Monday, October 25, 2010

and they call the wind mariah...

rare is the day, here in the texas panhandle, when there isn't something more than a gentle breeze ruffling things about.  scheduled over the past weekend was the annual "pirates of the canyon" hot air balloon fest.  this year's event never got off the ground.  why?  too much wind!


ideally the winds for a balloon launch and landing should be at 5-10 mph, depending on the skill level of the pilot.  an average day hereabout sees 10-15 mph winds with gusts somewhat higher. 

panhandle folks don't think much about winds in that range. early morning, or late afternoon, is the time for conditions ideal for launch. unfortunately, conditions less than ideal; winds above the optimal limits kept the balloons grounded.  festivities continued in spite of the inconvenient breezes.

then there are days like today with winds 35-40 with gusts above 60 mph.  had the balloons managed to launch today they might have ended up strewn across the canyon like the beans from coach b.'s locust trees.  the beans were blown across the street and two houses down.


today was not a good day for man, beans-- or balloons. aio

Saturday, October 23, 2010



another work week down, another three work days closer to going on the dole.  another bottle of barefoot moscato down the maw. 

yesterday marked our daughter k.'s, and husband k.'s, fifth anniversary.  congratulations to them.

tomorrow marks 34 years of marriage for the wife and me.  in those 34 years there has been way more good than bad, more happy than sad, all in all a grand adventure.  who woulda thunk the divine ms. b. could have turned this sow's ear into anything close to a silk purse.  for sure i've a ways to go on that front but any refinement i may have accrued over the years is a tribute to her blind faith and abiding spirit.

to the newlyweds mentioned above i say-- in order to make it to 34 years, or 6, 10, 15, 20, 25, or even 30 years, one must look past the warts, forgive the slights and believe deeply that tomorrow the sun will rise with the promise of a better day. with the dawn of each new day, vow to have your partner's back.  remember the promises you spoke in earnest on that day; they should remain as sincere, and as close to your hearts, today as they were on your wedding day. 

marriage is a contract signed by the two of you in front of God, family and friends. it is one of give and take.  for the smart man, it's more give than take but each should be considerate in all things. in short, a successful marriage is hard work. the load should not, cannot, be carried by one alone.  any load is lighter when shared. there is no "i" in a good marriage; no "me'.  what "i" cannot accomplish alone, neither can "me".  the key to the years is in the "we".   

will you just listen?  who am i, a marriage expert?  certainly not, but i do have 34 years in the trenches.  that is the platform from which i speak; or maybe it's the moscato talking. aio

p.s. to the divine ms. b., happy anniversary!  i love you babe!

Monday, October 18, 2010

family time...

i stole this picture of k. from her latest posting at "the monkey heart discourses".  it was taken by husband k. on our recent visit to oak alley.   it is the very image of wistful and captures my mood when i think of the rare times we get to be together.                      

the biggest problem for me with having my kids living in disparate, distant cities is the infrequency of our visits.  c. is our closest, living a mere 500+ miles away in austin.  you might think we get to see him all the time.  hardly, although in truth we do see him more frequently than our oldest, b., who lives in california or our daughter k. and husband k. who live in new orleans.  

still, i wouldn't call visiting c. 3 or 4 times a year, often; certainly not nearly often enough to suit my taste.
the bulk of our visits with any of them consists of us going to them except for the christmas visits that make up the bulk of their trips to the old homestead. part of the problem with us visiting them more often, or them us, is living here in little a. town.  you can't get there from here, or here from there, at least not for cheap.

in august, it was a week in california.  in september, a week in cincy visiting the in-laws.  two weeks ago it was a week in new orleans.

for halloween, i'm planning a trip to austin.  this halloween marks the 4th year c. has staged the krewe de coeur maudit march.  think mardi gras, on a much smaller scale, and with a halloween theme. c. has been kind enough to invite us to join the "march".  it should be fun. certainly it will be a first for us.

the austin visit won't be a week long though, after all we get to see c. and c. and the puppies "all the time".  leaving on sunday, coming back on wednesday; whirlwind, if you will. still it will be good to have some time, any time at all, with them.

the latest entry from k. at "the monkey heart discourses" is the trigger for this piece.  she commented as to how much she enjoyed our visit.  to that i would say, "right back at ya' kid".  we love every minute of our time with you guys.  any time we have with any of you, with all of you, or any combination of the above is time we treasure. that having be said, i cannot wait until the next time. let's make it sooner than later, shall we?  aio 

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

5 years post katrina---


the scene along st. charles avenue is breathtaking, idyllic. canal street is a picture of recovery, wide and inviting, the pavement as smooth as bourbon street pool table.  rarely along these thoroughfares will you find any evidence of the storm that brought this city to it's knees.  'nawlins may have been brought low, but she is far from out for the count.


in the hours before dawn street cars rumble along st. charles avenue every few minutes. they carry the worker bees here and there, delivering them to signature restaurants and six table holes in the wall places that cater to natives and tourists alike. after morning prep, dishes that say "you're in the big easy" await. every sumptuous bite;  the crabs, the shrimp, the fishes all plentiful, surrendered up from the waters of the gulf,  there for the asking.

if st. charles and canal  street, the garden district and bourbon street are all you bother to see, it would be easy to forget that not all that long ago this city was a sea of flood water and people desperate to be plucked from roof tops and overpasses the city over. 

in travels throughout  the city one can see an occasional reminder of the storm.  even after five years an occasional house remains unclaimed. rare they are, but some are still left.



rare, that is, unless you bother to visit the ninth ward.  the scene in "the ward" is in stark contrast to the touristy parts of the city.  though five years have passed, the number of homes and businesses waiting to be reclaimed there is huge in comparison.  there is a good number of  homes newly constructed or reclaimed since the storm; raised on high in hopes of surviving the waters if there comes a next great storm.


i admire those who are bravely reclaiming the ninth.  i'm not sure i could make that decision were it mine to make.  the number of derelict homes appears to overwhelm new construction by a great margin.  fields of weeds occupy the lots where homes stood before the storm. time will witness how much more recovery will occur here.  overall the city is abuzz with the business of the day.  people go about their everyday lives, bringing the "easy" back to it's glory days, only better. trailing far behind is the 9th ward.  hopefully the game of catch up can be won in that part of new orleans as well.   aio


Monday, October 4, 2010

i see a smile in your eyes...

reading the post on the monkey heart discourses titled "the fog on cats feet" makes me wonder. reading that the "monkey heart" is feeling low makes me sad.   the words written by paul francis webster. the song is "the shadow of your smile"

the shadow of your smile
when you are gone
will color all my dreams
and light the dawn
look into my eyes , my
love, and see
all the lovely things you
are to me

a wistful little star
was far too high
a tear drop kissed your lips
and so did i

now when i remember spring
all the joy that love can bring
i will be remembering
the shadow of your smile.

so, to the monkey heart--  may tomorrow be filled with the promise of sunrise, a canvas waiting to be filled with beauty of your choosing.  fill it with love and the joy of a new day. 

mama's comin' babe.  she'll be there to hold you-- heart to heart. aio

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Tech-- Tubervilled again...


oh my gawd!  how I miss mike leach!  the leach era red raiders might not have won every game they should have but at least you could count on an exciting 60 minutes of football on the way to the L.

i'm agonizing over a game i didn't see, fussing about a score that should have been reversed in tech's favor.  taylor potts threw for 5 TDs for pete's sake; tuberville still manages to lose?  so exactly where is this improved defense the tech faithful has been promised? for crying out loud, it's iowa state-- not the strongest team in the big 12.

of all the game balls, the football should be the easiest to hold on to;  it's tapered at both ends lending itself to a better grip.  it's when a player loses his grip on the ball and it hits the ground that problems begin.  because of it's shape the football can take some funny bounces.  it bounced in iowa's favor saturday night.
the chatter coming out of lubbock is distinctly bleak.  tech's next several games are on the road, leading one to fear that after the scene in iowa mean times are ahead for tech unless tuberville can find a tourniquet to stem the Ls the raiders are likely to bleed.

red raiders fans can only hope tuberville can get tech's act together before they take it on the road, and on the chin, again. is it too soon to get the rail ready? aio