Thursday, December 30, 2010


I've been blogging at this for a couple of years now, and I still haven't said everything I want to say, so I guess I'll be here after tomorrow evening to ring in 2011.

2010 was a busy year for our family and at work also. I'm thankful that we've gotten to get in as much fishing and shooting in 2010 as we did. And my resolution in 2011 is to do more fishing and shooting.

I've discovered some new blogs this past year, some quite recently, that cater to my interests and are excellently done.

To those of you who stop by on a regular or even occasional basis, thanks so much for dropping in and thanks for your comments and emails.

And Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


Steve Lopez of the LA Times has an excellent piece today on musician and music store owner Gary Chen, who owns LA's Stein on Vine.

Read the great story here to see how Gary Chen changed his life, and likely the lives of many others, by making in stop in LA 30 years ago. Sometimes, life does hold good surprises.,0,5548464.column

And as an aside, I wish Mr. Chen had hung a couple of mics and a good recorder in that back jam room. Man, the stories those tapes could tell...

Saturday, December 25, 2010


One band I just now discovered, or rediscovered, via the freedomblues website that is in my blog roll is . I'd heard this band via KPFT and KTRU in Houston back in the late 1990's and early 2000's on various shows. This band was together from 1977 to 1980.

Here's a quote of a review from the "Dean of American Rock Critics" Robert Christgau:

Etoile 2000
Etoile 2000 [Dakar Sound, 1996] A-
See Also:
Etoile de Dakar
Youssou N'Dour & Étoile de Dakar
merge all
Consumer Guide Reviews:Etoile 2000 [Dakar Sound, 1996]Imagine a bunch of garage musicians whose main technical limitation is that they grew up too poor to own instruments. Two genius guitarists clashing, three drummers beating the hell out of each other, crazy sax man coming and going, and then, because this is a garage band only in theory, two singers who can outwail the average gospel strongman, never mind the average Iggyphile. That's this short-lived, hot-headed Senegalese crew, who undertook the literally garage-recorded "Boubou N'Gary," all unkempt echoplexed fuzzbox and excitable tama, to give their old boss Youssou N'Dour what for, and began hearing it on the radio--constantly--about two hours after they'd finished. None of the other five tracks is quite as intense or chaotic. But this will shut up anybody who believes Afropop is too slick and anybody who believes it's too primitive simultaneously. El Hadji Faye, we salute you. A-

and another review from AllMusic

by Chris Nickson
Sounding as if they were the Yardbirds set down in Senegal and produced by Lee Perry, Etoile 2000 enjoyed a brief lifetime on the Senegalese music scene -- but the influence lingers on.

The immediate roots of the band are in Étoile de Dakar; the group formed in 1977 after a number of musicians split from the venerable Star Band, which had been in existence since 1960 and which was the root of modern Senegalese music. Étoile de Dakar enjoyed the talents of two excellent vocalists, a young Youssou N'Dour and El Hadji Faye, in addition to guitarist Badou N'Daye, whose Hendrix influence showed in his very electric stylings.

For two years the band was the toast of Dakar and Senegal's most popular band, playing all over the country. But inevitably rivalries occurred and in 1979, Faye and N'Daye split to form their own band, with the backing of businessman Mass Diokhane, who ran the Jandeer Club where Étoile de Dakar had usually performed.

The band rehearsed in Diokhane's garage, and one night he taped the song "Boubou N'Gary." After playing all night, the musicians took a breakfast break and Diokhane sent an assistant to radio station ORTS with the tape of the song. Once played, it proved so popular that it was replayed all day long and the DJ, Golo Gaye, christened the band Etoile 2000. Over the next two days the band recorded three more songs for their initial release, still on Diokhane's primitive equipment, which sold a reputed 5,000 copies on the day it appeared in Dakar stores.

With a screaming fuzz pedal, Faye's high griot voice, and liberal use of an echo chamber as their stock-in-trade, the band played frequently around Dakar and recorded two more cassettes, some tracks of which referred back to the Cuban sound which had long been popular in Senegal, others looking to the young, popular m'balax rhythm, filtered through their own personal lens.

After just three years, the band folded, but their memory is still alive in the CD Dakar Sound, issued in 1996 on the Dutch CNR label, which compiles tracks from all three of their releases, the wild "Boubou N'Gary" also appearing on The Music in My Head sampler.




A new addition to my blog list, coming via the favorites of one of the followers of this blog, is called freedomblues and the current post is Touareg du Mali~Teharden et Mzad and I've not run across as interesting of a site about this very interesting music and related music from Africa ever. Plus, it's in english, which means I don't have to rely on google translation to read the posts.

There are lots of videos posted and links to music and lots of cool album and artist reviews. A good place for me to discover some electrified guitar music, the blues a'la Touareg.

I look forward to peeling back the layers of this new find. Thanks to Fasiso for the link.

And Merry Christmas to all who are inclined, and Happy Holidays to the others.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


And that's a good thing. It was bought with private donations, and by all accounts is an extremely nice piece of property with about 10 miles of river frontage on the pristine Devil's River.

Here's the article from the Statesman:

Up river, there's already the Devil's River State Natural Area. That area has about a mile of river frontage. There's great fishing in that area, particularly for fishers of the fly. Years ago, smallmouth bass were found to be able to live in the cool waters year round, and in the absence of any real fishing pressure, they flourished. I've read that largemouth bass, catfish and a variety of panfish are also found in the Devil's.

There was a recent feature article in Southwest Fly Fishing magazine wherein the intrepid writer and a buddy came to Texas, rented a 4wd in San Antonio and headed south to the Devil's. They hired a guide, and he has access or owns a lot in a subdivision that is on the Devil's River. But to get to the guide's place, you had to traverse a "river road" some miles in length that actually required driving in the river, yes, in the river, over some pretty tough terrain.

Although I've never been there, I hereby swear to change that fact sometime in the first half of 2011. I do know from extensive reading and from talking with friends who have canoe'd or kayaked the Devil's or have fished at the State Natural Area and in the Dolan Falls area, that EVERYTHING in and around the river scratches, bites, scrapes, sticks, pricks, cuts, rips and otherwise damages you and your gear. Nature in that area is equipped to survive, and the Devil's is literally an oasis in the middle of South Texas semi-desert country. Surface water in that part of Texas that is not "seasonal" is a rarity, and thus abundant wildlife can be found all around the Devil's River ecosystem.

The Devil's River has long been proclaimed the cleanest river in Texas. To the east of the Devil's River lies the "Country of 11oo Springs", as said for years in advertisements for Pearl Beer, which was brewed with "clear spring water" from the aforesaid "Country of 1100 Springs".

But to the west of Rocksprings, there are not near as many year round creeks or rivers as there are to the east. So the Devil's River is literally an oasis in that part of Texas.

It's not just environmentally tough. Here's some links to previous posts I've made about the Devil's River with and other links including a great article by Joe Nick Patoski.

3 Cool Texas fishing spots

Joe Nick Patoski

Southwest Fly Fishing

And here, where I seem to forget about the State Natural Area as a fishing option but I regale you with why Billy Ray and I won't be kayaking the Devil's River, or any River for that matter. More Devil's River and Kayaking Musings

There was also at least one website talking about the not too distant past of perhaps 15 or 20 years ago when a fellow who I think is a guide there was beseiged with gunfire from a hidden gunman, who apparently wasn't kidding.

So it's still the wild west in some parts. Landowners in many parts of Texas are mighty serious about folks not setting foot on their riverbank, and many consider the old Spanish common law rule that the landowner owns the land to the middle of the river to be the law of the land, which it is not. I know I've heard stories about barbed wire in the past across the Devil's, and I've personally seen barbed wire across a river on the Medina and the James Rivers. Many times.

I've heard tell of river runners on the Devil's being greeted by long arm bearing landowners and advised to keep on paddling. I know it's happened on other rivers but this is one place it could be likely to happen.

I have a aquaintance that bought a five acre lot that has about 1000' of river frontage on the west bank of the Devil's about 10 years ago. At $50K, it was a bargain, considering it came with a fairly decent trailer that was mounted on a elevated platform like a beachhouse. I saw pictures of his place, and there were several nice deep pools in the river fronting his place.

Apparently it is an arduous trek to get to many of the locations on the Devil's River, which of course is why it is still a nice place. Although my land owning friend didn't have to drive through the river to get to his land, he did say that he had to travel about 25 miles over a variety of trail-like roads and private right of ways to get to his place.

As I recall, it's about a 15 or 20 mile drive on a bad unpaved "road" to get to the State Natural Area, but Billy Ray says he's ready to go for it in his new 4WD Jeep.

More later about the Devil's River.

And Merry Christmas to all of you of my persuasion. And for all others, Happy Holidays!

Sunday, December 19, 2010


There's a couple of new blogs on my blogroll that I'm really enjoying.

One is
The Next Chapter whose current post is about celebrating the wonderful place he lives:
WE’RE #1! WE’RE #1! Illinois is the worst state to live in for retirees! . Zach has some great stuff on all kinds of firearm related topics, and I see that he and I share interest in many of the same types of guns. Additionally, he recently paid me a big compliment by posting a link to some of my posts about the late NYC holster and shooting Guru Chic Gaylord. Chic Gaylord, holster artisan extraordinaire and top gun of his time

I really appreciate Zach's kind words about my writing, but his blog really puts mine to shame. Trust me on this. Spend some time over there reading his archives about various fine weapons. It'll be time well spent, and really, I wish it were in a book form. It's good stuff!

Through Zach's blog links, I became familiar with fellow Texan
Wild Ed's Texas Outdoors, where his latest post is about a fish that I've caught an awful lot of all over different parts of Texas, The Texas Longear Sunfish. I have not had time to explore his blog more, but plan to in the coming holidays after the Christmas festivities are over ( I call the days between Christmas and New Year's "Festivus", after Seinfeld. Festivus is for resting. Festivus for the rest of us!).

I also plan to do some Texas Rainbow Trout fishing if it gets really cold between the time Santa comes and New Years. I'll let you know how it goes.


It appears that Julian Assange, also known as Mr. Wikileaks, is afraid of the truth. This writer at the Daily Mail in the UK said it much better than I could. Read this editorial and then come on back for my musings about the man who is not much of a man, because although he claims to be after the truth, doesn't much care for the truth when it comes to him personally.

And while you're at it, read this gem, also from The Daily Mail. Note that it was not originally titled "celebrities look away, but "Jemima Look Away Now". It's still titled that way once you get to the article:

First off, let's talk about being responsible for one's actions. This subject holds multiple areas of discussion about Julian. I won't call him Mr. Assange because to do that, I would have to respect him, and I have no respect for him at all. Only contempt. Julian, according to news reports and statements by his former wikileaks PR man, fled Sweden after being asked to talk to a prosecutor about the sexual assault allegations against him, and perhaps more importantly, when his two accusers demanded he take an HIV test and show them the results.

Running away from Sweden is not seeking the truth, Julian.

Secondly, his coterie of liberal trust fund kids (whether young like Jemima or old like Mr. Smith) and celebrity supporters claim he is a journalist. HA! Journalists broadcast stories, stories that they or those working for/with them write. Whether we're talking about a TV/Cable/Etc reporter doing stories on the tellie, or what we normally think of as a journalist, a writer, a journalist creates ideas or work product. Julian is not a journalist in any sense of the word.

Julian is simply parroting what others say. He's not much different than, say, a company that places a newspapers content on the web. Or a publisher, who publishes the journalistic works of others.

Third, Julian is a self-avowed enemy of the US. He stated his goal was anarchy in releasing the embassy cables, and that he was doing it to hurt the US. I disagree with the writer whose link is posted above in this regard. Julian is a terrorist. A man without a country. Like Osama Bin Laden, he is a stateless terrorist, but their goals remain the same: the destruction of the US.

On a side note, I'll take a wild-eyed right wing guess here and state that I guess Julian is probably an atheist. I'll guess that he had no firm father figure in his life to whoop his rear when he needed it.

As an American, Julian needs to have his day in an American Court. Perhaps, as a enemy combatant, in a military court. Then, a lifetime in SuperMax might chill his heels.

Like many others, although I believe stealing our information is an act of terrorism, I admit to reading them. And I chuckle at the thought that Julian has to be dismayed that his release of the info so far has not caused the global insurrection he hoped for. They show the US to basically be one of the few rational governments on this planet, other than Hillary's DNA thing.

It's time for the US to stand up to the rest of the world. It's time for the rest of the world, and this includes the UK (as I understand they might not want to extradite Mr. Wikileaks to America because their widdle feewings are hurt by some of the descriptions of their citizens in the embassy cables). It's time for us to start demanding some results from the $$$ we throw around the world.

Specifically, we need to issue some stern advisos to Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Israel. They will be our friends AT ALL TIMES or no more $$$ or food. No more sending your kids and family to our country, or letting your princes live in LA or NYC. Confiscate assets of these countries and their citizens located in this country until they decide to man up and act right.

We can make new friends. I'm so tired of hearing the UK and French and Italian perspectives on how evil the US is. Lest they forget, they'd be speaking German and doing a goose step march right now were it not for us.

Julian, be a man. Go back to Sweden. And then, when you're done, come on over here to America and let us show you, as Martin Luther King once said, that the truth will set you free.

Just maybe not in the way you imagined.

And Ms. Jemima Khan, don't you have some kind of trust fund kid benefit to be organizing, because I suspect your knowledge of world affairs is about as deep as that of my adhd dog.

Friday, December 17, 2010


I got this comment posted today here at a June, 2009 post I wrote about legendary newspaperman Sig Byrd. Sig Byrd's Houston It is so cool that it deserves it's own new post to bring it up to the forefront for all the fans of Sig and his very descriptive writing of the "good ole' days" in Houston, Texas.

When Houston was a city that'd I'd still recognize if I could go back in time.

A Texas sized tip of the hat to Rob Kimberly, who as he states below, has digitized many of Sig's articles. If you are a fan of Houston or Texas history, or if life in the 50's and 60's in Houston, or just a fan of excellent writing, then do like I'll be doing today and start reading some of Sig's take on Houston from way back when.

And thanks so much, Rob, for letting us know about your important efforts to get some great writing up on the www for the many fans of Sig Byrd to enjoy. Funny how the web can be used for something really good like Rob is doing with Sig's work, or it can be used in the name of evil.

Here it be:


I'm in the process of digitizing old columns of Sig's, using the Houston Main Library's microfilm collection. I am reading the March 19, 1952 article about Angelina Delgado right now. It was a google search of her name that led to this discussion.

There are currently 435 columns of his online on Flickr...

Another 70 were just scanned today. I won't have the Angelina Delgado column up for some time, but copies are available (free, no strings) upon asking.

Rob Kimberly -

Facebook - Sig Byrd's Houston

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


It's a crazy world full of crazy people. Some of them have guns, or knives, or bombs or all other kinds of implements of death and destruction.

Watch the video when (the now late) Homer here takes hostages at the School Board Meeting. Homer is deado now.

If you were sitting in this school board meeting and you had your trusty sidearm, you could have taken this nut out.

Rambling gunman dead after opening fire at Florida school meeting

All goes well that ends well, to be sure, but I bet a few of these school board members/staff start packing at the next meetings. And I bet they get a metal detector and some more security.

And how about the ballsy hero lady who tries to knock the gun out of the hand of the nut with her large purse. You go girl. Somebody give her an LE job with some killer training and there would be no stopping her, because she already has the guts and her hear in the right place! Kudus to you for being a good citizen and trying to save lives at the risk of your own. Purse against gun is not good odds, but good for you anyway! You're studly! Next time grab the gun with your hand, hit him in the face with your purse and then kick him where it counts.

Or do like Clint Smith says and grab a fire extringuisher and spray him with the white stuff in the eyes and hit him with the red extinguisher in the haid.

Just a tip, I'm not second guessing bravado.

Friday, December 3, 2010


Billy Ray says he read somewhere that this could be the last year for a while of stocking rainbows. I asked Billy Ray to send me the link to that story but he has failed and refused and continues to fail and refuse to send me this very crucial story. I'm hoping he misread it, but Billy Ray is a man of letters and does have some of that there higher education and does keep abreast of news events from local to international from a variety of news sources.

I'll update here if I can find it googling or if Billy Ray gets around to sending it to me.

I know that the state has had budget problems and has cut state budgets 5% across the board, along with other cuts and freezes. All of us are enduring the Obama years with issues, and even if you're lucky like us and have jobs and a home and food on the table, then although you're extremely blessed compared to many Americans. Times are tough and in lots of areas of the country, the times are downright bleak and barren.

If there is any truth to Billy Ray's report that the Texas Rainbow Trout Stocking Program could be in trouble or in danger of being suspended or discontinued as soon as the 2011-2012 season, then fishermen and other outdoorsman must do their part.

I think the best way to start is for all who fish for rainbows and would like to continue enjoying to do the same in the future to consider doing the following:

1. Talk to your fellow outdoorsmen who don't fish regularly, and who may not be aware of the rainbow trout stocking program and ask them to buy the low cost rainbow trout stamp. Many of my friends, myself included, usually buy a combo hunting/fishing license. Even though I hardly ever hunt, I figure it is worth supporting the program by spending a few extra bucks.

Lots of my hunting friends who rarely if ever fish do the same thing, they buy combo licenses, just to support the TPWD and the many things they do. Urge your fishing friends or other folks who fish for the rainbows at state parks where they don't need a fishing license to go ahead and spend some real American dollars to by a license and a trout stamp to show some interest in the program.

After all, like many endeavors, money talks and BS walks. So some extra money coming in is something sure to catch the attention of budget cutters both in the beaurocrats and the politicians.

2. Contact your Texas State Representative and your Senator and advise them of your position on this issue in a clear and concise manner. Ask them to contact you with their position on this issue. Ask their staff to keep you informed via email of all developments regarding this issue. Ask your friends and fellow sportsmen to do the same. Go to the Texas government webpage and there's a place you can enter your zip code to find out who your reps are. At least I think there is a link on that page. I'll try to update this page with that link later.

3. Go fishing for rainbows this winter, friends. Catch some fish. Have some fun. Enjoy this wonderful program that reaches almost to every corner of the state*. Travel across the state or across the street for a nice fishing adventure.

We're lucky here in Tejas, as our economies are generally doing well across the state. In taking roadtrips this year, I've driven through areas of unexpected prosperity where before there was none. Big and nice school complexes. Nice mid-level hotels occupied by workers, railroad folk, construction crews and various service industry travelers during the week, often looking mostly empty on the weekends as the workers head back to their homes.

So I hope that the program that has brought me so much joy since my very early double digit years in all kinds of places all over the state. I've written often in the past of my (mis)adventures seeking the stocked rainbows in Texas winters, and I've had some legendary fishing times in years past where I was literally catching a fish per cast. It has not unusual for me to catch a bass when spinner fishing for trout with ultralight tackle, and it seems like I often caught bass when the trout were active and hitting my lures.

So a lifetime of memories revolve around rainbow fishing so it's one of the things I most look forward to during the winter months. So Billy Ray's advice is that he and I and El Fisho Jr. need to do a lot of trout fishing this winter, just in case. It's a good excuse to go fishing, and I'd like to hit the Blanco, The Guadalupe and some other locale like the Blue Hole in Georgetown in an extended weekend trifecta.

I got me some other spots I've been investigatin' that we might do some fishing at. On private property, they require payment but feature basically private fishing and camping. A nice place to set up a fishing camp for a couple of days and the amount of money sought is reasonable. There are more crowded places that can be accessed for lower fees, but 'tis solitude we anglers seek. There are also some public creeks and some private waters that get stocked by hatcheries outside of Texas, and some of these places can be fished (legally, I might add).

Some of the creeks are in the Hill Country and get stocked allegedly by rich folk who own land on both sides of these cold, spring fed creeks, and who stock the creeks every now and then. Lots of postings on fishing forums have discussed where these fish can be accessed downstream from the stocking locales. And there is at least one Texas land owner who has a hunting ranch that also has some lakes that have been stocked with some rather large rainbows from out of state. Yes, you'll pay a premium for access to this private fishing but you'll catch large fish you'd have to travel hundreds of miles to catch in New Mexico, Colorado, Oklahoma or Arkansas.

Thursday, December 2, 2010


I had forgotten all about Junior, I'm ashamed to say. I haven't seen him in twenty years or so. But once I saw his picture, over forty years of memories came back in an instant.

Everyone I knew called him Junior, because that was his name. I don't recall many people calling him Peanut, but they well could have.

Back in the sixties and seventies, when I'd go to work with my dad downtown or to the courthouse, police station or sheriff's department, I'd see Junior. Junior sold peanuts, and would often give me peanuts if my dad wasn't around with money. I was probably five or six years old when I first met Junior.

Over the years, I came to know Junior pretty good.

Later, when I became a police officer, I would still see Junior, now using a motorized cart, at HPD or HCSO or the courthouse. Numerous times, myself or other officers would load Junior's motorized cart in the trunk of his Mother's car. Everybody helped Junior and they didn't have to be asked. They'd see Junior heading towards his Mom's car and just head that way to help him out.

I recall asking my father, when again I was five or six and saw Junior the first time, about why a man who had such a hard time moving was working so hard, or working at all. Pride, my father said, and a desire to do something with his life. He explained to me that sitting at home being sick was much worse that going out there and succeeding even if success meant struggling.

He had a very loving and devoted mother. She would wait patiently for hours while he sold his peanuts, sitting in her car. But I always admired both of them for really loving and taking care of each other.

Of course, I thought it way cool that someone was selling peanuts at HPD or the courthouse, just like over at the Astrodome. My father told me how much he and many others admired Junior, because although Junior had a serious disability and medical condition, he still wanted to work and be productive.

And Junior was. I know there are many disabled folks who would like to work but can't because of their condition or circumstances or job availability. But for the mass of folks who are minimally disabled but are lazy who don't want to work that we see in the criminal justice system constantly, Junior was their anti-matter. It's unfortunate that more people are not like Junior, my father told me often, because our world would be a better place with some work ethic and drive.

Instead, everyone is waiting on the government dole.

Junior didn't wait on the dole. He made his own world happen, despite obstacles put in his way. He was happy selling those peanuts. And that's what I remember about Junior. He was happy.

Rest in Peace, Junior. You earned it. And thanks for the life lessons you gave many of us along the way.