Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Babe's Gets a Makeover

It was an empty, abandoned building. It was shocking pink. It used to be a strip club. It was Babe's.

Now, fortunately, somebody is doing something with it, definitely a pastel green and possibly office space.

According to the locals the building is not all that old, and was first a movie theater where you could have munchies and drinks - a concept now mainstream in hip places like Austin. Then after a metamorphosis, it became Babe's. The Town frowned as questionable folks snuck into the black doors of the shocking pink building.

Myself, I never went in those evil doors, having heard one or two contractor friends of mine blow their week's paycheck and get a DWI courtesy of Babe's. "Skank" was how they described the talent, "Skank but good at what they do." No need to go there, folks!

This was all pretty coincidental because I snapped a picture the same day Frank Bruni of New York Times wrote about how good the steaks are at some strip clubs. I think that's where they get the term "New York Strip Steak."

No wisecracks about the buns, hear?

Saturday, February 24, 2007

A Big Week on de Island, Mon

After being on Monday’s turtle boat excursion, the busy week continued, in between office work and all that. Tuesday was Bay Area Task Force day, when we had a presentation by a “master naturalist” regarding acceptable plants for the bay ending planters, which really are 4-foot round sewer pipes (the irony is there …). The list was about exactly as I thought, even for a newbie like myself … but apparently a big cat-fight broke out when I had to leave early. Sheesh, folks, we’re not building a submarine here; we just want to green flowery stuff in the planters, for crying out loud!

Wednesday was my presentation in front of the Board of Aldermen in a public meeting. The topic was historical preservation and we had some Power-Point slides – we even got all practiced up. I had a wee bit of stage fright and can’t remember everything I said, but I had the audience laughing, smiling, and slapping their knees. The Aldermen passed three resolutions, anyway: (1) create a historical commission, (2) save the Coast Guard “shack,” the oldest structure on the Island, and (3) to celebrate the Town’s birthday.

After that I left in a hurry to meet the wife for dinner. My sources say the town police chief came on after my presentation and commented that his presentation wasn’t nearly as funny as mine … he winked and nodded at two cops at the front door and everybody thought they were after me! Did I sneak a bad word like “boobie” into my presentation? Anyway, no handcuffs ensued.

Thursday was dentist day, which although I dread them I got some crowns on my front teeth and I look tons better in the mirror now. Big checks were written. It was worth it though.

Friday I learned I was going to be a grand-daddy. Eric called and said his girlfriend was kinda pregnant (what son, like 40% or even more?). I think he was having one of those “deer in the headlights” moments but I was very happy, and promised to embarrass the new parents and spoil the kid to no end, of course. Grandfather for me, great-grandfather for my dad!

Then Sandy Feet had her beach-shack house warming party, which couldn’t be beat. Lots of youngsters like us between 40 and 70 banging away on drums and drinking pink tuna margaritas. LOL, the tuna here is a fruit of the prickly pear cactus, which can also be made into jelly and jam but makes quite a tart margarita, no doubt there.

In all, a week on the Island to remember.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Nine Rescued Turtles Released

One of the best parts of saving turtles is throwing them back in the bay, which we did today with 9 Atlantic Green Turtles. This is the only boat/turtle launching in the entire US, since the federal government has all these rules and bureacracy ... that fellow there is named Jeff George and yes he has a federal permit to do this. May I repeat, nowhere else can one do this, just right here on South Padre Island.

This fellow here, known as "RRR-451" was released in 59 degree waters up north on the Intra-Coastal Waterway about marker 93, slightly south of the Cullum House. Young master RRR-451 is about 3 years old and quite handsome, looking like a little astronaut or something.

It was a great day. Thanks to Sea Turtle, Inc. and American Diving for making this possible.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Manana Time

Lot's of catching up to do, but here's a good one - the US Congress decided it would be a good idea to change Daylight Savings from April to early March - that's March 11th this year, right around the corner. Well, that ought to screw up all the time-conscious people and half the computers!

Out here on the Island, such matters are almost laughable. You ask for a contractor bid and the fellow might be there in five minutes or five days.

Now all this was so some yahoo politicians could claim they were saving the US of A billions of dollars in energy. Now wait a minute, won't is be dark if we "spring ahead" so we have to wake up an hour earlier? I'm clueless here - it sounds like more energy would be required but who am I to say and why do I even give a darn?

Maybe we need to pass a law that says it's five o'clock here all the time. I've never seen such hooey in many a year.

SPI History Updated

If you want to see where ZZ Top used to jam out, you'll have to go over here.

More Turtle Business

This Friday the Town will commemorate "turtle days" with this lovely flag created by Christy (left) and sponsored by Nancy (right). It is at 10:00 at the Island Visitor Center. Plans are that the flag will fly until the end of turtle season, when the egg-laying is finished. Oh, did we mention the Saturn Street Uke Band will be playing there?

According to Jeff over at Sea Turtle, Inc., a bunch of turtles rescued from the recent winter "cold shock" storm will be released on Monday. This is open to the public but does require a reservation on the boat, which is down by American Diving at Sea Ranch Marina. Be there at 4:30 if you've made your reservations.

Yep, we go pretty nutty about saving our turtles down here! It will be good to see them swim again.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Surfside Chili Fest

Yes, they do let me out sometimes and here I am getting an award up at a chili festival up in Surfside, Texas. I heard it rained cats and dogs down here for the Chili Fest at Louie's, but it was probably warmer than 46 degrees and blowing from the north at 20. But anyway, it takes real courage to make chili on the beach especially in those conditions - I'd love it if we did it that way down here!

Several dozen folks attended the gathering of the Coalition of Confused Coastal Fishermen and other than being cold as heck it was fun. Think of them as "Sons of the Beach" with a fishing rod. Naturally, my pose here was suitably confused, since I didn't even cook a batch of chili. Nope, that's the Trash-Talking Award.

I guess I started it all out by posting stuff about the Pink Tutu, which to a redneck means they're ... you know, pink tutu-ish. I even tried to get Christy down here to make a real Pink Tutu, although the timing wasn't right. Maybe I should have done the Pink Seagull Award instead. Oh well, I did shout "yay" when I came back over the causeway today, glad to be warm again, and back home.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Going Postal on SPI

Has anyone else had problems with the SPI post office? Sheesh, they've returned so much that we've had to call nearly all our accounts because our locals here. All the bills and trash mail comes at the end of the month and we missed clearing our box out one time and I think they started throwing mail in the trash.

Then I noticed something funny, a few letters that made it through the madness they call the local post office. The letter was crossed out on our address and said "not a valid P.O. Box" but it made it anyway. I'll have what they're drinking or smoking, because the local post master said to use our street address and the mail would automatically go to our cluster box on Lantana Street (Cluster 10, Box 1). The only thing automatic seems to be a cluster f**k.

It is so bad a local business asked me for my mailing address so I said the street address and he replied "son, you don't really live here, do you?" By now I'm about to go postal myself.

Funny, all this noise started when the Winter Texans came down to SPI to open up mail box accounts, and the poor fellows probably went over the edge. Really, the entire Island was supposed to go off P.O. boxes for real residents over a year ago - I mean I signed a piece of paper twice (and two times again!) to prove it. In the back of the cluster box it says our names and our street address. How hard is that?

Sorry to say it, but when I need important stuff like goods and money, I use a real mail carrier. No offense, folks, but I've had stuff turned off because of the poor service. Plus, all the UPS and FedEx drivers are like way cool people, fun. I don't get that from the local U.S. Postal Service.