Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Blood Work

Why, when the tech drew blood from my arm last week on the first try, without diggin' around did she say absolutely nuttin' about it being a "deep" vein?
Today, the tech dug around in my left arm trying to hit that "deep" vein before she gave up, bypassed the big vein in my right arm that the nurse at the ER found easily 2.5 weeks ago, and finally found a vein in my arm.
What's up with this?

Ben Update

Ben's eye is not nearly as swollen as it was. The stitches/glue seem to be doin' the job.
He's back to his happy, big, dumb dog self.
Thanks for the good wishes.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Denton Area Animal Emergency Clinic... just about 1000% better than Banfield. Look back in my July 2009 archives for my opinion of Banfield.
Tonight, Ben tried to take a piece of cauliflower away from Tip. Tip said, "I don't think so, Scooter." and the fight was ON. It was all over the living room. And every time I looked, Ben was on top of Tipper. So why, when the fight was over, was Ben the bleeding dawg?

When I could finally get a good look at Ben, I saw his left eye was wonky. Blood all around it, and the lower lid looked like it had puncture marks in it. I called our regular vet, who was closed of course, it bein' a Sunday night and all. But his message was to take the dawg to DAAEC. SO off we went.
They were so very sweet. Took Ben back right away, gave him some pain meds and evaluated him. They found a wound on his head, about 2"above his eye that the Doc thought might need a staple, but it turned out to be OK. The eyelid was stitched up with absorbable sutures on the inside and surgical glue on the outside. It's swollen, but doesn't look nearly as bad as it did before.
Pain meds, anesthesia, eye surgery and 3 meds to take home and the bill was the same as Banfield's outrageous fee for MUCH less treatment. AND DAAEC faxed his regular vet the entire treatment record tonight so when I call in the morning, Doc Jones will already have the info.

These folks are SUPER!

Ben, the drunken Labradisto, is sleepin' it off on the cave that is my bathroom. He was thoroughly sniff examined by Boo and Tip before he went to the cave. I think he'll be fine.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Firearm Death Rates

From friends:

An interesting letter in the Australian Shooter Magazine this week,
which I quote:
"If you consider that there has been an average of 160,000 troops in the Iraq theater of operations during the past 22 months, and a total of 2112 deaths, that gives a firearm death rate of 60 per 100,000 soldiers.

The firearm death rate in Washington,DC is 80.6 per 100,000 for the same period.

That means you are about 25 percent more likely to be shot and killed in the U.S. capital, which has some of the strictest gun control laws in the U.S., than you are in Iraq."

Conclusion: The U.S.should pull out of Washington.

I heartily concur.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Terlingua Pictures

When I was posting from Terlingua about the clouds covering the mountains, these are those pics.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


...I don't think so.
The Emancipation Proclamation was signed in 1863. For those of you not good with math, that's 146 years ago. The Emancipation Proclamation effectively ended slavery.

The Supreme Court heard Sipeul v. Board of Regents University of Oklahoma in 1948 [61 years ago]. That decision, which also effected the State of Mississippi, ruled that black students must be admitted to all white law schools. In 1950 [59 years ago] Sweatt v. Painter had the same effect on Texas law schools. Thurgood was the lead lawyer on Sipuel.

Another Marshall case was Brown v. Board of Education, Topeka. In 1954 [55 years ago] that ruling declared the policy of "Separate but Equal" public education facilities were unconstitutional.

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 [45 years ago] prevents discrimination based on race OR gender.

Now, if the currently accepted standard for a generation is 25.2 years, then it been:
5.7 generations since it was legal to own slaves;
2.4 generations since it was legal to bar black students from law schools in Oklahoma or Mississippi;
2.3 generations since it was legal to deny black students admission to law school here in Texas;
2.1 generations since the Separate but Equal doctrine was struck down;
1.78 generations since the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

If there were still any slaves 1.78 generations ago, I could see paying reparations to them and their families.

If there is a black American in this country who still thinks they are slaves, or second class citizens it is because they have not availed themselves of the educational opportunities afforded them by some of the above legislation.

If a black American feels they have suffered discrimination at their job they can contact the EEOC [Equal Employment Opportunity Commission] and if their claim has merit, the EEOC will take legal action against the employer on their behalf.

So, let's have no more talk of reparations.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Who's More Racist?

The connection of President Obama to Black Liberation Theology is undeniable, despite his spin wizards trying to make us believe otherwise. The "Reverend" [I put that in quotes because he isn't very reverent in my view.] Jeremiah Wright is one of the leading proponents of BLT [not being flippant, just lazy] in America. If you believe the President, his wife and children attended Wright's church without subscribing to his version of religion and racial hatred...I have some ocean front property in Arizona I want to sell you.

Read what Obama wrote, himself, about race, and his feelings on being bi-racial.

From Dreams from My Father [p.xv]:
"I ceased to advertise my mother's race at the age of 12 or 13, when I began to suspect that by doing so I was ingratiating myself with whites."
Now this was a parenthetical remark about people being surprised by him being bi-racial because he looked black and he stopped gratuitously mentioning his mother was white. My question is "WHY?" Why is the white part of his heritage any less important than the black part?

Also from Dreams on page 220, he's talking about his grandfather and stepfather, "But these men had become object lessons for me, men I might love but never emulate, white men and brown men whose fates didn't speak to my own. It was into my father's image, the black man, son of Africa, that I'd packed all the attributes I sought in myself, the attributes of Martin and Malcolm, DuBois and Mandela." Once again, he belittles the white heritage he has worked so hard to downplay all his public life.

On page 101 of Dreams
In quoting [or paraphrasing more likely] a woman, Joyce, whom he knew in his Freshman year of college, "Why should I have to choose between them?" [meaning her multiracial heritages] "It's not white people making me choose...No - it's black people [his italics, not mine] who always have to have everything racial...They're the ones who are telling me that I can't be who I am." In response to her attitude, he says, "To avoid being mistaken for a sellout, I chose my friends carefully... But this strategy alone couldn't provide the distance I wanted, from Joyce or my past. After all, there were thousands of so-called campus radicals, most of them white and tenured and happily tolerant. No, it remained necessary to prove which side you were on, to show your loyalty to the black masses, to strike out and name names." He rejects a [self described] multiracial woman because she doesn't embrace only her black heritage and ignore the rest of her heritage. He proceeds to do just what he wanted Joyce to do. Oh, he gives token acknowledgement to his white relatives, but it's his black heritage he rode during his campaign and now.

So tell me, who's more racist? Obama or the average white American?

Obama's Social Justice Plans

I was watching Glenn Beck today. [Yes, Pat I do watch Beck even though he's on Fox.] I've found the issues Beck raises are well researched. He doesn't speak FROM emotion, but he does speak WITH emotion. The part of today's [Tuesday, September 22, 2009] episode that caught my attention was a blackboard Glenn had on the set showing the President's ties to Social Justice, Socialists, Marxists, Communists and Black Liberation Theology. I got so distracted by these points, I started googling and wikiing and only half paid attention to the rest of the show.

Obama has said himself he was mentored in his younger days by a Communist. He has said he sought out Marxists college professors for his education. He has worked with Socialists in his quest for Social Justice.
The term "Social Justice" was one concept drummed into my head by Fannie Belle Gaupp [RIP] when I was an undergrad. One thing that struck me then, as now, is how closely Social Justice, the political philosophy resembles Marxism. Our president [yes, I consider him "Our President" even if I disagree with him on most issues.] has stated that he has worked for Social Justice most of his adult life.
Wiki defines social justice in this way:

Social justice is a term that is used euphemistically to describe both a philosophical debate and an important issue in politics, religion and civil society. Most individuals wish to live in a just society, but each political ideology has its own concept of what constitutes a "just society". The term "social justice" is often employed as a euphemism by the political left to describe a society with a greater degree of economic egalitarianism, which may be achieved through progressive taxation, income redistribution, or even property redistribution, policies aimed toward achieving that which developmental economists refer to as equality of opportunity and equality of outcome.

Can anyone tell me how these strategies are NOT being implemented today?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

River Road Vistas

The reason the post about Kathy's Kafe was somewhat strange was because I forgot to post this one. I also forgot to post The Porch post 'til about 10 minutes ago.
My Bad,

Sunday 8:45 p.m.

Y'all may wonder why I've decided to time and date stamp my posts. There's no wi-fi at our motel, which is painted in Easter Egg colors, btw. In order to post I have to go off-site. As a result I'm not posting every time I write something. So that y'all will know when I wrote it, OH! Lightbulb! I guess I could change the date and time while I'm on blogspot, hunh? I'll see if it will let me backdate posts.
Now, on with the show.

Today was exploration day. While on our trip from Terlingua to Lajitas to Presidio to Marfa to Alpine and back to Terlingua we were using a book entitled River Road Vistas by William MacLeod [ NO, I don't know if he's related to Duncan or Conor.] Perhaps when he originally did his research for the trip it was a long time ago, or his vehicle was an oldie, or WHAT, but every mile reference he gave in the book for mountains, mesas, ridges, badlands was off by 1.2 to 1.6 miles. The book is not well organized in that pictures are not in sync with the text. For instance, page 36 may have a picture with the mile reference of mile 34.3. BUT, page 37's text will mention a formation at mile 27.2.
AND he doesn't always state whether the formation he's describing in text or picture caption is on the left or right, East or West side of the road. This is important because HIS pics don't always match the terrain and mountains, mesas whatever formations are in your line of sight, even adjusting for known mile marker deficiencies.
Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln how did you enjoy the play?
Having vented about that, let me now say the day was fun and informative.
Johnny's been coming out here for vacations since '68. I, however, am a newbie since I only started comin' out in January, 2003.
I'd been to Marfa to see the lights, but only once and we came in from the Prude Ranch outside of Ft. Davis. I've been to Lajitas lots of times but I'd never taken today's route. And while I've been knocked out by the scenery, I never knew the origin of the formations I was lookin' at. The book WAS good in explaining HOW the landscape came to look like it does. One hill may have been formed from the stretching of the Earth's crust. But another, right next to it may be formed of volcanic tuff or basalt. I learned that the Hematite [a term I remember from a geology class back in '84] I was lookin' at was formed from iron oxide by the heat of the lava flowing over it.
I learned what graben is [a low lying area caused from the collapse of the rock in the middle of other, intact, rock spreads around it due to a fault. If the formation is up and the land around it is collapsed that formation is called horst. I already knew what "hoodos" [no, I won't tell you. Take a minute and look it up. You can feel virtuous about learning something new.] were, but I got to see a lot more of them today. And don't you just lurve the word "hoodo" to describe a geologic formation? I also learned a lot more about the chemical composition of all these formations and how they differ from area to area.
When you see a sign out here that says, "Falling Rock," know that they MEAN it! Some of the unimproved shoulders are chock full of rock of varying sizes, some that qualify as boulders. I picked up a chunk of basalt from a field of it on one of our stops.
We passed lots of restaurants, but we had stopped and gotten sammies from Kathy's Kosmic Kowgirl Kafe [ if your into kitsch, there are TONS of it out here]. We stopped at a lovely roadside picnic area south of Alpine and had a late lunch. I left my wilted lettuce and some of my whole wheat hoagie bun behind for ground squirrels or whatever creature wanted to feast on them. We DID however stop at the Sonic in Alpine for drinks. But only because Marfa only had Dairy Queen and there drinks just aren't as good.
All in all, frustration with the book aside, it was a superb day!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Porch

Tuesday 7 p.m.
Today was “laid back” day. I took a nap after breakfast. Called a local friend and arranged to go out to her place on Terlingua Creek. She and I had a good visit which continued over lunch with Johnny at the Chilli [sic] Pepper Cafe. Of course I had the chalupas. I DID try the taco salad there on Saturday night and while it was extremely good, the chalupas are still my fav. I think it's the grease, or maybe the guacamole.
After we parted company, Johnny and I moseyed over to the Ghost Town Trading Post. I got a cutey shot glass with a saguaro cactus inside, a box of cards, three stunning area photo cards and 4 postcards. I also bought a book on xeriscaping. I'm hoping I can actually USE the plans. I have a tendency to buy gardening books and cookbooks and then never use the info inside. Johnny got the second book by Joaquin Jackson. It's about being a Texas Range in West Texas.
Then we bought a couple of beers and went out on the porch. [If I can get my stoopid camera to download, I'll post the pics of the porch.] It rained this afternoon, but the porch roof is so deep, we didn't get wet. Well, at least not until I went over to the edge and stuck first one foot and then the other out into the rain stream.
This was my first experience actually seein' rain in the desert. The sun kept shining most of the time it was falling. Johnny said it looked like diamonds falling from the sky.
We stayed on the porch a few hours, visitin' and readin'. I wrote some cards. Mostly I was describing how magnificent it is out here in an attempt to cajole the recipients into comin' along on our next trip.
I have to get packed up tonight because we're leavin' early in the mornin' to go home. I always wish I could have just one more day. Maybe next trip.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Breakfast with Kathy

Monday, September 14, 2009; 9:04:58 AM

I know I'm gonna sound like a broken record after yesterday's post, but Kathy's Kosmic Kowgirl Kafe serves a mean breakfast.
We both ordered a Pancho Villa burrito [Johnny and I have now order the same meal twice, once more and we've got ourselves a patten [shudder]. It comes with three eggs, but we asked for just two. The Villa also has chorizo, potatoes, pico and cheese. neither of us could finish a whole one it was so big. All for $5.
If you're ever out here, she's open 6:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. Thursday through Monday. You can't miss it it's on FM 170 about 1.1 miles from the intersection with State Highway 118.

3 p.m.
I have just come back to Kathy's to use her wi-fi. She tells me that on October 18 she's having a Gospel Breakfast. The Al Barlow music fest is playing that Sunday. So, if you're here,, come give a listen and have a breakfast burrito.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

2 new posts below

I just posted two news blog entries. Let me know what you think.

Sunrise Over the Mountains

8:45 a.m., Sunday

Johnny got up at 6:45 and it was still dark outside. He woke me about 7:15 and the sky was brightening. On the other side of the mountains the sun was up, but we wanted to see it as it rose over the Wild Horse and Willow mountains to our east.
While we waited for that hot, bright orb, we enjoyed another coyote concert. We heard, off to the South, what sounded like a hoarse burro. Turns out it was actually a dove. I know the quail out here are referred to as “Mountain Quail” so I'm calling this a “Mountain Dove.” We also saw the cotton-tails from last night and later, a big, probably buck cotton-tail.
At my behest, Johnny went inside and brought two grape tomatoes and a piece of bread out for the bunnies and bird, respectively.
About 7:45, the sun made it's appearance over the ridge. Once it was in sight it rose quickly. When we came in at 8:30 the food was still out there. If we keep leaving little bits maybe Tuesday or Wednesday we'll get to have more company.
On our drive yesterday, there were buzzards in the road. Johnny honked his horn as soon as he saw them and they flew away. When I first started comin' out here with him, I was puzzled by this. He explained that buzzards will evacuate their alimentary canals as they fly off when startled. In order to avoid a mess of most likely very corrosive material on your vehicle, it's best to warn them of your approach. This particular bit of lore had escaped my ken until then.
Need to go make sausage and biscuits, back later.

Rain in the Desert

5 p.m. Saturday
It “showered” in the desert today and I was here to see, hear, feel, touch and taste it! If you've never been to the High Desert region of West Texas, I'm not sure if you can fully appreciate what a blessing a any sort of rain is out here. They'd gotten a few showers yesterday and, from the looks of things, earlier in the week, too. The landscape is greener than normal, but the cacti aren't bloomin', yet.

We went up to Alpine, about 80 miles north of Terlingua, this morning to pick up some things we'd forgotten. On the way “home” I had the delight of seeing Del Norte and Santiago mountains shrouded in not only clouds [I've seen that before], but those sheets of rain you can see off in the distance. It was magnificent!

Seein' the rain in the Mountains made me hope it would be rainin' in Terlingua by the time we got back. My wish came true. There had been a Wear Your Pajamas to the Garage Sale event at Kathy's Kosmic Kowgirl Kafe this morning and they were just wrappin' up when we pulled in at 3:30 p.m. There were some sprinkles starting and I didn't have enough sense to come in out of the rain. I went over to the one vendor still there and got 2 succulents and a cactus for $1. She was just gonna charge me 75 cents [why don't keyboards have a “cents” sign anymore?], but I made her take a dollar so I wouldn't feel too guilty. It was sprinklin' water down on me and I LURVED it.

As I sit here in our cabin, the wind is pickin' up and there are gray skies almost all around so we may get some more of those wonderful drops of water from the sky. I don't have time to write more, I'm goin' outside to watch the sky.

9:30 p.m.
Except for a few spits and spats, it didn't rain this afternoon like I'd hoped.
When we got back from dinner, the sun was goin' down. We sat out at the picnic table outside our cabin door, watching the sky and mountains get darker. Terlingua sits on the NNW edge of the Castalon Basin, so there are mountains all around us.
A couple of cotton-tails bounced around in front of us about 40-50 yards away. One of them came a little closer, but then they had to go home. How do I know they went home? Because about 20-30 minutes after the bunnies left...the coyotes started warming up. They serenaded us 'til we came inside. Yips, full-throated barks and long, hopeful howls, we listened to it all for free.
Once the sky was fully dark, we looked up to the diamonds in the sky. Until I came out here, I thought I had stars in my night sky just like you think I'll bet. We were both wrong. Out here there's no light pollution. I see two -three times as many stars here as I do at home. And I don't live in a big city, like some of y'all. I miss seeing all the stars when I'm home. I know they're there, I just can't see them.

Big day tomorrow, if it works out well, I'll tell you about it. Today may prove to be an aberration in my writing dry spell. But there's just something about rain in the desert that soothes my soul and puts a silly grin on my face.