Monthly Archives: April 2016

Saturday, April 30,2016 – Today in History

Saturday, April 30,2016 – Today in History

Today marks the 41 anniversary of the end of the Vietnam Conflict.


Vietnam Wall Washington D. C.

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Texas Aggie – Captain John R. Baldridge, Jr. MIA – Vietnam Conflict – The name on my POW bracelet.


Friday, April 29, 2016 – May I Please Be Excused?

Friday, April 29, 2016 – May I Please Be Excused?

May I please be excused from Here’s What I’m Thinking today and possibly Monday? I am out trying to make the world a better place.  Details to come.

First day of school in Magnolia, Texas 1956. Headed to Mrs. Shannon’s 2nd grade classroom.  Notice: already had my tablet ready for word processing, math, art and all the other uses of a tablet today. Except this one did not run on electricity.

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Thursday, April 28, 2016 – Cruz and Carly Sitting in a Tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G! Or Campaign Gonzo.

Thursday, April 28, 2016 – Cruz and Carly Sitting in a Tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G! Or Campaign Gonzo.

Our vocabulary word for today is “gonzo.” * It is an adjective from the world of journalism and reporting that means filled with bizarre or subjective ideas, commentary or the like; crazy, eccentric.

Ted Cruz announced yesterday that Carly Fiorina is his choice for running mate as Vice President. This created the CruzFiorina slogan. I might have gone with Cruz &Carly given that CruzFiorina sounds like a vacation offer to the island of Fiorina – not to mention a definite tilt toward advertising something only legal in Nevada.

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U. S. S. CruzFiorina

I think Senator Cruz should have selected Yvonne DeCarlo, but I believe she has passed on to the Big TV network in the sky. It would have been nice to see Lily Munster and Grampa Munster together again. I know I am not the only one who thinks Ted Cruz looks like Grampa Munster.

Using Ted Cruz logic of premature announcements with unrealistic expectations, next week I am playing in my Ladies Golf League in the President’s Cup Tournament. In spite of at least 15 other golfers who are scratch golfers, low handicap golfers, former professional golfers and two former golf coaches ahead of me, I am confident I am going to win the championship. I have chosen Jordon Spieth as my playing partner. I realize that even with Jordon’s score and my score combined we do not have a golf ball’s chance in hell of winning.

My golf game closely resembles Senator Cruz’s campaign. Last week I put three balls in the water on Hole 1 to finally mark down 14 on the first hole. But like Roy “Tin Cup” McAvoy, and obviously Senator Cruz, we will keep swinging until we are out of balls and DQ’d and we are not talking about the Dairy Queen and probably not golf balls either.

Should Donald Trump be elected president of the United State, I plan to adopt his game of golf – only count the shots you like and disregard the others, yell very loudly and blame the golf club I chose to use. I might take up racquet ball. One has to have a wall to play that game.

With that – a Gonzo Good-bye.

* But what was the story? Nobody had bothered to say. So we would have to drum it up on our own. Free Enterprise. The American Dream. Horatio Alger gone mad on drugs in Las Vegas. Do it now: pure Gonzo journalism. — Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, 1972

Wednesday, April 27, 2016 – Here’s What I’m Thinking (HWIT) and Welcome to the New Girls and Boys

Wednesday, April 27, 2016 – Here’s What I’m Thinking (HWIT) and Welcome to the New Girls and Boys

I noticed some new faces on Facebook and decided I needed to channel in Madeline Hunter, Patron Saint of Education to do some reteaching about HWIT. So pay attention because this is Texas education you know there will be an assessment at some point down the road.

Two years ago I created a blog called Here’s What I’m Thinking (HWIT). Last year I connected HWIT to Facebook. In spite of many and seeming non related postings it is spiritually based and inspired. It was indeed a leap of faith to put your daily journal online.

The purpose of HWIT is to make at least one person smile/laugh and/or think five days a week. One does not have to agree with anything I think about. It is not called Here’s What I Believe.

The business plan to attract readers is “If I have known you in the past or know you in the present, I WILL write about you in the future.” When I do, you better hope you fall into the statistical bell shaped curve within one standard deviation that what I write you is positive or that I change your name. Everyone in my family reads it on a daily basis in fear. Many of my friends and all of my enemies have become regular readers.

Ninety-nine percent of HWIT is my original work. My photographs or my father’s extensive collection of photographs. My writing. My brain. My brain’s unique ability to make weird and hopefully humorous connections for the amusement of others.

When I do have to get a photo from a website, I try to remember to give credit. For example, I do not have a photograph of a tiger. It is difficult to write about LSU without a tiger and I want a photo that I take of a tiger. I was unable to get to Conroe recently to photograph the tiger, tiger burning bright that was captured near Panorama. You just never know what might wash and walk out of East Montgomery County. Sorry, Dr. Madeline was bird walking.

During the first several reads, the topics appear to be random as though the brain is locked into random access mode. If one reads the postings long enough, you can see the logical sequential brain is working and patterns emerge.

During the seasons there is much ado about college football and college basketball. Year round there is much ado about The Fighting Texas Aggies. This also encompasses Baylor, Oklahoma State, THE University of Texas in Austin, LSU, the entire Big 12 or what remains of it and the entire Southeastern (SEC) and teams playing any of the above mentioned. For example, last year I wrote about Uncle Will Muschamp bringing his then Florida team to College Station. I suggested he stay in Hearne. This year when you bring your exploding anger head from South Carolina, I suggest you stay in Bremond.

Because my state of Texas is the boldest and grandest, withstanding every test, you can always count on Texas Our Texas as a topic.

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I often discuss the Texas public education system, or what is left of it. Also falling under education you can find the scarlet letter A for ASSESSMENT, B as in Board of Education, C for Common Core and D for Dumbass Leaders. Wait that goes under L for Legislature.

From the File “You cannot recover from being a bureaucrat,” comes politics. This topic is often tied to education. More often, however, it is closer related to the lack of an education. Please know in the current reality TV show known as The US Presidential Election, I display bipartisan viewpoints on all of the candidates. For example, assuming Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump become the Democratic and Republican candidates, I think they should debate dressed as Maud in those long, you know what they are hiding jackets and Archie Bunker. Weren’t Maud and Archie cousins?

Check for understanding. Is there any feedback? I will wait for prescribed number of seconds for your response.

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It used to be eight seconds, but has increased over time due the daily challenges of an educator.


Tuesday, April 26, 2016 – The Big Rich

Tuesday, April 26, 2016 – Once I built a railroad; I made it run; I made it race against time. Once I built a railroad, but now it’s done, Buddy, can you spare me a dime?

In this case, “Once I found an oil well…” The Big Rich – The Rise and Fall of the Greatest Texas Oil Fortunes by Bryan Burrough takes the story from there.

The end result is the same. “Buddy, can you spare me a dime?” Just as Can You Spare a Dime? came to be viewed as an anthem to the shattered dreams broken by The Great Depression of the 1930’s, The Big Rich – The Rise and Fall of the Greatest Texas Oil Fortunes tells the story of the shattered dreams and fortunes broken by oil.

If you are a native Texan, grew up in Texas, got to Texas as fast as you could or live in Texas now, this book explains a lot. What is it about? “Oil, that is. Texas tea!” (From The Ballad of Jed Clampitt) and the big four who made the state and possibly the country what it is today.

It will take you from Spindletop (January 10, 1901) in Beaumont to the political landscape of Texas today. From Dallas, we have H.L Hunt and his THREE bigamists families, the eccentric Sid Richardson (this is where the Bass Brothers from Dallas come in), and Clint Murchison, Sr, whose son, Clint, Jr. would own the Dallas Cowboys. The Cullen Family from Houston creates the fourth family of the Big Four. And gushing oil and squandering incomprehensible sums of money in between we find the Conroe, Texas oil fields and George Strake, Glen McCarthy and the Shamrock Hotel in Houston and many more names on buildings we drive by daily. Plus there are more lawyers and lawsuits than students attending Roy Cullen’s beloved University of Houston today. In 1938, Hugh Roy Cullen donated $335,000 (equivalent to $5,631,643.03 in 2015) (2) for the first building to be built at the location of U of H today.

Those waiting in lines at the gas stations in the 1970s and organizations with letters like OPEC become clear. That cornering the silver market thing no body understood at the time (and I did not until I read this book) gives insight into The Middle East and the resulting economic and political policies in place today. And yes, it becomes clear why Jerry Jones’ purchase of the Dallas Cowboys hurts so badly even today. And how and why did Houston get an NFL team that was once called the Houston Oilers in a new football league called the AFL? It is all in this book.

The foundations of anti-federalism (Big Government, States’ Rights, Right-wing ultra-conservative thinking) begin with these four families. The link between the views and values of these four, Ted Cruz (Senate- R-Texas) and Donald Trump and the presidential election today is strong.

Nothing exhibits the age of the great, Texas oil boom and bust better than the Cadillac Ranch(1) outside Amarillo, Texas.

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Photo by me – Amarillo, Texas 4.15. 2015

From 1949 to 1963 the caddies buried nose down, fins up correspond almost exactly to the decades of the Texas oil booms and busts that resulted from Spindletop and all of the others. It was when the big and rich from Texas oil bragged and bought Cadillacs, airplanes, big houses, hotels, islands, politicians, radio stations, newspapers and as always, more oil wells. By the mid 1970’s it was nose down and fins and belly up for it all.

Two footnotes to history:

The Republicans of the 1930’s and 1940’s tried to get Buddy, Can You Spare a Dime banned from radio play because it was “Anti-capitalist propaganda promoted by the Democrats and President Franklin D. Roosevelt and his New Deal.”

The Nieman-Marcus Christmas Catalog was created for the families of the Big Four.


  1. Cadillac Ranch is not a ranch but a public art installation and sculpture in Amarillo, Texas, USA. It was created in 1974 by Chip Lord, Hudson Marquez and Doug Michels, who were a part of the art group Ant Farm. It consists of what were (when originally installed during 1974) either older running used or junk Cadillac automobiles, representing a number of evolutions of the car line (most notably the birth and death of the defining feature of mid twentieth century Cadillacs: the tailfins) from 1949 to 1963, half-buried nose-first in the ground, at an angle corresponding to that of the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt. (Wikipedia)
  2. “Discover UH’s Heritage & History”. UH Alumni Organization. Archived from the original on November 7, 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-16. From Wikipedia

Monday, April 25, 2016 – The Optimist and the Pessimist

Monday, April 25, 2016 – The Optimist and the Pessimist

Once upon a time there were twin boys. One was an optimist and the other was a pessimist. One day scientists and psychologists decided to conduct an experiment on the twins. The pessimist was placed a room filled with every type of toy and game imaginable. The optimist was placed in a room full of shit and a shovel.

During the observation they noticed the pessimist twin kicked the toys, broke the games and spent the time sulking alone in a corner. The optimist began to dig through the shit. When the scientists and doctors opened the door to the pessimist’s room they asked “Why did you break the toys and sit in the corner?” He frowned and said, “There is no one to play with.” When they opened the door to the optimist’s room, they asked “Why are digging through all of this shit?” He smiled and replied “With this much shit there has got to be a pony somewhere.”

Your choice today and everyday. Do you want to sit in the corner and sulk and complain? Or do you want to continue to dig and look for the pony?

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Photo by me – George H. W. Bush Library – College Station

Deep Thinkers

I just have to reblog this for all of us dog lovers. I really enjoy her blog – One Beautiful Thing. Check it out.


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Friday, April 22, 2016 – Happy Earth Day

Friday, April 22, 2016 – Happy Earth Day

Happy Earth Day to You,

Happy Earth Day to You

Happy Earth Day Dear Earth,

Happy Earth Day to You.

Earth Day is an annual event, celebrated on April 22, on which day events worldwide are held to demonstrate support for environmental protection. It was first celebrated in 1970, and is now coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network and celebrated in more than 193 countries each year.

I seem to recall celebrating Earth Day in 1970 at dear ole SFA. Was it part of Greek Week and Spring Fling? Help me out sisters!

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And who could forget the original Earth shoes? Yes, I had a pair. Talk about ugly footwear. Today the footwear is quite attractive and the company does good things for the Earth when pair is sold to a customer.

So bring out your hippie self today, celebrate our environment and go do something good for Mother Earth today and every day. Maybe we can purchase some new Earth shoes and get some trees planted.

Thursday, April 21, 2016 –Softly Call the Muster – Here.

Thursday, April 21, 2016 –Softly Call the Muster – Here.

“If there is an A&M man in one hundred miles of you, you are expected to get together, eat a little, and live over the days you spent at the A&M College of Texas.”


In many lands and climes, this April day

Proud sons of Texas A & M unite.

Our loyalty to country, school, we pay,

And seal our pact with bond of common might.

We live again those happy days of yore,

On campus, field, in classroom, hall, at drill.

Fond memory brings a sigh–but nothing more:

Now we are men, and life is one a great thrill!

On fortress isle one year ago today,

A group of gallant Aggies, led by Moore,

Held simple rites which to us all doth say:

The spirit shall prevail o’er cannon roar!

They thought of home and all we hold most dear:

Where are they now–those boys we knew so well?

Ask of the winds, let smile repress a tear,

Think only of their glory when they fell!

Corregidor! forever more a hallowed name

To countless sons of Texans yet unborn;

Symbolic like, it stands for deathless fame:

A shrine sublime till Resurrection morn!

Softly call the muster, Let comrade answer, “Here!”

Their spirits hover ‘round us: As if to bring us cheer!

Mark them “present” in our hearts, We’ll meet some other day.

There is no Death, but Life Eternal

For heroes such as they!

by Dr. John Ashton, Class of 1906

Wednesday, April 20, 2016 – Yes, We Will and Other Comments from Yesterday’s News

Wednesday, April 20, 2016 – Yes, We Will and Other Comments from Yesterday’s News

Here’s What I’m Thinking

Buddy Glasses

“Yes, We Will” is Ted Cruz’s new campaign slogan. Will What? That is the best your team could up with? Sounds a little like “Yes We Can.” In other Cruz quotes…

Cruz also made an unusual analogy to wrestling or yoga, depending on which mat you prefer.

“America has always been best when she is lying down with her back on the mat,” he said.

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Photo by me – Helicopter Ride New York – 1986

Where did your speech writers learn to write your lines? – From Best Little Whorehouse in Texas?

In Mr. Trump’s acceptance speech from New York, he said – we will get rid of Common Core and provide education locally. The exact quote “Local communities are going to take care of their education need.”

Just exactly how is that going to work? Especially if local communities do not want federal education funding? Are you planning for local communities to change their schools’ names to something more like “By God (mine, not yours) Independent School Districts and Local Communities?”

And Hillary and Bernie – Kiss and make up. Bernie, I am certain you will get a nice spot somewhere in her administration. However, watch out for one of those Castro twins from Texas to be the Veep.

Regardless of the candidates, their metaphors, similes, analogies, quotes and ideas create images in my brain that are not pretty. What are those Caribbean Island coordinates? I think I can think more clearly there.