Monthly Archives: March 2015

Tuesday, March 31, 2015 – Post Big A** Hat Contest

Tuesday, March 31, 2015 – Post Big A** Hat Contest

Two Thetas and an Alpha Chi Omega meet up in Jackson, Mississippi for lunch on Friday, March 27, 2015. But first,

Holly W., and Kim M., you both had my heart, but my bracket had Maryland and Notre Dame. My women’s final four predictions were correct. And here’s to the Dayton Flyers for giving UConn a gut check.  It was so worth it to see Geno’s face and fumbling for words at half time when you were leading.  Go Flyers!

Now onward through the sequins and the glitter.

We did not win the prize for the best Big A** Hat at Sal and Mookey’s (correct spelling this time). However, The Little Bay Sea Queens from Rockport-Fulton, Texas, making their first trip to the SPQ Zippity Do Dah Parade took home the trophy.  There is nothing like a beauty queen from Texas and no man can resist that many at one time. The judge drowned in their beauty.  So congrats to The Little Bay Sea Queens for making all Texas Sweet Potato Queens proud.

Prior to the evening festivities we decided we were in definite need of a refreshing nap.  It could have needed due to being on the road at 6:15 AM that morning to reach Jackson in time for the Big A** Hat Luncheon. Note to Baylor Thetas Alums – I swear N1 was up and ready with the bling a blanging at that hour.  Oh, I’m sorry. I forgot it is Baylor and you don’t swear.  I promise N1 was up at that hour.

However, the need for a nap could have been the bloody Mary that followed the lemon tini.  I thought the Thetas ordered lemon tea, being from Baylor and all, so I said the same for me.  What a pleasant surprise arrived at the table and I think it is illegal in Mississippi to waste alcohol.

Nevertheless, a nap was in order.  But prior to our nap, we decided to take a quick visit to the SPQ store back at The Hilton. It was there we met some lovely people and learned several essential factoids about your first parade. You are a virgin and a SPQ Wannabe. One should note this by holding two fingers like the V for Victory or the peace sign in every picture.  This avoids confusion in subsequent years.  And as they say, whoever “They is,” You always remember your first. This also allows you to meet up with other virgin queen wannabes to compare notes.

Then we learned one must choose a queenly name. I immediately thought of the second song from the musical Cats.

“The Naming of Cats is a difficult matter,

It isn’t just one of your holiday games;

You may think at first I’m as mad as a hatter

When I tell you, a cat must have THREE DIFFERENT NAMES.”

Names that never belong to more than one cat.

But above and beyond there’s still one name left over,

And that is the name that you never will guess;

The name that no human research can discover –

But THE CAT HIMSELF KNOWS, and will never confess. ―

T.S. Eliot, Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats  and Cats

And suddenly I was transformed into Sweet Potato Queen Wannabe Leslie Gore Tex.

After our refreshing nap and a glass of champagne, we all prepared for the evening event – The “Pearls and PJ’s and Pelo Grande – Oversized Hair dos – as always, Size Does Matter!”

Given that I live in the shadow of the George H. W. Bush Library, the pearls I chose for this event were my Barbara Bush look alike pearls from The Dollar Store.  My pjs were my only one shade of gray sweat pants, designed by Nike – the ones that make my butt look good. Thank you, KQ! The evening ensemble was complimented by a faded, maroon, long-sleeved Texas A&M T-shirt from the Junior League garage sale last weekend.

Me and Jill (600x800)

HRH Jill Conner Browne and Leslie Gore Tex

Here are a few pics from the Pelo Grande

Dos Pelo Grande (800x600)QuatroPelo Grande (800x578)Cinco Pelo Grande (800x600)

Here are a couple from the PJ’s and Pearls dance.

The Band (800x591)

Chris Gill & the Sole Shakers! – “You know I’m all about that bass, ’bout that bass, no treble.”  Once again thank you, KQ. I looked so good shaking it because it all stayed in one place. And when it was shaking there wasn’t a whole lot of shaking going on all over the place like Jell-O. “I got that boom boom that all the boys chase. All the right junk in all the right places.”

Leslie Gore Tex and The Twins – Do tell! I do not know which one of you Tarleton twins is the most handsome!

Pajamas & Pearls Twins (800x600)

Well, that seems to be all of the pictures I have from the dance. Until the other pictures come in, I shall deny everything else.  I do hope the professional photographer captured me and woman doing the full blown Tina Turner dance, including head shakes to Rolling on the River. Thanks again, KQ for those strong legs.

As we were leaving, we caught a couple of The Fifty-Shades of Hay Queens. Wouldn’t Martha Jean’s Fifty Shades of Grey Goose hat look fabulous with these ensembles?

Fifty Shades of Hay (599x800)

We were keenly disappointed to learn from them that we had missed the award winning Little Bay Sea Queens from Rockport-Fulton, Texas doing a fully choreographed number to Abba’s Dancing Queen in the karaoke room.

But it was time to hit the hay because Saturday was the Zippity Do Dah Parade.  So until tomorrow.

Monday, March 30, 2015 – The Sweet Potato Queen Bathrobe Brunch

Monday, March 30, 2015 – The Sweet Potato Queen Bathrobe Brunch

Before we continue with our Sweet Potato Queen (SPQ) trip, please join me as my friend, RL and I share a brief moment of thought regarding the women’s NCAA Tournament – “Notre Dame Sucks.” And now back to the story of our SPQ weekend.

Yesterday was Palm Sunday and it was the Bathrobe Brunch. I think that was about the best Palm Sunday service I have been to in my entire 66 years.  Number one, you could wear your bathrobe and number two there was food that would bring the Methodists and Presbyterians to tears it was so good.  And number three, you could eat while the service was going on.

Bathobe Brunch

I had always believed that God has a sense of humor.  I mean, really. Look around your neighborhood.  Heck, look around your family. But now I know He does and He sent it down in the form of Jill Conner Browne (JCB) to share it with all of us.

But first there was music. I always liked the music part of the services. Lord, and I mean that literally, thank you for sending this man and his voice not only to us, but to the world.


When he opened his mouth and songs of praise flew out, that room filled with about a million angels and butterflies all flying around and into your heart. Can I have a Halleluiah! Amen and a Praise It Up!

Of course, it can’t be a churchy kind a thing unless there is an announcement or two. “The Sweet Potato Queen musical will premier in Houston, Texas next March at the Theatre under the Stars.  Dates have not been set. Melissa Etheridge wrote the music…” I quit listening after that because I was blocking out the entire month of March 2016 on my smart phone calendar app to save the date.


Then it was time for the sermon or the talking part.  This was great too because it was short. JCB talked about things like loving and sharing, and giving and helping and all those kind of things you should have learned at home when you were growing up.  If you didn’t, your Mama didn’t raise you right.  But you got a second chance to learn it from the Bible and believing and having faith.

Then she and Randall Wallace, (Zippity Do Dah Parade Marshall and author of Braveheart – yes, that would be the Academy Award winning one, with Mel Gibson) talked about being brave, having heart and treasuring freedom.

Wallace & Browne

It takes courage to make that triad in your life. By this time, everybody is crying with tears of joy, love and happiness. And most of all for the money raised for Baston Children’s Hospital in hopes of providing things sometimes as simple as a  van large enough to allow all of the permanent residents of the hospital to travel at the same time to a park to experience the freedom of being outside on a beautiful day. It is all for the chirren.

Then it was time for the benediction. Now this is where I know and believe that God has not only the greatest power, but also the greatest sense of humor. Remember, these are the Sweet Potato Queens and there are hundreds of us in the ballroom. Queens from all over the United States united in our Sweet Potato Queenships.

Then Jill Conner Browne says “Now let’s stand and sing Never Wear Panties to a Party if you want have real good time.*

I hope your firewalls, filters, virus protections and other cyber condoms are strong because that is gonna pick up a lot cyber crap.

*lyrics by Kacey Jones from the album Sweet Potato Queens’ Big-Ass Box of Music.


Late Sunday Night or early Monday Morning

Late Sunday Night or early Monday Morning

Thankfully, I have safely returned from Jackson, Mississippi and the Sweet Potato Queen (SPQ) 2015 Zippy Do Dah Parade. It is late, but the adrenalin continues to rush through my body after such a fabulous weekend.

There are currently 360 photos downloading from my camera card.  This does not count the number on the other camera card that was on the trip (X) or any of the pics on the phones (3Y). Therefore – 360 + X + 3Y + $100 of photos we purchased from the professional photographer of just the three of us, and then the CD of pictures of everybody else for the whole weekend  equals one big ass bunch of pictures.  How you like that math, Mr. Wax?

So while we are waiting for the first load of 360 Big Ass Bunch of Pictures (BABOP) on my card to down load I will give brief summary of the first few hours of SPQ Day One.   Yeah – like when have you ever known me to brief?

Niece1 (N1) and I traveled safely to Shreveport on Thursday and stopped for the night. Friday we drove onward to Jackson.  As soon as we crossed the Mississippi state line, I fetl dumr aredie.  I think my IQ dropped almost 14 points in the first mile.

But we arrived at The Hilton in Jackson in plenty of time to prepare for the Big Ass Hat Luncheon and Contest. We had just pulled under the porta chasee (fancy, French sounding name  for a  porch) of The Hilton when a giant suburban carrying four women, with the back filled to the top, a packed luggage on rack on top and hauling a small trailer, with a their SPQ chapter logo painted on the side, pulled in behinds us. N1 and I both said “Oooh, we’re gonna need a lot more clothes and we are waaaayyy under dressed.” But as the third member of our group waiting for us in the hotel says “Sometimes life should be led like a cavalry charge” and off we went. After a quick champagne toast to celebrate our arrival our group of three was complete.

Shortly after arriving and getting settled, a woman burst into our room and exclaimed, “Damn I got so drunk last night, I forgot to take my zanax.”  The third member of our group introduced us to her friend, Martha Jean.  Martha Jean then put her big ass hat on her head to show us.  It was a lamp shade called Fifty Shades of Gray Goose so aptly named she said because  “This book is so bad,  it made me want to drink so much I would put a lamp shade on my head.”  I had no idea who she was, but I liked her immediately.

Then after further extensive oohing and aahing over the fabulous head gear so graciously made for by member three of our group JP, we quickly donned our headgear and were off to Sal and Mooky’s. Please note:  Our Big Ass Hats will receive posts dedicated exclusively to their design and creation.

Well, it appears the first Big Ass Bunch of Pictures have downloaded.

So, deny it until there are pictures. Take a look.


Her Royal Highness – Jill Conner Browne

50 Shades of Gray (800x600)

Martha Jean being interviewed by TV media

Peacokc Queens (800x600)

The Peacock Queens

A Rose (600x800)

A rose by another name would smell so sweet.

Big Ass Hat (800x600)

Me and N1

Well, more tomorrow and the rest of the week and maybe to tax day.  I must go cream my face. Night or morning or whatever.

Friday, March 26, 2015 – Ted Cruz and Snarky Friday

Friday, March 26, 2015 – Ted Cruz and Snarky Friday

Just when you thought it was safe to open a Friday article, Snarky Friday is back.

Fridays when it is not college football season are usually reserved for snarky comments. It usually begins with a modification of this question posed to our leaders

What did you do for the people of Texas today? Here is what you did for us this week.

To The Honorable Ted Cruz, Junior Senator (R-TX),

Dear Senator Cruz,

Thank you so much for declaring your candidacy for President of the United States (POTUS).  Nothing will bring our country closer together than your non-compromising, obstructionist tactics. Nothing will move Texas closer to being blue again than your candidacy. You make Rick Perry look awesome.

As you begin the campaign I have some questions for you. And then in an effort to assist, I offer some thoughts and suggestions.

First, three questions to get started. I am sure I will have more as you open your mouth.

  1. How do you like that birther movement now? Karma is indeed a bitch. Oh I’m sorry. Karma is a tenet from a non-Christian belief structure.
  2. But speaking of karma – Do you think not endorsing the second-ranked Senate Republican Cornyn for re-election in 2014 will hurt you? I mean Senator Coryyn is from the same state are you from, and maybe you did not see on his resume that he too is a Republican.

…And third question is… I can’t remember, Oops.

Oh yeah.

  1. If your plan is to abolish the Internal Revenue Service, what is your strategy for raising revenue for the country? Just curious.

Now, Senator Cruz I have a few comments and suggestions.

  • You might want to brush up on that Arab-Israeli thing and go a little further back than 1948 rather than unequivocally stating “Israel or nobody.” Maybe even as far back as, let’s say, as forever? You might find Great Britain (i.e. England,) had a significant role in 1948 leading us (as in U.S.) to where we are today. Just a thought.
  • Your tweet “Science, we don’t need no stinking science” @ #TedCruzCampaignSlogan, probably really got the science and technology communities behind you with that one.
  • I saw where you evangelically declared the hope and promise of an all conservative government with no gays, no abortion and no gun control” – just to name a few. FYI – I think an “all one thought by all one group for any type government” is called a dictatorship. As you are brushing up on that Arab-Israeli thing, you might go back a few years to prior to 1948 and see how dictatorships and one thought one group world governments affect the world. There are several one-thought-one group type governments post 1948 that kinda helped shape too. A good start might be in Cambodia and then the state formerly known as Yugoslavia.
  • Of course my favorite, so far, because I know there will be more like this one coming out of your mouth. It’s your tweet about – “I’ll make government small enough to fit into your bedroom or a woman’s uterus. #TedCruzCampaignSlogan.”

Please stay out of my bedroom and away from my uterus. How would you feel if someone talked about your private man parts in such a manner?  For example “the federal government will shrink faster than Ted’ Cruz’s penis without Viagra.” You know what I’m saying?

But thanks for playing, tossing your hat in the ring, practicing kissing your wife and everything thing else. When I say I look forward to hearing what you have to say, I mean it.  This may prove to be one of the funniest reality shows on this TV season.

At this time, unfortunately I do think believe you chances are optimal.  Your last name is not Bush. But good luck anyway.



God Bless Texas (cause we really need it now!)

Thursday, March 26, 2015 – It’s Zippity Doo Dah Day

Thursday, March 26, 2015 – It’s Zippity Doo Dah Day

And we’re off.

Take a look at the 2012 Zippity Doo Dah Parade.  It is a rather long video, but you can obtain a comprehensive visual.  While you watching, I have to continue packing.

Still to pack

  • Lights
  • Lighted jewelry
  • Boas
  • Boots
  • Sequins
  • Pearls
  • Crowns
  • Money in unmarked bills and denominations suitable for tipping bar tenders, securing bail, offering bribes and other funds needed to visit Mississippi.

I’m going to Jackson.  Good-bye that’s all she wrote.


Wednesday, March 25, 2015 – Jackson!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015 – Jackson!

Today we continue our discussion of the two greatest authors from Mississippi. Since I learned that Florence King is not truly from the state, we are back to two greats. Yesterday we talked about Jill Conner Browne and today we will discuss William Cuthbert Faulkner. Tell me Cuthbert is not a family name.

Since I have to prepare for going to the Zippity Do Dah Parade, and everybody has heard of William Faulkner, I am going to skip the discussion and draw a chart showing the comparison and contrast between Jill Conner Browne and William Cuthbert Faulkner.  I know that comparing and contrasting those two is like apples and oranges, oil and water, or any other dichotomous elements resulting from extreme differentiating social factors. Sorry did not realize my doctor hat was still on for that last part.

William Cuthbert Faulkner v Jill Conner Browne


William Cuthbert Faulkner (WCF) Jill Conner Browne (JCB)
Born and raised in Mississippi Born and raised in Mississippi
Writes about The South Writes about The South
WCF wrote in not easy to read, and even more difficult to comprehend long, convoluted, passages in a circular writing style with sentences that sometimes ran together creating giant run on sentences, that could go on for pages like this one. JCB writes simple, easy to read and easy to understand sentences like this one.
Reading level for his works – nerdy American Literature majors and really smart people who like to read about The South. Reading level for her works – Mississippi state reading standard.  Note: “We’re not Mississippi!”
Laugh out loud only you when finally recognize just how dark the humor lies in As I Lay Dying. Laugh out loud – early and often.
Creates a host of crazy characters representing the essence of Southern culture. Creates host of crazy characters representing the essence of Southern culture.  FYI – we call it Southern Hospitality.
Had a mustache Probably has a mustache, but waxes
Is required reading for high school.  Oh the sound and the fury the chillren make when it is assigned. Should be required reading for everyone.  It would explain a lot.


Count down to the Zippity Do Dah is now T minus 2 and counting.  I must go work on my queen wave.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015 – I’m Going to Jackson!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015 – I’m Going to Jackson!

I’m going to Jackson! And I’m singing the remarkably futuristic sounding words of the June Carter and Johnny Cash duet – “I’m going to Jackson, gonna mess around, look out Jackson town.”

I’m going to Jackson for the Zippity Do Dah Parade!

Beginning today we are going to discuss the two greatest authors from the state of Mississippi. Yes, I understand it is unusual to have authors from that state at all given its high illiteracy rates. I too was unaware that many people in Mississippi could read.

But a few authors do exist. As stated, we will discuss the two greatest. Today we will discuss Ms. Jill Conner Browne and tomorrow we will discuss Mr. William Cuthbert Faulkner.  You were expecting John Grisham?

Let’s begin with an introduction off the Internet of Ms. Jill Conner Brown and her minions – The Sweet Potato Queens. The Sweet Potato Queens concept has been explained and made popular by a series of books by Jill Conner Browne, who came up with the idea in 1982. Browne is the author of a number of books which form the backbone of the Sweet Potato Queen movement. She turned a cottage industry into a multi-million dollar industry with donations made to various charities in Mississippi. Boring, boring, boring. Wonder how many times she has heard that introduction?

Let’s start again and do it my way.

Jill Conner Browne was born in Tupelo and raised in Jackson, Mississippi. Being birthed in the same town as The Elvi? Well, hell, that there is almost as good as being a native born Texan.

This awesome woman Jill Conner Browne (JCB) and some of her BFF’s in the early 1980’s recognized that we are all sisters and we are all queens of something. So they went out in somebody’s sweet potato farm and ceremonially declared themselves queens and thus became the Sweet Potato Queens (SPQ). I am pretty confident significant amounts of adult beverages were consumed during this process, but I am not 100% certain.

Obviously this JCB was the gifted and talented student for the state of Mississippi that decade because she because she was able to read and write. She wrote all these books to help all of us realize our inner potentials of queenship and to empower us to use them in life.

Her ideas grew into a big ass organization for which she is Her Royal Highness (HRH) of the SPQ Empire. Note to the Wikipedia people – The Sweet Potato Queens are an empire not a movement. The functioning of one’s bowels is a movement.

But HRH and the SPQ made so much money she had to give some away or the government would come after her.  So she and the increasing number of Sweet Potato Queens began the Zippity Do Dah parade in Jackson, Mississippi to celebrate being a Queen and to donate to a cause.  And Honey, you know we Southern Ladies do love a cause. Her cause is the Baston Children’s Hospital helping the little chirren and chilluns who are sick. Bless their hearts.

She wrote all these books and you should read all of them. Some of them you should read twice.

  • Sweet Potato Queens’ Book of Love (Jan 19, 1999)
  • God Save the Sweet Potato Queens (Jan 9, 2001)
  • The Sweet Potato Queens’ Big-Ass Cookbook and Financial Planner (Jan 7, 2003)
  • Sweet Potato Queens’ Field Guide to Men: Every Man I Love Is Either Married, Gay, or Dead (Oct 5, 2004)
  • The Sweet Potato Queens’ Wedding Planner/Divorce Guide (Dec 27, 2005)
  • The Sweet Potato Queens’ First Big-Ass Novel: Stuff We Didn’t Actually Do, but Could Have, and May Yet (Jan 2, 2007)
  • The Sweet Potato Queens’ Guide to Raising Children for Fun and Profit (Jan 1, 2008)
  • American Thighs: The Sweet Potato Queen’s Guide to Preserving Your Assets (Dec 30, 2008).

I suggest you read the books in order, but you don’t have to. But there is so much fundamental foundational material in Sweet Potato Queens’ Book of Love it gives you such a good start.

Chapters include:

  • The True Magic Words Guaranteed to Get Any Man to Do Your Bidding,
  • The Five Men You Must Have in Your Life at All Times Men Who May Need Killing,
  • Quite Frankly What to Eat When Tragedy Strikes, or Just for Entertainment, and
  • The Best Advice Ever Given in the Entire History of the World

I guarantee the true magic words work – even for me.  And if my friend KMY would have used them we could gotten a lot more free stuff on that weekend trip last summer.  I don’t care, KMY, if your cut-off standard is a full-set of teeth. You know you don’t have to follow through.

Now all SPQ know that going to the Zippity Do Dah Parade is like one of those pilgrimages of a life time like going to Graceland, or any other shrine on your bucket list. And I am headed out to the Zippity Do Day Parade. It promises to be a weekend of fun, food, frolic and sister hood as we move from Friday’s opening Big Ass Hat contest to Sunday’s Bathrobe Brunch.  Did I not mention there would be costumes?

This is my first parade, thus making me a parade virgin. Given that I have been to any number of parades before, I must beg to enforce Florence King’s self-rejuvenating virgin concept. I cannot remember exactly what the criteria are. I will need to check my copy of Southern Ladies and South Gentleman. Florence King is from where? There are three great authors from Mississippi? Well, do tell.

For more about Jill Connor Browne, the Sweet Potato Queens, the Baston Children’s Hospital and Florence King visit:

Monday, March – 23, 2015 – Your High School Yearbook

Monday, March – 23, 2015 – Your High School Yearbook

Let’s start the week in the Way Back Machine.   I seem to be in the Way Back Machine a lot lately.  Must be caused by Face Book. But today we are going to talk about high school yearbooks, sometimes called annuals – not to be confused with the flowers that grow every year.

Do you still have your high school yearbook(s)?  Those of us who graduated from MHS  in the 50’s and 60’s have all endure the scorn and  laughter of showing our children and great children (grand children and great nieces/nephews)  and our friends our high school yearbooks.  “That’s the WHOLE school in that little skinny book?” as they ROLF.

Remember those Everything I Know I Learned in Kindergarten posters and books from the 1980’s? I could do something similar called Everything I Know About Being a Bureaucrat, I Learned in High School Yearbook.  Everyone reading this knows or should know that the best yearbook published by Taylor Publishing Company for Magnolia ISD, was mine – the 1967 Bulldog yearbook where I served as editor-in-chief.  A very close second is the 1966 Bulldog when I believe, the “Vivid and careless as the wind itself” Ms. Jenny Lee W was editor-in-chief and I was assistant business manager.  My sister’s Magnolia yearbook, when she was editor-in-chief is a very, very distant third for best Magnolia yearbooks ever.

I know that Mr. Howard Davenport was the photographer for the 1967 Bulldog, and I am pretty sure he was the photographer for the 1966 one.  I think the photographer for my sister’s yearbook was Matthew Brady.

Howard Davenport was a Magnolia Renaissance Man. He could do anything and was interested in most everything.  Mr. Davenport was the only one who could operate such a complex professional camera outfit.  And you knew NEVER to touch Mr. Davenport’s camera.  He also taught us to develop film and print pictures. One will have to Google to explain dark room processes in film development.

I still have flashbacks of being chewed out by Mr. Davenport for leaving his darkroom in a mess. Even though it wasn’t my doings, I was the editor, so I got chewed out.  Of course, being chewed out by Mr. Davenport was like being chewed out by my father.  Neither raised their voice and you felt horrible because you had disappointed them more than anything else.

I feel pretty sure that Howard Davenport had something to do with that dark room and those opportunities even being there. Besides Pearl Lee, who else in Magnolia, Texas knew how to do that level of photography? It was professional quality using professional equipment.

Let me offer some comparisons to being a bureaucrat and the tasks and skills involved in being a yearbook editor. As state bureaucrat for 25+ years many of my responsibilities included project management for required legislative reports regarding the public schools and their use of technologies. When the assignments would be handed down, I would go into “yearbook mode” because the process is the same.   The skills needed for yearbook are also needed for life.  Here are some examples, with some lessons learned from reports and documents written.

Planning – Like a yearbook every page had to be planned with division pages, graphics and layouts long before the first photographs were taken or first words were written.

Lesson Learned: Do not submit the last page until the last submission.  I submitted the last page of my yearbook with the next to the last submission.  As it turned out I could have added 10 more pages.

Deadlines – There are firm deadlines in every project.

Lesson Learned: You miss it and you’re screwed.

Budget – You must work with money and you must work within these set parameters.

Lesson Learned:  You do not get to set the amount of money or set the parameters.

Political – Does not matter if it was a small town yearbook, there were politics involved.  I do not recall any significant interaction with the assistant editor. This was due to the fact that I was scared her mother would beat me up, then beat up my mother and then beat up Mrs. Brown, yearbook sponsor,  possibly Mr. L. the HS Principal, and maybe Mr. Tergerson the superintendent.  Today’s these are called “educational lawsuits.”

Lesson Learned:  You can’t please everybody and you have to compromise.

Communication – You have to interact with people who are more powerful than you and you have to communicate things you wish you did not have to.  For example from yearbook – “Mr. L., we have to have Mr. Davenport take the FFA picture again because Michael S. is “making an ugly sign” with his hands.”  Really, did you think I would have gone into JL’s office and say “Michael S. is shooting the bird?”  He and I both would have fainted if I had said that.

Example from The Form Factory – “Dr. M., our division’s report is going to be late and we need an extension.  I understand it is The Graphics Department’s fault, but our responsibility.  What I really wanted to say “Betty W. is a freaking idiot!”

Lesson Learned:  Proof reading and photography examination skills are critical – You cannot write reports, letters, memos or any other document in the Texas PUBLIC school system without them. Spell check does not pick up on the word when the “L” is left out of the word public.

Process –It is a process that goes through defined stages. It will start with enthusiasm, stall, forcing a regroup, progress and move forward, then fall completely apart causing you to regroup again and then end somehow, hopefully the way you planned it to, on time and under budget.

Lesson Learned: If it doesn’t kill you, it will make you strong.

Powerful – being an editor of a yearbook is the most powerful position in high school. We, the editors, knowingly control your high school career to be displayed for future generations. Not all of those “bad” pictures used in the 1967 MHS yearbook are accidental.  How about yours Ms.Jenny Lee W?

Lesson Learned:  You must learn and develop all those other skills to achieve the needed confidence to complete an undertaking such as a yearbook or any other project in your life. Use your power and skills wisely.

In conclusion, I hope Jenny Lee W. and everybody else has made it this far. There were two photographs in her 1966 yearbook that influenced me throughout my life.  I always said if I ever see JLW again, I would complement her on them.

They are the two photographs of the yearbook staff at the end of the yearbook. On the LP (left page) for you non-yearbook speaking) is the BEFORE picture. The staff is perfectly posed and is smiling with eagerness and confidence.  The caption reads “It’s only the beginning.”

The AFTER picture on the RP of the book is the yearbook staff in a different pose.  The caption on this picture reads “Where’s Mrs. Brown?” The yearbook sponsor is not pictured and the staff looks as though we are angry, hitting each other with various objects, screaming, crying, and yelling at each other and more.  This is the best example I have ever seen of what a process looks like.

Ms. Jenny Lee W, please know that I used these two pictures for years to start and lead new projects  I would show my team the two photographs say “OK, team, this is what the “BEFORE the process starts” picture looks like. As we move along, there will be stages it will look like this AFTER picture and it may look like this at conclusion, but you must trust the process. Now let’s get busy.”

Oh yes, I do give you full credit, Ms. W.

So, if everything I know about bureaucracy I learned from yearbook, and if everything I know about yearbook, I learned from Ms. W, then the only reason my yearbook could have possibly been better than hers was if she taught me how to make it so.

OK – it’s a tie. The best two yearbooks ever to come out of MHS – the 1966 and 1967 Bulldogs. Looking for your high school yearbook now, aren’t you?

Friday, March 20, 2015 – Request for Proposals

As you read on Wednesday, there is a stain in my drive way.  Therefore, I decided to deal with by issuing a Request for Proposals (RFP). I hope all enjoy, but especially my recovering bureaucrat friends and those who are still playing the game..

Request for Proposals

(RFP) # 702-001-2015

Request for Proposals

Penis Shaped Stain Tactics or PSST


Based on a home loan executed April 2014, I own a driveway that looks exactly like every other driveway on the street. In March 2015 a grease leak from a parked pick-up truck created a stain that resembles a penis. Therefore, the townhouse with the penis shaped stain (PSS) in the driveway is requesting proposals for the removal or modification tactics of said driveway stain.

Needs Assessment

There is a penis shaped stain in my driveway.  I need it removed.

3.16.2015 2015-03-19 003 (800x600)


There are two submission categories. Category One is Removal.  Category Two is Modification. Applicants may submit one application per category. Applicants may not submit an application in each category.

Category One – Removal

Applicants may submit one application in the Removal Category. Applicants must include a research-based methodology for the removal of PSST.  Applicants must include a list of supplies needed section that may be submitted in list form. This list includes, but is not limited to:

  • Cat litter
  • Broom,
  • Dust pan,
  • Grease remover because the cat litter does not work
  • Soap
  • Water and
  • Bucket.

Applicants will receive additional points if their submission includes somebody to work with the supplies.

Category Two – Modification

Applicants may submit one application in the Modification Category. Applications must include a decorative and/or artistic design that creates a modification of the stain causing it not to look at is currently does.  All ideas submitted in this category must be suitable for posting on ETSY.

Examples suggested by The Department of Redundancy Department suggest the following are examples that include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Practical themes
  • Holiday themes
  • Sports themes.

Submitted designs may be a permanent and/or situationally interchangeable based upon current conditions. Designs may include a combination of permanent and situationally interchangeable designs. The following are examples.

Practical example


Artistic example

Sports example


The money amount available for PSST is $10.00.  This amount can be expanded to $20.00 if a selected application contains some body to do the removal or modification.

Evaluation Criteria

Applicants’ submissions will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

Which suggestions can produce desired results quickly.

Which applications include somebody else to do the work.

Otherwise I am still going to be PSST.

Submission Process

All applicants can submit their applications via email, FB, Blog, Twitter, text, telephone, visit and/or something called a letter.

Thursday, March 19, 2015 – Here Come the Big Boys

Thursday, March 19, 2015 – Here Come the Big Boys

Today I will spend my afternoon watching very large and handsome young men dressed in uniforms of tank tops and long shorts run and bounce and then toss and catch a round ball. Then after several passes, one of the young men will attempt to throw it through a hoop.  Today the big boys (no pun intended) begin to play. The big schools with recognized names begin play.

I actually played girls’ basketball in high school.  Let me rephrase that – For two years I attempted to play girls’ basketball.  The few outstanding qualities I possessed at the time were: height at 5’ 8” and some small level of athletic (i.e. – eye hand coordination) ability.  However what little eye-hand coordination I possessed was compromised because I wore glasses.  Those beautiful, wing-tipped, cat-eyed monstrosities, if you recall.  I had to wear a mask to avoid breaking them.  This is a fundamental truth of basketball at any level – You cannot play basketball while wearing a catcher’s mask.   You cannot see anything except what is directly in front of you. The wearing of a mask is probably why I turned out to be a much better softball player than basketball player.  There is actually a position which requires you to wear a mask.  Unfortunately, MHS and every other high school in Texas did not have organized and sanctioned softball teams. But I have forty years of softball stories with trophies packed away somewhere to prove my participation.  And unlike most catchers, I still have my original working knees.   And in my mind and dreams, I can still throw out that runner going to second and I can still hold on to the ball as the runner slides into home plate causing me to go ass over head for OUT NUMBER THREE!

But that is in my mind and dreams.  Today I will be in my chair (IMC) watching a couple of teams from the men’s NCAA Bracket.  Tomorrow the women’s NCAA basketball tournament begins.   By tomorrow evening I will have carpel tunnel of the thumb from channel changing with the remote and my eyes will look like basketball balls.

But for today – Sic’ Em Bears! And because you are from the state of Texas, I wish the team from Austin good bounces also.