she drove around to the front of the school building, I could have been sitting at my desk on the front row and done most of the next day’s homework.  But I digress as usual.

My high school principal was a wonderful man and was an excellent school administrator. Counseling was not his strong suit however. But there really wasn’t much to counsel about. We had parents for that.  The high school was small with an average 30 students in each of the four grade levels. With a limited number of course offerings, compiling your class schedule was relatively simple then.

A few days before the first day of school in 1966 I actually did walk over the fence via the style to his office to pick up my class schedule for my senior year.  When I saw it I said, “You have me down for Girls PE at fourth period. How am I going to take physics?” His reply? “Girls don’t take physics, D.”

I left his office and by the time I was crossing over the style again going home, I was crying.  Arriving home my mother asked “What’s wrong?” I said, Mr. L. says I can’t physics. She asked “why not?” and I replied “Because I am a girl.”

She immediately dried her hands on the dishtowel, took mine and we crossed over the style and marched into Mr. L’s office. I do not recall the exact conversation, but I was allowed to take physics, but only under certain conditions.

The only way Mr. L would allow me to take physics was if another girl took it with me.  Maybe he realized I needed to have another girl so we would be lab partners. Or maybe he knew the boys would sabotage our experiments like they did. I don’t know. But I talked Molly into taking physics. This woman definitely could have been a physicist. She knew how to calculate those instruments with precision and then read, interpret and execute the complex mathematical formulas. She was amazing.  Molly would have made an excellent experimental physicist, while I was more on the theoretical side.

But I did not get to play anymore high school basketball. Just as well. I would have been on the bench. And this brings me to Odessa. She would have started and played way in front of me.  She was good. I met Odessa when we were about 14 years old.  But it wasn’t until the schools integrated that we really became friends. And I consider her a treasured friend today.

Like me she was a First Generation. She was the first in her family to attend college. She obtained a Master’s Degree in Counseling.

About twenty years ago we met at an education conference and had an opportunity to visit. As we reminisced about high school days, I made the comment that “I really wanted to be a medical doctor, but there were no girls out there knocking down the doors showing me the way.” She gently leaned over and touched my arm and said, “D, Black girls did not even know there were doors out there.”

So now it is present day. This is a picture of me and Sydney Colson.

Me and Sydney (589x800)

She was born almost 20 years after Molly, Odessa and I graduated from high school. She played point guard on the 2011 Texas A&M National Championship team. “Colson had her best season during her senior year, the 2010-11 National Championship season. She led the conference and ranked in the top 10 nationally with 6.1 assists per game. She finished the season with 221 assists, which still ranks second on A&M’s single season assist chart. She still ranks fourth all-time in A&M’s career assists (504) and steals (255). She was an honorable mention All-America and all-conference selection her senior year.” http://www.12thman.com/ViewArticle.dbml?ATCLID=209369409

Impressive, huh?

After being drafted by the WNBA and playing for The New York Liberty for a while, plus playing some basketball oversees she returned to Texas A&M University. Remember girls were once not allowed to attend college here. She is a second year graduate student, mentors the new players and works with the point guards. She is the team’s videographer and plans to pursue a career in sports broadcasting.

She is an incredible young woman who knew those doors were there and went through them like a rider on a storm. I bet she got to take physics too and it did not conflict with girls’ basketball. Plus there was little something called Title IX.

So here’s to all the Sydneys out there today. What is that other song by the rock group The Doors? Oh yes. Break on Through to the Other Side.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015 – And The Winners Are?

Tuesday, January 13, 2015 – And The Winners Are?

“I Am Born.” That is the title of chapter one of what novel? Extra credit if you know the author.

Before I get to my last college football awards until next season, there is one more birthday to celebrate. MINE. Four score and seven years ago… No wait. That is The Gettysburg Address.  Three score and six years ago, I was born on this day.  That makes me 36, right?

Today marks the beginning of the 84th Texas Legislative session or as we referred to it – The Silly Season. Great niece Twin 2 begins her job as an assistant clerk with the Senate Transportation Committee.  I sent her a tweet that says “Good luck. Observe. Learn. And keep your voter registration card current.” Do I miss being a bureaucrat during session? I do miss the excitement, but I do not miss the long, grueling hours and the frustration. But I must say when I saw the email “First Reading” that begins the tracking of bills, my heart did flutter a bit. But I shall try to channel in the great, gone too soon, Molly Ivins and write about the session. Just a preview – today, at the opening session, armed gun activists are expected to gather outside the capitol.

And now – May I have the envelope please?

My award winners for the inaugural college football playoff are:

First runner-up award goes to Oregon. Duck Duck Sink. In the event the first place winner is unable to full her duties, (like some antiquated NCAA eligibility rule will surface) will Oregon get to be the National Champion?

And the 2015 National Champion of NCAA, college football, Division I is THE Ohio State University. What a way to dot that “I.” This in spite of the fact the flag bearers misspelled OHIO by forgetting the second “O” before the game began.

I had a three-way tie for most valuable players. While running back Ezekiel Elliot had a game of biblical proportions and safety Tyvis Powell led the team with nine tackles, my Most Valuable Player Award goes to Twelve Gauge, Cardale Jones. Did you see the arm on that guy?  There is a reason his teammates call him twelve-gauge like a shotgun. That and the fact he is huge and fast and extremely mobile. And he was the THIRD string QB?

Congratulations to The Ohio State University, but I still do not know what those little stickers on your helmets are. Nevertheless, everybody should have a helmet filled with them for a job well done. And you did it through hard work, facing epic obstacles and never, never gave up or quit believing in yourselves. Well done, gentlemen.

But now for the true winner$ of the fir$t college playoff$ $erie$:

  • AT&T
  • ESPN
  • NIKE and
  • Dr. Pepper aka Larry Culpepper.

Larry, will we see you ad nauseum during March Madness?

Parting shots – I see where Texas A&M has released quarterback Kenny Hill to explore his options.  Rumor has TCU in the mix.  Good luck, Kenny. I am sure there are flower beds in front of bars and restaurants in Fort Worth.  As the Aggies say, “Highway 6 runs both ways” meaning “if you can’t cut it at Texas A&M, go somewhere else.”

And to Johnny Football – You had that name trademarked or copyrighted. Do you plan to have Johnny Screw Up trademarked or copyrighted too? Get it together, Johnny! The partying is over, until you can take the Browns to a descent NFL season.

And to Kyle Allen, who tweeted “I want that feeling” – Fighting Texas Aggies everywhere want the feeling of a national championship too.  Take us there. BTHO – Arizona State, September 5, 2015

Chapter One from Charles Dickens’ David Copperfield (not the magician) is titled “I Am Born.”

Monday, January 12, 2015 – Happy Birthday!

Monday, January 12, 2015  – Happy Birthday!

Another birthday to celebrate! Today is my sister’s birthday.  Here is a piece of cake for you. Happy Birthday.

Chocolate Cake - Copy (800x600)

Today was also Molly’s birthday.  I went to all twelve grades of school with Molly and some of my favorite childhood and high school memories were with Molly.  Since my birthday is tomorrow, Molly and I celebrated birthdays together throughout those years. As time passed she was never out of my thoughts on these two days.

Here are a couple of pictures from our thirteenth birthday.  I wish we could have celebrated birthdays together this year.  Miss you, Miss Molly!

me molly - Copy (698x699)molly - Copy (678x702)

Saturday, January 10, 2015 – Happy Birthday, RL!

Saturday, January 10, 2015 – Happy Birthday, RL!

Happy Birthday to my friend, RL!

Remember the old radio days when you could call into a radio station and dedicate a song to some one?

Well, Mr. L, I would like to dedicate this song to you for your birthday, as you and all of the others prepare for the 144 days to come.

Here we come
Walkin’ down the street
We get the funniest looks from
Every one we meet

Hey, hey, we’re The Monkees
And people say we monkey around
But we’re too busy singing
To put anybody down.”

 

The 84th session of the Texas Legislature begins Tuesday, January 13, 2015.

“God Bless Texas” Bob Bullock

Friday, January 9, 2015 – Viva La France!

BOOM!

GOTCHA!

VIVA LA FRANCE!

Thursday, January 8, 2015 – The Birthday of the ELVI

Thursday, January 8, 2015 – The Birthday of the ELVI

Today would have been Elvis Presley’s 80th birthday.  Happy Birthday to one of the most significant cultural icons of the 20th Century.

I suppose you are bringing in the firewood, layering up, covering your petunia or hunkering down in frigid anticipation of The Big FREEZE. It is 23 degrees here in the Brazos Valley this morning with more cold and the dreaded precipitation coming this weekend.  Stay warm.

I see where the Oregon football team does not get to practice as much as THE Ohio State football team.  It seems with the new playoff system, the excess of the way too many NCAA rules has created some unforeseen problems.  It has to do with the start of the semester.  When the university is in session, as in the case of Oregon, a team can only practice 20 hours per week or 4 hours per day. However, THE Ohio State is not yet in session so the Buckeyes can do whatever they want.

Don’t you hate it when academics and athletics collide?

On a serious note – today’s “to do” list.

  1. Draw or look at a cartoon today in memory and honor of the French political cartoonists killed in the terrorists attack.
  2. Say prayer (or moment of silence) for peace and
  3. Remember freedom of the press is a cornerstone of democratic nations.