Category Archives: Misc.

Friday, June 7, 2019 – Do You Ever Wonder?

Friday, June 7, 2019 – Do You Ever Wonder?

Do you ever wonder what the crime lab team would say if they had to come into your house if you had an accident while you were away?

Here’s what I’m thinking they might say upon entering my house.

  • Ooh, PHEW! She has a cat!
  • Not much of a house keeper, was she?
  • Did she have a date or is she just lazy and doesn’t pick her clothes up off of the floor? (I think we all know the answer to this one.)
  • Help, me! I’m stuck in the kitchen. To the floor!
  • Well, she did make her bed!

Stay cool this weekend. In Texas the weekend weather forecasts just post pictures of the hinges of Hell. Then again, God gave the Devil the choice of where to live – Hell or Texas in the summer. Heat index could be 107 degrees.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019 – “An Uncommon Ability to Inspire Men and Lead Them to Exceptional Achievement”

Wednesday, June 05, 2019 – “An Uncommon Ability to Inspire Men and Lead Them to Exceptional Achievement.”

Watch the news and see those WWII soldiers who stormed the Beaches of Normandy. They are now in their 90’s and return to the beaches where many gave the greatest sacrifice. You will see them tear up as they remember that day. They were 18 and 19 years old. They saw their friends and buddys blown away in front of their eyes. They took bullets. They will tell you they were scared, but doing what had to be done.

We owe these brave men our gratitude, our respect and most of all our freedom. He is the story of one.

James Earl Rudder

May 6, 1910–March 23, 1970

The German army considered Pointe du Hoc a perfect spot for defending the coast of France from Allied forces during World War II. From atop its hundred-foot cliffs, German guns could reach both Omaha Beach and Utah Beach. The Germans thought their position was secure. And it was—until June 1944, when Texan James Earl Rudder and his Second Ranger Battalion began to climb those cliffs.

Rudder graduated from Texas A&M University in 1932 and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Army Reserves. He taught high school and college and coached football until he was called to active duty in 1941. He trained U.S. Army Rangers for one of D-Day’s most dangerous operations: taking Pointe du Hoc.

During the assault, over half of Rudder’s men were killed or wounded, and Rudder himself was shot in the leg. But the high ground was seized, and the German guns were silenced.

After the war, Rudder continued to take on tough challenges. As president of Texas A&M, he supported optional membership in the Corps of Cadets and helped open the university to women, despite great opposition.

When he died in 1970, Rudder was celebrated for his courageous leadership in both war and peace. An inscription on Rudder Tower, located on the A&M campus, remembers Rudder’s “uncommon ability to inspire men and lead them to exceptional achievement.”

For More about James Earl Rudder

In June 2011, Humanities Texas published an excerpt from Thomas M. Hatfield’s 2011 book Rudder: From Leader to Legend in our monthly e-newsletter. The excerpt details the Second Ranger Battalion’s first night on Pointe du Hoc.

The James Earl Rudder Collection, 1918–2001, is held by Texas A&M University’s Cushing Library. The collection includes materials from Rudder’s time in the service during World War II, clippings from newspapers, posters, magazine issues, memorabilia, and Rudder’s awards.

In recognition of the significance of Rudder’s tenure as president of Texas A&M University, the university erected a sculpture of Rudder in 1993. The statue, which was designed by Lawrence M. Ludtke, was originally located in front of Bizzell Hall, but was moved in 2009 to stand at the south end of Military Walk.

https://www.humanitiestexas.org/programs/tx-originals/list/james-earl-rudder

James Earl Rudder’s Legacy Was Born 75 Years Ago At D-Day

June 3, 2019 – WOW! Thank You and Crazy People in the South

June 3, 2019 – WOW! Thank You and Crazy People in the South

Well, dang! I think every friend I have on Facebook left an emotion or a comment on my Van Gogh postings. I had no idea ya’ll is as cultured as I is. Of course, none of my family bothered as usual to read. Between those who do not do FB and those who have probably unfriended or unfollowed me, that leaves only one and she has some very important things going on in her life so she is excused for the moment. Oh well, we must love them as they are and vice versa.

For cousin, R. Faraldo, we were wondering when you said you climbed the walls of the asylum like Van Gogh, were you climbing in or out? Of course, I am from the same gene pool so I imagine it could have been either way. Given the stories told and the alleged stunts our families did, we all should have been in Pineville at some point. Of course they are from Louisiana. Thank God, I was born in Texas and we have crazy people too – they just carry guns.  For the record like Dr. Sheldon Cooper, “I am not crazy. My mother had me tested.”  I have a unique sense of humor.

I do hope my family sits me in the living room because as Julia Sugarbaker says about Crazy People in the South…

https://youtu.be/Bb4eVbmHcbg

 

Wednesday, May 8, 2019 – In Honor of Standardized Testing or STARR This Post

Wednesday, May 8, 2019 – In Honor of Standardized Testing or STARR This Post

In honor of standardized tests, let’s do a math word problem.

How much does it cost to score one assessment in one content area in Texas?

Let’s pretend the content area is English Language/Arts, Grade Five.

You will need to know how many fifth graders across Texas took the test. Call somebody at TEA and find an answer you like or Google it and figure a reasonable sum. Or just use 80,000. That is the current number possibly held back this year due to performance. Now that deserves an F-bomb!

Proceeding onward with the number of scorers. Remember, you are only looking at costs for scoring one content area for one grade level. Ready?

At one assessment site, there are two shifts of scorers.

1st shift clocks in at 8:00 am and clocks out at 4:30 pm. This shift makes $11.50 per hour.

2nd shift clocks in at 5:00 pm and clocks out at 10:30 pm. This shift makes $12.50 per hour.

Both shifts receive a non-paid 30-minute lunch and two non-paid 15-minute breaks.

If you are unable to meet your scoring daily and/or weekly quota, you are dismissed. If you miss more than three days during the testing period, you are dismissed.

There are five rooms of scorers, plus a number of supervisors and other ancillary people. Each room has 150 Dell Computers.

A standard scoring period is about six weeks – Monday through Saturday. One is not required to work on Saturdays so factor about 75 scorers for Saturdays. Saturday scorers make $12.50 per hour.

The amount you come up with reflects the amount paid to score one grade level, one content area, for six weeks. You can either show your work or just give an F-bomb to the world of assessment.

For extra credit calculate the costs for other content areas and grade levels being scored.

Keep your voter registration card current!

Monday, April 15, 2019 – Pick Seven for Literacy

Monday, April 15, 2019 – Pick Seven for Literacy

Here’s what I’m thinking about last week. Today is a summary of last week. First, I want to thank my friend, Shirley Crooks for challenging me to list the covers of seven of my favorite books. No reviews; no comments – just the covers. Then I challenged seven people to list their seven favorites.

The comments made by various people made me happy. For example, the number of

  • former students and people who said To Kill a Mockingbird was one of their all-time favorites,
  • the number of people who took up the challenge,
  • the people who said they went out and bought a book listed to read or reread it,
  • new books I learned about.

Listed below are titles of the book covers I posted on Facebook. But now I comment. These are a few of the books that I can remember where I was when I laughed out loud and cried softly – sometimes both in the same novel and maybe on the same page.

  1. To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee – greatest  novel EVER!
  2. As I Lay Dying – William Faulkner – my favorite author of all time. Every August (As in a Light in August) I read a Faulkner novel.
  3. Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole – a Pulitzer Prize winning novel of New Orleans. Sadly, Mr. Toole took his life before seeing this greatness achieved.
  4. Their Eyes Were Watching God – Zora Neale Hurston – a must read novel by a strong, Black women. The novel was poorly received initially, partly because it was written by a strong, Black woman in 1937. However, it is now one of the great works African-American and women’s literature.
  5. Looking for Alaska – John Green – every high school teacher should read because we taught them all through their teenage angst and they taught us through ours.
  6. Catcher in the Rye – J. D. Salinger – needs to be read and reread at different stages of life.
  7. Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte – Nobody does tragedy better than the Brontes.

As many of those I tagged said, it is difficult to limit your favorites to just seven. In my top seven, there is a theme throughout the list. The theme is the one who does not fit in or is unable to find them self.

With the exception of Catcher in the Rye and Jane Eyre, there is also a theme among the other five. I do love Grit Lit! I love to read about the old South from the antebellum stages to the Depression Era South. Looking for Alaska is a bit of a stretch, but hey Alabama is Alabama.

Those books that almost made it and should be on a must read or reread list:

Gone With the Wind – Margaret Mitchell – do I really need say anything about this book? I was 10 years old the first time I read it. It was also the first time I saw the movie at the Winona Theatre in Tomball, Texas.

Harry Potter Series – J.K. Rowling – Of course, name it after Harry, when the strong, highly intelligent Hermione does all the work. I am so Hermione!

Death Comes for the Archbishop – or anything by Willa Cather. She is one of the reasons New Mexico is enchanted.

Slaughter House Five by Kurt Vonnegut – all of his books, but especially SHF. The first time I read it I found Billy Pilgrim to be a funny, eccentric character. The second time I realized Vonnegut described PTSD long before it was diagnosed.

The Hand Maiden’s Tale – Margaret Atwood. Great social science fiction author.

From non-fiction shelf

Rising Tide – John M. Barry – an account of changing the course of the Mississippi River and the lives that were forgotten. If you have ever been to South Louisiana and traveled along the Mississippi, this is a must read.

Alaska and Texas by James A. Michener – long, heavy book, and always starts with the dinosaurs, but so worth the history the books contain. PS – I also read Poland.

The Devil in the White City – Eric Larson or any novel by him. His books are considered a new genre called hybrid history. This novel details two historical events that intersected in time.

I could go on and on just like all of us bibliophiles , but then I do not have time read. So READ ON! Spread the literacy.

Monday, March 4, 2019 – Its National Grammer Day

Monday, March 4, 2019 – Its National Grammer Day

WOW; Wondering today if your going to like todays’ post. Today its national grammer day It’s the day to respectfully honor the infinatives that split, the gerunds that end in ‘ings’, and the participles that dangle. Their is going to be a lot to write about to.

Designated in 2008, the National Grammar Day was established by Martha Brockenbrough author of “Things that Make us [Sic]” (2008) and founder of the Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar.

So Happy Grammar Day!

Here’s to the nine common parts of speech. They are are nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions and interjections.

Here’s to the three sometimes parts of speech. They are numeral, article, or determiner.

Here’s to the 14 punctuation marks. They are the period, question mark, exclamation point, comma, semicolon, colon, dash, hyphen, parentheses, brackets, braces, apostrophes, quotation marks, and ellipsis.

Here’s to the great high school English and grammar teachers and college professors who taught us grammar.

Here’s to the specialists and the word nerds who know the ways, means and reasons why of grammar, syntax and linguistics.

Your assignment. Write at least three sentences using each part of speech at least once. For extra credit, write a paragraph using at least seven of the punctuation marks. For each additional correct use of parentheses, apostrophes and quotation marks, you get one point extra. For each correct use of brackets, braces and ellipsis you get five extra points. Does everyone understand? I’ll wait…

After you have finished, diagram each of your sentences.

By now. Let’s eat kids!

Monday, February 18, 2019 – Head ‘Em Up! Move ‘Em Out!

Monday, February 18, 2019 – Head ‘Em Up! Move ‘Em Out!

It is trail riding time in Texas. If you, as Lyle Lovett sings,
“are not from Texas” then let me attempt an explanation. When the rodeo comes to town, everybody is fixin to be a cowboy or cowgirl. It is just a Texas thang!

To celebrate our cattle heritage and cattle drives, there are trail rides to recall when real cowboys rode the range and herded the longhorns. The granddaddy of all the rides is The Salt Grass Trail Ride. It started when some Texans got stranded in Florida due to bad weather after the 1952 Orange Bowl Football Game. Sidebars: The game was between Baylor and Georgia Tech. It was Baylor’s first bowl game and the co-champions of the SEC. (GT was in the SEC?) The Yellow Jackets won.

But back to the story. Being stranded in Florida, one Texan said “I’ll never go anywhere again without my horse” and so began the Salt Grass Trail Ride. It began as a promotion for the then called Houston Fat Stock Show and Rodeo. Trivia for Native Texans and Houstonians – where was the event held? Answer at the end.

https://saltgrasstrailride.com/

From the website:

Riding through the rich salt grass pastures, the journey begins in Cat Spring, Texas, in mid-February and winds through the countryside for 103 miles toward Houston. Participants range in age from 2 to 90, stretched out single file for the distance of a mile or so, always present a colorful picture as they go down the trail. The early Texans who pioneered our great cattle industry, despite almost overwhelming hardships, have not been forgotten. They live on in the Salt Grass Trail Ride.

What this really means for the Houston and surrounding areas is this. The weather is going to be sunny, warm, hot, cold, rainy, and miserable with as much as 40 degrees temperature ranges. It could be 85 degrees day and 45 degrees the next day. Sometimes, within the next hour of reaching a record high of 85. But that’s only one of the reasons we love Texas.

Unlike the cowboys you see in the following video, these cowpokes and their horses stop at the end of a hard day’s ride and relax in their cozy RVs and with their horses in heated horse trailers. While Willie sings “Cowboys ain’t easy to love” he also knows they ain’t stupid either.

Here’s to all the trail riders on all the rides. Be safe. God Bless you and God Bless Texas!

So head ‘em up! Move ‘em out! Who is that cute, Rowdy second cowboy in the credits? Stay for the credits if for no other reason to hear the song. You are welcome because I know you will be hearing and singing this the remainder of the day.

Answer: The Houston Fat Stock Show was held at the Sam Houston Coliseum.

https://youtu.be/3_rHrLHIeyI

Sunday, December 30, 2018 – The Eve of the Eve

Sunday, December 30, 2018 – The Eve of the Eve

It is the eve of New Year’s Eve; ah bitter chill it was. Wait that is The Eve of St. Agnes by Keats when the bitter chill takes place. That is not until January 20. We also have Alfred Lord Tennyson’s version St. Agnes’ Eve. I guess plagiarism was not as evident back then.

Speaking of saints, chills, and Tennyson, how about that Charge of the Light Brigade by Notre Dame yesterday? Half a yard; half a yard; half a yard onward into the valley of death rode the Irish. Notre Dame could not summon enough saints and begorrah to even make it interesting. At least Oklahoma tried a comeback. I told you that ND does not do well in a bowl with Cotton in its name.

Here’s what I’m thinking. Next football season why don’t Clemson and Alabama play to start the season? That can be their very own personal national football championship. Then in January of 2020 two other teams can have a shot at the big trophy stick. Other fans would like to wear tacky national championship hats too.

Tomorrow, actual New Year’s Eve starts the SEC Bowl Conference. Tomorrow we find Missouri versus Oklahoma State and Unranked North Carolina versus the fighting Texas Aggies.

These games are followed by LSU, Mississippi State, Kentucky and Georgia.

And to get thee to a summary. The entire Pride of the Big 12 Conference rests between Oklahoma State and THE University of Texas. Missouri is peaking and it depends on which Oklahoma State takes the field. But Georgia is really pissed off. Those Dawgs are mad dawgs. Run Bevo!

Tomorrow – The Aggies and UT in the Gator Bowl 1957 history. Yes, the SEC – it just means more!

Friday, December 28, 2018 – The College Football Sneaky Snarky Friday

Friday, December 28, 2018 – The College Football Sneaky Snarky Friday

Congratulations to the Baylor Bears in their victory over the Vanderbilt Commodores by a whopping score of 45 to 38 in the Academy Sport and Outdoors Texas Bowl. Perhaps if you both field defensive squads next year, you can up your bowl game. Vandy, your defense looked it was Lionel Richie and the Commodores.

Earlier that day in the Walk-on Independence Bowl Duke realized it really is a basketball school and walked on in the second half to score some 45 unanswered points to win over Temple 56- 27.

In the New Era Pinstripe Bowl Wisconsin beat the Miami Hurricanes down to a Category Zero by a score of 35 to 3. May I suggest for a new era, you do not name a football game after a fabric pattern?

Today as I key this we have Purdue and Auburn playing in the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl. Auburn? Purdue? Take a Nap? Hmm.

By the evening hours we begin to drift into the Better Big Boy Big School Bowls. These are the bigger games with top players.

It is during this time period we the multitude of players who get to play in The I Did Something Stupid and Made Poor Choices Bowl and/or The I’m Not Playing for My School Because I’m Going to Combine and Will Make Millions and You’re Not Bowl.

Let’ start with the West Virginia Hillbillies and Syracuse in the Camping World Bowl. Expect the usual tacky, home-spun looking WVA uniforms and some visually unaesthetic orange from Syracuse.  Hope the second string QB for WVA is ready.

If anyone is interest you can watch Iowa State and Washington State in the Valero Alamo Bowl. This does not begin until 8:00 so it is necessary to get a proper amount of sleep because Saturday starts the games with the best of the best.

Saturday begins with Florida and Michigan at noon in the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl. This sounds like Hooter girls making a peach cobbler bowl.

At the 3:00 hour we have the Creepy Leprechaun and the Halo Gold Helmets on the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame and another variation on orange on the Clemson Tigers. This is the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic in the first of the College Playoff Semi-final Game. Not to worry. The game is Jerry World in Arlington and not the old Cotton Bowl Stadium where bowl games go to be canceled. Just a quick reminder to Notre Dame – you don’t play well in The Cotton Bowl regardless of where it is played. Clemson doesn’t need all of their players to beat you.

The second College Playoff Semi-final Game is the Capital One Orange Bowl at 7:00. We have the University of Oklahoma and the University of Alabama. Like Clemson, Alabama does not need all of players to beat anyone either. Why does OU go by OU when it should be UO? I don’t know.

Anyway you have OUUA or UOUA. or UAOU.  They all rhyme with Tua. ROLL TIDE!

 

Thursday, December 27, 2018 – The Winding Down of 2018

Thursday, December 27, 2018 – The Winding Down of 2018

We approach the last days of 2018 and the last of the college football bowls in the mediocrity category.

Assuming you were not blown away by last evenings’ thunderstorms, you were able to watch the Injured Quarterbacks’ Interception Bowl between TCU and Cal – formerly known as Berkley in the Cheez-it Bowl. The commercials with the big, yellow cheese round were better than the game. In OT the Frogs defeated the Bears 10-7.

Hey Coach Purple Patterson? I gave never coached a football game in my life. Not even Peewee league or girls’ flag football. I am anatomically unable to even wear a jock strap. But what you did with the field goal kickers makes me wonder about your coaching strategies and understanding of players. With an opportunity to win the game in regulation, you really showed your big ass. Who yells at the freshman field goal kicker; then takes him out; yells some more during the timeout; then puts him back in where he promptly misses? Then when given a second chance you send in another field goal kicker. But TCU did win and claim a victory for the Big 12. It may be the only one the conference will claim.

Speaking of the storms across Texas, the First Responders Bowl between Boston College and Boise State was the first bowl game ever canceled. HWIT – given the intensity of the storms all of the first responder in the Dallas Metroplex were needed.

Currently we have Temple and Duke playing in the Walk On Independence Bowl in Shreveport, Louisiana. It is being played during the day because no one really cares until the schools’ basketball teams reach March Madness.

In another ‘who cares’ bowl game we have the Pin Stripe Bowl between Miami and Wisconsin.

But at 8:00 on ESPN the last hope of the Big 12 Conference is the Academy Sports and Outdoors Texas Bowl between Baylor and Vanderbilt. The old tight wad, Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt only did one altruistic endeavor in his life time. He lent his name and money to the founding of the Vanderbilt University. Subsequent Vanderbilt generations, like the poor little Gloria would have to sell blue jeans to support the family.

Good luck to the Baylor Bears and the Vanderbilt Commodores. This reminder to Baylor, Oklahoma State, THE University of Texas and Oklahoma -the SEC – it just means more. And that means bigger, faster, stronger and overall just better!

Yep, Baylor, you are the last hope for the Big 12. Otherwise, TCU will be the only Big 12 winner. I know Iowa State is in a bowl game, but do you even know anybody who went to Iowa State?