Saturday, November 17, 2007

Rainy Night In Texas...

Hanging out at Brightledge with Bob Dylan The Street Fightin' Dog this weekend.

I've had an urge to hear Buffet's "Son of a Son of a Sailor" for days now. Whilst rifling thru The Architects CD's, I found it.

So I'm doing my Big Brotherly part and pissin' off the neighbors with Buffet cranked up!

HEY! Once a Big Brother, always a Big Brother.

I thought I'd take advantage of the great Internet connection and post a bunch of photos.

But, a couple of months ago I "Helped" myself out by creating back up files in the D drive to free up gigs on the C drive. One could just as well spell that Helped with an "F". It didn't save the original file names. They read something like, "Back-Up File One, JPEG One" etc. 45 back up files worth. Ya gotta keep in mind that how itchy my shutter finger can be. Remember the Johnny Winter show? 505 photos in one night.
Oh well, that's a project for another time. Lots and lots of time and patience.

I've taken one or two decent one since. Since I had a request for photos I'll throw 'em in.

This guy had apparently been stuck for a couple of days! Pop thought he was dead. Nope. I reached down and ol' Hopper reached out but couldn't pull himself out. I pulled out the Dodge key and "Unthreaded" him.

Echo November, studying The Craft at Rolling Oaks Sports Bar. It looks like he is critiquing the opening act in this photo. He IS vocal with his opinions! "I like that song." "I don't like that song." "I WANT MUSIC!"
I cannot recall the name of this band. They opened for Ruben V. They were Good!!! And the got the Echo November seal of approval.
That'll do it for this morning post with no story. I may do some more photos later while the connection is good.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Your Mantra...

for the weekend, should you decide to accept it...
C-17, C-17, C-17!

The Great Fish Hunt continues. I gotta a lunker on the line but it's only ten pound test so it's all up to me.

I can do it.

Hell, I caught two white bass on the same lure at the same time. That's no fish tale. There were even witnesses. Of course, T-Mack began to deny it immediately. Well, it WAS his boat so I guess he can log things the way he wants.

Speaking of fish. I have had the harshest craving lately. I'd choke a duck for a meal at Lago Yojoa.

Where ya select a fish from the stringer, they gut it and deep fry it whole, from lips to tip.

It sounds a little off-putting but when in otro partes, comer como otro gente.

The fried fish and pickled onions and a case of Salva Vida... Cielo!!!!!!!!!!

On a related rumbling tummy note, I heard a guy describe a restaurant yesterday. The Carnivore. I think he said this one was was in South Africa. The one I went to was in Nairobi Kenya.

The Carnivore = Man Food. The kind of thing you'd eat if your wife wasn't watching. NOT A VEGETABLE ON THE MENU!!! Just meat and bread. Nearly every critter on the Continent is on the menu. Plates come by the kilo!

Wildebeest and cold Tuskers... Cielo!!!!!!!!!!

The TV Tabloid News is hyping some mystery bird sited around here.

They claim it's 6 feet tall!

I wonder if it's best smoked, grilled or fried!?!?!?!?!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

It is time...

It is time, I think, for Free Form blogging.

So often, most often, I scrutinize, revise and think about any possible (or imaginary) repercussions that may or my not arise were I to publish my unvarnised opinions or true feelings.

I feel, now, now and very often that such self censorship not only restrains me but retains me in worlds I no longer care to inhabit.

Am I making sense to you so far? No? Good. Because that kind of behavior really makes no sense to me either.

I am acknowledging a schitzo branch of my nature. There are moments that I closely guard my... everything. Other moments when I fillet myself without regard.

Somewhere between the timid and the obscene is my equilibrium.

It has been an interesting summer and as it slides preciticously into winter there are no signs of change. At least, no clear signs... "There's a sign post up ahead..." but I can't read the damn thing.

One definition of insanity is trying the same thing the same way and expecting a different outcome.

"...these wasted words prove to warn that he who is not busy being born is busy dying...."

This has been a summer filled with music, experiments and a little bit of adventure. Just, not enough!

Would I like to go back to the Alcantara Gorge? Hell yeah! Would I care to go commando and try again to conquer it? UHh... no. Or, try scuba diving again without certified training? Not again. I can almost feel that propellor churning over my head still. Or, wander Nairobi at three a.m.? No.

None of those things would ever be the same if tried again. The harder you try to recreate things the bigger the disappointment to follow.

I need more.

Joe Ely is on the CD player at the moment. Damn! What a fresh night in old Gruene that was! I felt viable. I felt that there were adventures to be had. And, I had one or two.

Two 'er three of 'em will go undisclosed but... Here's the tale-

T'was the Twentieth of October at Gruene Hall. Joe Ely was the headliner. It was a Boys Day Out for me 'n Pop and the Architect. We hit a sports bar in New Braunfels to watch the OU game and have a few beers before heading to Gruene, TX which is right next door.

We sat out back of the old dance hall and played horse shoes with a group of school teachers outta Dallas. They were on a Girls Weekend. Four married women roaming out of town in an RV... "Whhooooop Whhooop Whoop! Pull Up! Danger Will Robinson!!!..."

One adventure David Russell Simpson will NOT pursue is another mans wife. Those that knowingly do so are lower than Judas, the kinds of people that would poison their own spouse for monetary gain and other advantages.

And, any woman that will cheat with you will sooner or later cheat on you. (Boomer!)

So, back at Gruene Hall... They hauled all of the tables and chairs out and the place sold out and filled up.

The Ded Ringers opened up the show.

We were very un-stragically located.

I couldn't see a thing. I did have to make a 'head call'. As 'the head' is behind the stage I headed off in that direction. Before I could take care of business, so to speak, I got tapped out and made several new friends, with better standing room. Gruene Hall is just friendly that way.

Two bodies deep from the stage!

Joe Ely put on a helluva show!

We danced around. We sang aloud. I half expected to get hit in the head with a guitar, "Will you keep it down!? I'm trying to work here!"

I had a B&W photo of Joe Ely. It was out in Pop's truck. I brought it to get it autographed. As it all shook out, I had a Sharpie pen and my hat. I got my autograph. (I wish I'd washed the hat first but it is now sweat stained and autographed. I can't decide whether to wear it or enshrine it...)

Joe Ely has been a musical hero and a fixture in my world for a long time. It was huge to me to look him in the eye, shake his hand and tell 'im I enjoyed his book. (Bonfire of Roadmaps)

It was the best show and the best night in so so so long.

Well, the show must go on and the show must close.

Close it did.

I looked around the old dance hall. The smoke had cleared and the only ones left were me and the Sherrif and he was ready to go home.

I walked out front.

Only car in the parking lot said, "SHERRIF" in big letters down the side.


'Well, I could walk up this way...'


'I could walk up that way....'


'HellifIknow! I DO know that I'd better get my skinny ass off of the street and soon!'

Gruene is 60 miles away from home. And, provided I could make it to the interstate without raising the suspicion of local law men... I really didn't want to be hitching at three a.m.

I headed into a parking lot, toward the river. Figured I could settle in 'til sun up.

As it happened, that parking lot was adjacent to a B&B, with a nice patio.

And, nice patio furniture. I hunkered into a white wicker chair with a nice thick cushion.

I no sooner caught my breath when a young spike deer skid around the corner! We stared at each other for a moment. To be honest, I'm not sure who was more startled. I was content that he didn't have a badge.

He loped off and I settled back, for a while...

'Til I heard a skittering through the early leaves...

'Uh-oh!' A skunk was making his rounds. He sniffed around the patio in a totally random pattern, he lingered under my cozy chair. I'd of rather gone to jail than get sprayed by a skunk.

He skittered. I froze, held my breath.

He moved on and soon after, so did I.

I hoofed it off down the road to hot coffee and a faulty pay phone. The night clerk let me use his cell phone to call the Cavalry, I got the Cavalry Voice Mail.

I headed South. The Cavalry intercepted and I get to write about it now.

Still, I need more...

Monday, November 5, 2007

Insert: "Hat In Hand Photo...


Those that "Know" well, you know what it means.

Am I discouraged? Nope. Just a blip on the learning curve. Every author/ writer I've read about has a stack of rejection letters. So, now, I have my first one and that's out of the way.

In addition, I did a good job. Was it a novice effort? Was it weak? Maybe yes and maybe no.

On both counts. I don't think so. I feel good about it. There was positive feedback from those that already read the piece. Including people I trust to tell me if it was weak. (Trust me. The Board is comprised of educated, literate and published people that would critique me to the milimeter. That's why I trust them.)

I'll paste it below. It wont make a lot of sense since it's out of context but I'll give you an update.

Floresville, TX is in the midst of an upheaval. The local government is being bludgeoned. There are recall elections of City Council members on the table. The (Former) City Manager was trying to fire the Chief of Police. The Mayor was trying to fire the City Manager. (Which he did.)
A third City Council Member is in the sights of the People. (From what I've seen, she will take a hit very soon.)

Now, the Former City Manager has filed suit against the City in Federal Court. That should be a fine home town welcome to the new (Interim) City Attorney. OH, by the way, the City Manager got the resignation of the City Attorney one morning and that evening an Interim City Attorney was installed.

Can it get any juicier?!?!?!

What does it all have to do with me?

I answered an ad in a newspaper to be a reporter. I carried my resume` in, filled out the application and took a writing test. Then, I auditioned. My audition was to cover the City Council meeting.

I had 24 hours to research and prep for the meeting. Who were the players? What are the topics? Where can I find an agenda? What do these people look like? How will I tell them apart? What am I doing here? I did have a moment of, "Please Mister Custer, I don't want to go!" But that was brief. Did I mention that I had never been to a City Council meeting?

Another reason that I'm undetered... The Six O'Clock TV Tabloid Shows. Tonight they teased us with updates about Floresville. I did learn that the former City Manager had filed suit. No surprise. That's his M.O. BUT, they said that the Police Chief had been fired as well as the City Manager. If those idiots can write 'news' then so can I.

"Last night the Floresville City Council voted unanimously to terminate City
Manager Juan Cedillo’s contract.
The decision came after three Executive Sessions and numerous complaints
and allegations from citizens.
Resident David Wall vehemently expressed his displeasure with the City
Manager. He explained that numerous attempts to communicate with Cedillo by
phone and in person had been ignored. He asked for the immediate resignation
of Cedillo, Sanchez and Ortiz.
Juan Cedillo was not present for the vote.
In related business; Police Chief Daniel Martinez along with Attorney David
Leonard addressed the council regarding Cedillo’s request for Martinez’ ouster.
During Mr. Leonard’s opening statement he asked, “Why are we here?” He went
on to cite the Chief’s lengthy tenure and lack of any disciplinary action against
him. In reference to the City Managers allegations of violating the Procurement
Act, he pointed out that the Governor has raised the spending limit from $25,000
to $50,000. The Act had been amended the month prior to Chief Martinez’
$27,000 expenditure for new radios.
Chief Martinez first thanked all of his supporters. He presented a packet of
information to Mayor Tejeda and the Council offering to take any questions.
Mayor Tejeda stated the City Manager had never said anything negative about
the Police Chief and he had no answer to the question, “Why are we here.”
Martinez informed the Mayor and Council the City Manager had made requests
for information regarding the Department’s Forfeiture Account on their behalf.
Neither the Mayor nor the Council corroborated this.
Support for Chief Martinez was evident in many uniformed police officers and a
large vocal crowd in attendance.
Jessie Evans, former Floresville Police Officer spoke out in favor of the Chief,
“Some on this Council don’t have your interest at heart. This man does.”
None of the five Council Members provided an answer and Johnnie Gomez
stated his support for the Chief.
The recall petitions for Council members Rudy Sanchez and Gloriana Ortiz were
validated by the City Secretary. The validated results consisted of 882 valid
signatures for Rudy Sanchez and 885 for Gloriana Ortiz. Sanchez and Ortiz now
have five days to request a public hearing on their recall.
Helen Tieken spoke out against Council Members Sanchez and Ortiz. She called
on them to, “Do the right thing regardless of the recall.”
A number of other items were discussed and acted upon during the extended
Linda Valdez made a public appeal in support of troops serving in Iraq and
Blue Star Families seek participation in their effort to send Care Packages to
troops serving abroad.
The council voted to proclaim the month of October; “Czech Heritage Month’ and
“Caring For Pets Month”.
A request for the closure of C Street between 3rd and 4th Street in support of
Boys and Girls Club Halloween activities was approved.
David McMillan briefed the council on the FELPS 2008 budget.
The council denied a request that a 1979 Mobile Home be located on Buttercup
Lane noting that Mobile Homes older than 15 years old may not be installed.
Ordinance #251, proposed Wilson County Fresh Water Supply District #1 was
Earl McKenzie presented the final plat for Northcrest Hills Subdivision for
approval. Questions about a number of Garden Homes in the plat were resolved
as currently there is no ordinance to disallow them. Concerns about nine lots that
will initially not be developed due to possible flooding were allayed. The creek in
question has been rerouted by the City since the publication of the FEMA map in
1977. The Plat was approved.
The Council approved the new home plat of Issac Castillo and Kimberly
A representative from IESI explained the twice weekly trash collection rates
proposed or container customers, an option available to those that request it. He
offered the possibility of assistance for those people who find maneuvering the
newly approved trash containers. The council passed the amendment to
Ordinance #250.
The entire meeting took place before a packed chamber. Several Citizens took
the opportunity to stand before the assembly and express their disgust with the
current state of City Government. More than one of them, in no uncertain terms.
They made it clear that they were not backing down and had only begun to
rectify the problems as they perceived them. The tremendous crowd that began
to arrive hours prior to the meeting lingered after the final gavel sounded at 11:15
P.M." David R. Simpson for the Whole Lotta Nada

That was my effort as submitted to the publisher.

My objective was to cover the whole meeting and not focus solely on the hot buttons. I also avoided inflammatory statements that were made. "Not my y-o-b man." Just the facts and give everyone I can a voice. (I did feel bad for the folks that just wanted a simple platt aproval. They nearly got lost in the mele'.)

There was a lot of ink in the paper that I auditoned for. Good articles. Several seperate ones devoted to the various hot buttons. But none, that I saw, hit every point of the agenda. My real source of pride here is dedicated to the people that weren't there for the hot buttons. The ones that had already been through all of the hoops and just needed final approval. They had to endure the 4 and 1/2 hours and 3 closed door sessions just to await their due moment in the process.

"In other news"
... At least "News" as far as the Nada goes...
I think it's time to hit the road again!

My Snap-On roll away is in the living room. (Hey, I'm Bach'ing it and decor is in the eye of the decorator!) It's talking to me. Kinda like the plant in "Little Shop Of Horrors", 'FEED ME!!!"

I love San Antonio and I came here for very solid reasons. Some of those reasons have erroded away and San Antonio will still be here when I get back.

I've got resumes and app's out from here to "The Hump" to "Kirkuk" and back. I'm starting to get some feedback.

REO Speedwagon is just a little weak for me to quote these days...
Meatloaf... "I'm gonna hit the highway like a battering ram... I'm damned if I never get out and Baby I'm damned if I do... with every other beat I've left in my heart I'd rather be damned with you..."
Still not quite it... I think I'll have to go with Zevon, 'Mr Bad Example'... "I'm greedy and I'm angry and I don't care who I cross...''

Too harsh? 2007 has been a year of harsh lessons so it should come as no surprise.

I've got a Lotta more to post. Especially the Joe Ely show at Gruene Hall. OHHhhhhh... What a night.... Big fun was had by most. Most of all ME!!! A truly 'Road Worthy Tale' from my own back yard...

"There I was. All alone in Gruene Hall. Well, alone 'cepting for the Sherrif who was quite anxious for me to leave so as he could go home. I stepped out into Gruene Road. Not a car in sight, 'cepting for the Sherrif's cruiser and I really didn't want to take that road. I'm pretty sure I didn't walk to Gruene Hall. What's a Boy to do? 60 miles from home at two in the morning? Well lemme tell ya what he does. He falls back on training and instinct. 'If ya can't run with the Rover Dogs, stay in the hangar!!!'"