Saturday, October 30, 2010

Hurricane Tomas

Photo of October 26th Storm - NASA
Record Low Pressure in Minnesota

In the last week we had an un-named storm in the Mid-West (above picture as of 10/26) and now we have Tomas approaching the Antilles in the picture below (10/30/2010). This is truly strange, powerful weather for this time of year. The gurus are studying this stuff, like why the central pressure can drop so fast and so low. Climate change? We'll see.

Enhanced Photo if Hurricane Tomas - NOAA
Water Vapor

Hurricane Tomas has a large circulation and is expected to go Cat 2 or 3 before running into wind sheer, and blending into a cold front. Very dry air extends from the Yucatan through Cuba. The storm in hot pink color on the right appears to be redeveloping and is already quite large.

Graphic - Unisys
GFS-x Model

This is a roughly 6-7 day future scenario when Tomas is now east of Cuba, the blob in the lower right. It is the pushing force of that big Mid-West storm as shown in a big red-orange loop at the middle of the picture, how much and when. Various models do different things but you can get a sense of the spaghetti after a while. Gawd I love spaghetti.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Health Insurance

This is not a post about Obama-care but I can say that we've been having hell over the medical insurance. To make a long story short, Lori the wife had a public school job with cheap insurance, she left, COBRA didn't work although it would have been nice for 18 months, and we're faced with monthly payment of over $850 and that includes a $5000 deduct on major hospital stuff. After applying with several places and getting quotes, they're calling back wanting to know when's the last time I had sex, and personal questions like that.

Humana rejects people for being slightly overweight and another says that mild hypertension is cause for WWIII. Asthma, forget it!

Then I got to figuring. Assuming I'm healthy and including the dang dentist, we spend no more than $5000 a years on drugs and doctors, both of us. But the insurance costs $10,000! I guess they're banking I won't stroke out or something ... but remember they want $5000 if I get the farts and think it's one, just to visit a hospital.

Now something is wrong here. I want my insurance to cover my arse for the regular stuff and if I want the hospital stuff, well I can add that on as the economy comes back all rosy and ducky-wucky. Ten years and I can draw retirement, retirement insurance, Medicaid, and all kinds of freebies. I have to wonder about this all ... but I plod along, and send them documents, and keep going because it is the American way, being a good boy. It is getting tiresome, though.

For all this, Lori is seriously thinking about working for the man again, like a school district, since they insure you for everything even if you are a walking medical time-bomb. That's about half the cost, perhaps $400 to $500 a month. It just doesn't seem right to screw the independent small business person, though.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Great Ambiguity

We can only guess that as the Great Recession of 2007-2009 fades into memory, that things seem to resist doing well - economically of I would say even deeper, philosophically. it seems as though the grand Experiment failed ... now what?

So things are great, wonderful, and living in paradise, yet going to heck at the same time. The environment is clean, healthy, and getting better, yet we live in a world of trash and ones of the largest oil spills ever. We want to "take back the USA" but don't have a clue how to do that, other than kicking foreigners out of our borders.

Ambiguity is prevalent everywhere one looks. We hate taxes or the prospect of raising taxes, so we'll call them "fees" and jack up all the fees one can find - a fee is just a tax in sheep's clothing. For example, the Cameron County Parks want to jack up beach fees from 3 to 4 dollars to 12 dollars, and incredible increase of 300 to 400 percent!

Back in the late 60s through the 90s, we fought over matter of high principle, from the Hippie Revolution to the protests about the Iraq War. But now it is the Great Blah, a time of stasis and contradiction, and death by a thousand little fees. We simply don't know what to think. I ponder the notion, and have no answers.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Wow is this summer or what?


Partly Cloudy
Lo 83 °F

Isolated Showers Chance for Measurable Precipitation 20%
Hi 92 °F

Partly Cloudy
Lo 82 °F

Mostly Sunny
Hi 89 °F

Mostly Clear
Lo 83 °F

Mostly Sunny
Hi 89 °F

Mostly Clear
Lo 83 °F

Mostly Sunny
Hi 88 °F

Mostly Clear
Lo 82 °F

Friday, August 13, 2010

Her Eyes

Those far away green eyes
Staring as if through me
Beckoning, as if a dare
But ready to smack me down
The hint of a smile
That "come hither" expression that only a man knows
Suggesting good times like you've never experienced
The arch of an eyebrow
A quick blink of those far away eyes
And I swear, a wink!
Gosh I wish my dog wouldn't stare at me like that

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Screw You, Dell

In this day and age of computers in which we seem so dependent, I was amazed when my hard drive on the desktop crashed last month. Boy what a bullshit runaround that was! So a week or so later when I finally got my stuff back together I called my dad up in Maine. He reported that Dell sold millions of laptops and desktops fully knowing that the hard drives would fail, due to a power control issue with the disk controllers. Unfortunately, this is not a big issue on the blogs these days, but Dell owes me several grand now.

But screw them, and I'm thinking about shopping with somebody else. Come to think of it, two or two laptops malfunctioned as well. After being a faithful customer for years, I feel like I should "get even" but I don't have the 10 grand to sue the retards.

This isn't something about a computer virus or some BS like that. It's called a "planned hardware malfunction right after the warranty expires." Do you now how hard that is to recover when you're a small business? All those groovy programs must be downloaded again and if you don't have the license key, well, you're going to have to pay again! True, some where free but most programs cost between $30 and $7,000 dollars. You didn't read that wrong, that's seven thousand dollars. I was able to hack that expensive program but that's not right!

Living on "cracked" licenses really sucks and I hate that. I've been paying my way since 1994 when I started this computer piddling. I think the government should sue the crap out of Dell for having substandard equipment because otherwise, I had a perfectly good system with an expensive surge protector, firewall router, and the top of the line stuff (for a Micro-Shaft Computer anyways). So now my PC is always barking at me 20 ways like "your copy of this software is not genuine."

It's OK and I so get to rant, but in this dang Great Recession I didn't need to be spending thousands of dollars on software because of some company THAT KNEW THEY HAD DEFECTIVE PARTS.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Summertime Blues

Been working hard the last month or two, and am finally coming up for air. Sure beats worrying about going broke! Been having a little fun although not as much fishing as I'd like. For a while the surf was good but now it's pretty flat, although hot as Hades in the afternoon.

Hard to believe that August is already upon us, and that the summer trade will soon end and turn us back into a ghost town - which suits me fine although the locals need the booty because things got a little slow because of Hurricane Alex. The TIFT has passed and today is the Lady's Kingfish Tournament.

The garden did well on its first crop, although the tomatoes died off and I pulled a bunch up after Hurricane Alex. We now have some okra and various melons coming along - don't ask what kind of melons because we eat one up and throw the seeds into the garden! No telling if it's a watermelon or a butternut squash until they fruit ... I hope they don't cross pollinate. I hope the honeydew and cantaloupe does good. When it gets cooler, back to fall tomatoes & peppers and then herbs and onions.

The fam seems to be doing well, with kids moving about - Samantha left last month for Austin. The oil gusher off Louisiana has been plugged, which is good news for my brother in Biloxi. Hard to keep up with everything but no bad news, anyway. Hope y'all are doing well, too.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Let's All Freak Out!

After a rough recession, with the state of the current economy and deficit, things were getting depressing. But for the most part, people kept their heads together. Now with an uncontrollable oil gusher off Louisiana and possible hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico, it appears that many have completely lost their minds.

Attempts to interject some sanity or realism to the situation does not help, a fact which frustrates me to no end. The entire ocean is dead, all of it, and a hurricane is going to blow us to Kingdom Come. OK, I can handle that, but why freak out?

Many years ago, Frank Zappa said the same things about people getting so upset, what with the hippie revolution, Vietnam, and weirdos who thought is was Armageddon. Gosh we made it through that easy enough, didn't we? If Frank Zappa was alive today he'd be horrified.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day!

photo credit: Melissa

That's a picture of the international surf camp on our beach, with lots of dads teaching kids how to surf on a beautiful Sunday, Father's Day. It's actually good the surf isn't roaring today, and I'm sure the kids had a great time.

The wife got me a pair of fancy surfer's board shorts, so maybe they're trying to tell me something? LOL, should be expecting some easterly swell maybe by mid-week. Whew, it's a little early for the Dog Days of summer.

After staring at that underwater oil leak on the blog, I decided it was time to get happy again. Funny, tourists are calling up businesses down here asking if the oil is bad - when that's like 400 miles away.

By the way, it's officially summer tomorrow morning, with the Summer Solstice at about 8:30 in the morning. Oh, and Happy father's Day too!

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Just When Things Were Getting Better

I promise not to dwell on the heartache, tears, pollution, and busted lives because of the Deepwater Horizon blow-out. But gee, right when things seemed to be going OK, some recovery from the Great Recession, and a few good things coming out of Congress, this happens. The National Mood Indicator swung from nearly the middle about 50% to Zero.

I don't know if there's a way to cuss and discuss this boondoggle of major proportions in any constructive way. I blog with the environmentalists and they accuse me, and environmentalist by trade, of being a fool because I won't ban Big Oil today. I know better than trying to ban anything, but that's how ardent they are ... just as the fools who say "drill baby, drill baby now." Or something like that.

Perhaps some happier ideas will float into my head ... I will sat that Sam & Lori Days with all the birthdays and our anniversary was a wondrous great time, and I couldn't have picked a better place to celebrate it.

Friday, May 07, 2010

The State of the Universe

I think it was Einstein who said that the universe and human stupidity are expanding - and he wasn't too sure about the universe. Funny quote.

But here is out island mascot, an American alligator of moderate size who lives at the pond by the SPI Convention Centre. Scalet used to call her "Allie" although I don't know if this one is different or even a boy. Come to think of it, alligators are so mean and ugly to me, I never thought about "sexing" a male or female. I mean these guys could eat you for lunch.

So a nice lady takes this photo and says "it was sleeping peacefully and basking in the sun." I know some of the alligator language and that boy or girl is fixing to eat some dang dinner! Classic attack pose for an ambush feeder, since they mainly feed in the water and are amazingly strong in the water. Don't these people know anything?

I got into an argument with Allie one time when she was on dry land to sleep. I'd talk pretty to her and she'd hiss, blowing air out her nostrils and trying to be tough. Sooo, being weird, I did her hiss back to her. The dang girl nearly came unglued with fury. I'm no "alligator whisperer" but that was quite an experiment. I swear she winked at me when I blew her an air kiss, though.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Testing 1-2-3

No I'm not a rock 'n' roll star, I seeing if this thang still works!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Last Post Until New Server

Wee doggie, it's been a ride since 2004 or 2005 when I started on Google Blogger. Google still seem to indicate that I need to migrate to a new server thang, and the instructions are so incomprehensible I just gave up - time for something new.

But it's been fun. I have met a ton of people, some through this very porthole on humanity, and not a single bummer. Not even a troll, wow!

I don't know where I'll be, although I do think that "poofnwhiff" is an unusual name if you want to search for my new stuff after May. I be sure to keep that name if I can.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

This Is Better

Lori approves of this post.

Friday, April 09, 2010

The Garden Box

After begging from local vendors like Veranda's, Bayview, and various dirt haulers like for Brownsville compost, I gave up and went to Wal-Mart. That's a cubic yard of potting soil in a four by eight frame made of two by twelve treated pine. Obviously, the stuff settles so maybe a wee bit more soil and an inch of mulch and by late Sunday, I am "in like Flint." Expensive little booger but it should last years with some TLC.

After seeing how well Sandy Feets' salad garden was doing, I finally got with the program. This one is for tomatoes, a few peppers, and herbs - and whatever darlings that Lori picks out. Summer okra to follow if the plants get sunburn too bad, and love those multiplying onions.

Oh well, got tired of calling and getting dissed so I took the bull by the horns and crossed the Causeway. Twenty minutes after getting home I took this photo ... doesn't look too bad. FYI, the comforter we had on our bed when we got married is now the "weed screen" on the bottom. Now we're talking some major tomato potential here!

Friday, April 02, 2010

EDC Bird-Brain Boondoggle Continues

Well it is the holy week for many Christians, but unholy things have been happening at the World Bird Brain Center next to the SPI Convention Center. There used to be nice, free walkways there on the south side of the Convention Center, but the EDC took that over and put up a gate.

So some prankster - not me - comes along and steals the gate, hinges and roots and all. I think that God made him do it.

In their infinite wisdom, the EDC erected a wood panel blocking the access completely. They could care less about the birders: all they want your money. Five bucks and you can get in the front door. See, the World Bird Brain Center decided to be self-funded by gate revenue and that was a huge mistake. I could care less about their boondoggle as long as I don't have to bail them out, because the Town guaranteed and voted "yay" on the project. But when they take my free access and commercialize it, I get mad. Apparently, so does He.

Let's not go into how in the early days of our town, the Convention Center was funded by hotel taxes for the sake of the common good, and us local land and property owners already bought it once. But from what I can tell, the EDC went to Cameron County and got "easement rights" to those old walking boards that go out over the marsh, two of them, one going to the alligator pond and the other to a nice little pavilion on the bay.

So the World Bird Brain Center effectively annexed all that land. Amazing, isn't it? Nobody else has an easement there except for the electric company at that giant, ugly transformer station ... as well as the water works, and that's no trespassing.

So here we are paying for all that again. Oh, and plus the price of some fancy-schmancy gate that some Yahoo stole.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

The End of The World

Ever since mankind got a conscience, which is unique to us homo sapiens, we have thought about the end of time. I am not going to talk fluff like the Mayan calendars and stuff like that. Judging from this most beautiful picture I ripped from NASA, some galaxy light years away, the world will end with a limp Willy.

Well hey it makes sense, right? The last thing you're going to think about when the world is ending is what your Willy thinks. I hear that and sorry to be tawdry.

I used to be a poet-freak and read some T.S. Eliot; my favorite quote was something like "the world will not end with a bang, but a whimper." It's a different kind if the end-of-world thing. The absolute best thing I ever wrote was as a rookie in 1974, "the world will not end with a bang, but a Whopper." Priceless.

Now here's the wrap-up. Whenever I watch a beach bonfire, for some fool reason I think about the end of the world.

Monday, March 15, 2010

I Still Can't Believe I'm Here

I'm still amazed by this place. I live on that skinny strip on the right side. But what amazes me is this big bright green thing in the middle. I'm thinking, "is Google Earth pulling my leg?" I had no idea.

Trust me, the bay goes all the way over to the the far right, pretty much. Odd looking brown blobs near the bottom of the map. What the hell are those? Bahia Grand dust bowls?

I'm starting to wonder if I was stark raving mad to move down here.

Hey no comments from the peanut gallery! But what amazes me is how well we've done here, especially Lori with her PHD stuff and all. My businesses didn't dry up and blow away. And in spite of all those green masses and brown blobs, we still really like it on the Sandspit.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

No Parking Wars on SPI

Yes that is the infamous Fail Whale from Twitter. I though that was fitting because of a boondoggle about parking to be able to walk to the beach here on SPI. Right now, it is against the law to park in any east-west streets connecting to Gulf Blvd unless you have a hurricane permit or some special permit chit.

None, nada, only us locals I guess.

Many of us local are mad about this. Only a few really pissy property owners complained about this problem, perhaps a half dozen John Birch Society old farts.

So the deal was supposed to be, parking near the beach would be curtailed but the Town would get us some remote parking with a free WAVE bus system. Well there's no remote parking. The deal was broken right there. There are no immediate plans for where all you nice visitors could park.

Now that's a heck of a message. I mean who had the brain fart here? It sure stunk up the room and that kind of attitude is going to run off all the tourists. BAD DOG.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Demise of the Bloggies

I started this blog in 2004 before moving from outside Austin to South Padre Island. Over the last year, I have seen a lot of bloggers simply stop posting. I find this curious, although people like communicating in 140 letter phrases like Twitter - and that includes the blanks between the words! It became more like "Oogga-boogga WTF, LOL" and you're supposed to understand that.

Worse yet, many forgot how to spell simple words like the contraction YOU'RE and would write YOUR or worse yet UR, the latter a convention from phone texting.

And people wonder why our country is going to pot. To me, there is a directly correlation between good writing and good thinking. I even see it in these younger kids who are my bosses now, who simply cannot read unless you put in lots of bullets - of no more than 140 characters!

For the same reason, those who think the "social networks" like Twitter and Facebook are good, are somewhat twisted in their thinking. Another passing fad I suppose, because I know there's no profit in it other than for some geek programmers. People are leaving Twitter too, and joining Facebook in droves. I see another bubble there too.

I guess I feel sorry that the blogs are no longer in fashion. I'll keep at it especially if I find some interesting stories or pictures, but it's not like the past when it was a point of pride. Such is life, I guess, and things come and go.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Tea Bag Parties?

Here's a picture of Texas Governor "good hair" Perry leading a bunch of tea bag party folks, made famous because of his ludicrous belief that Texas should secede from the United States. Unfortunately, it looks like he'll be out next governor.

But aside from these laughs, I truly am worried about these strange alliances, such as with the John Birch Society. Those people were idiots of the 1960s and what, they're back in favor with the ultra-conservative mainstream? Man we really are screwed then, aren't we?

OK, we can write off Texas but the interesting part is that elsewhere, the Tea Bag Party hates the GOP, especially Bush and McCain. I hope they fight like tigers and maul each other. That would be fun to watch.

The Tea Bag Party - home of the deranged, the disgruntled, and people who fly planes into the IRS building in North Austin. If they weren't armed to the teeth with heavy ammo I would insult the crap out of them.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

No Global Warming?

January 2010 compared to 1971-2000 average temperatures, NASA

There's a lot of misunderstanding and trash talk about climate change these days, and I'd like to point out that in spite of all the warts and errant emails, January 2010 was the second warmest on record since the 1880s (source: Jeff Masters blog).

It makes sense too. You can see the cool areas in northern Australia, Europe, and the south-central US including Florida. Oh, and it's warmer in Vancouver. You really can't deny that.

You can debate all you want what it means, or compare it to what you think happened in the Medieval days, whether carbon dioxide is the culprit, whatever. But I still hear people saying "there has been no global warming since 1995." This is blatantly untrue. The rate of warming may have slowed since then, and when annualized the results don't seem very much, but the temperatures are still warmer and warmer.

There are some that will still say that "they cooked off all the numbers and faked them." Sorry folks, since 1979 we've had some satellite sensors up in space that aside from some calibration issues, is very good quality data - and NASA is taking efforts to make the data available to the public so you can interpret it for yourself.

So let's clear the air here: climate change and a warming trend is happening.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

One beer at the Wanna

A couple times a week I visit the Wanna-Wanna on South Padre just because it has seen unusually cold and it has a million dollar view. That's Rick on the right, and old-timer from the Sheraton days, and Joey.

One hundred and eighty degrees the other way is a million-dollar view of the ocean. It's cool to watch the high seas during a winter storm, inside a Tiki bar with plastic windows up and the propane porch heater cranked on high.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Bird O' Paradise

I was working in the backyard and noticed an odd growth on our bird of paradise. There were three dark shoots and the one on the right side had already flowered. I must have missed it in all this cold and rain. Anyway, I'm waiting to see that the other two do.

It's been there a while, too, over 5 years and we had it as a potted plant in Austin for several years before moving here. I guess it decided to do its thang.

Monday, February 01, 2010

First Signs of Spring

it might seem like jumping the gun, being in the throes of deep winter, but there are subtle signs of spring appearing here and there. The Huisache is making little flower buds that will turn the bushes a deep color of gold. That's always the first native plant to slower down here.

You can tell spring is right around the corner because the clover grows fast. I wish is was a pretty clover, but most of the older yards with native grass get burrs, and are treated as pests. Next, noxious weeds will sprout as if by magic, evil looking plants indeed.

Barring a hard freeze - one more cold front is forecast in maybe two weeks - the mimosa trees and Tepaquatche will start to flower by Spring Break, with the mesquites to follow several weeks later. The palm trees with sprout long shoots from their tops as well, meaning allergy season will be on its way. Hey, what's a few sneezes when spring is fixing to happen?

If you look real close, you can see small plants that I call "bluebonnets," although the wine cups and various colored oddities (whose name are a mystery to me) will not flower for quite some time.

Now is the time when Valley fruit and vegetables reach their maximum. Fortunately, the January freezes didn't hurt the crops very much.

Curiously, you can tell spring is right around the corner when the Winter Texans finally show up in full force. February is maybe our biggest month for the wandering snow birds. It is still cold as Hades up north, but spring starts this month down here at latitude 26.

And the Kite Fest is always a harbinger of spring as well. This year's show was quite chilly but the crowds were some of the largest ever, according to the sponsors.

And soon you'll see the Spring Break venues start gearing up for Texas Week, which is around the third week of March. February is too early but only time will tell if the trucks will show up at places like Chaos and Mooncussers, the revamped Tequila Frogs. Louie's also does some major construction on the deck some years.

And just like the land crabs, we'll emerge from our burrows. Speaking of crabs, the ghost crab on the beachside had a pretty good spawn this year, with lots of new crab holes in the beach.

And watch your birds. The seagulls and roseatte spoonbill will go into mating colors. The redwing blackbirds will begin to assemble for their migration, squawking like banshees.

It's a wee bit early for spring yet, but if you look closer there are some signs.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Farmville: Don't Get Stumped

It turns out that a bunch of my otherwise sane buds are playing Farmville, which somehow is snorkeled or hosed into Facebook. Hey no diss, and I do crazy things waiting for work or motivation too! The winter ennui can be a bitch. I just thinks it's an appropriate comment on our society today.

What I'm not exactly sure, though.

Judging by the horny duck in the picture I ripped off from the Inter-Web, it can't be all that bad, and certainly better than the insanity of Pac-Man. Lori also had a rather intelligent game to build a Hobit village, and it went a noisy bloop-bloop for hours on end (much to my distraction). She hit on that real hard when public school was off last Christmas.

Keep your proverbial farm overalls up, my friends, because them farm animals are always wanting to mess with ya, them dang ducks and geese and guineas are the worst because they want to chase you and peck your ess. Pet swans are the worst. You can tell the city people because they'll always run. Whew lawdy I hear banjo music now!

Monday, January 25, 2010

The Landfilling of SPI

The land is rising around South Padre Island. It not because of any geology, but because they're bringing in landfill by the truckload. The fill material is mainly from landfills outside San Bonito and is higher in clay, better "foundation soil." The reason is because new flood elevation laws that require new construction to be at least 5 feet above street grade (the SPI roads are about 5 feet above mean sea level).

I can see why certain elevations are needed, although with stilt houses it shouldn't matter. Look at what Mr. Fanke did on The Shores, with a blow-though garage downstairs and the living areas on the second and third floors. I don't think he used a lot of landfill material except for shaping some landscaping. You have to admit it is pretty nice.

That's a sore issue but I also fear for the land itself; it turns it into yet more impervious cover that won't replenish the shallow freshwater aquifer we have. That's important if you have a small tree or want a big bush. I don't know if anyone has thought about that. The largest freshwater lenses we have under the island are probably those empty lots along Padre Boulevard, between Isla Blanca and Schlitterbaun, and up by some rather large dunes up to the north. I have no idea if the dang aquifer is important but I do know that if we pave this island solid with impervious cover, not a speck of native green anywhere, there would be Hell to pay.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Spring Fever Already

It's one of those days in the winter where it feels like spring and my mind turns to the wreck that my yard is. You folks to the north might be jealous about green grass - but that's another problem because it's a nasty kind of invasive grass that can grow 2 feet tall in a week. We call it pigeon grass because it's not Johnson grass although we usually use cuss words to describe it.

Finally after a year and a half it looks like the salt from Hurricane Dolly is going away a little, a problem because we flooded from the bayside which is saltier than the sea and I lost about half of my plants.

And it's time to plant winter veggies now because it will be too hot after Easter. Then I want some new ornamentals, more plumeria because I lost a bunch (I have some starts), and dammit some bananas that will produce! Oh, and to get rid of that pigeon grass and sticker burrs.

If anyone has any ideas let us know about the f&$*!@g grass let me know. I do have a bunch of native Texas bluebonnet-type plants that come up in the spring so I don't really want to kill all those too, and forget about Roundup. Thanks!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Another Old Arsehole

Here's some weird picture of William of Ockham from the early 1300s. Now that's an old fart, a man who revolutionized physics, philosophy, and theology but was condemned as a heretic and you know, was kind of a blow-hard and a good old boy. I mean, look at the picture below, was this guy whacked?

From this we get Occam's Razor -- this is the same guy with a different spelling, and why he is such an important dude. Not sure what it means but I read up about Occam a coupla years ago, honest. It's something about keeping it simple. Maybe. Who cares?

But when I listen to arguments like about climate change and global warming, or some other controversial topic like public health insurance or immigration naturalization, I think "what would William of Ockham say?" Would he swing right or left, if he was alive today?

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Saying Nice Things about Tara

There has been a lot of hoo-ha and negative media about Tara Rios lately but I want to say that as a rookie freshman representative up in Austin she did amazingly well. It was unfortunate that several families had to be dragged into court situations that ended up in the local paper, and the SPI Forum ranted about the hotel tax allocation, and El Rocinante (a blogger) wrote hateful things, but Tara did good. I will be glad to listen to the challenger for her legislative seat but so far, I'm voting for Tara because she understand our little sandbar of an island, SPI. She understands the lower Valley and was a Corpus Christi kid, I believe.

And I don't care what somebody does in their spare time; nor is it my business. I like Tara because she's nice, is smart enough to be a great dentist, and is willing to listen. If I had some advice I'd say "Tara, forget about all that water under the bridge, keep doing good." If you haven't met Tara, she is real people and not some fake politician.

It is true that when she was part of 'Los Tres Amigos' on the SPI alderman, I had some questions or reservations about her. Towards the end though, she seemed to grow up and bloom. She ran for state rep against a sitting decorated Marine who was from the Kingsville area, and won. All the sudden us SPI locals were excited because we had a 'Local' up in Austin. Hey she could do some good ... and did, on the Democratic ticket, no less.

I want you all to clear your minds of all the hearsay and garbage and let Tara tell us where's she's at for the upcoming election. See what the challenger has to say, too. Make your decision then. But I want Tara to run again. If you fall off the horse when you're in a rodeo, you have to get back up on that horse and do good. It's the Texas way. Tara we love ya.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Laughing about Modernity

Here is Jimmy Hendrix at the 1967 Monterrey Pop Fest. Jimmy's estate found a whole bunch on unreleased tunes and will market them in early March. Music officials consider this an excellent move, since "nostalgia sells" and the market is flooded with music, much of it bad really music.

Now let's consider the hottest item (haha) at the latest gadget show, Roxxxy the sex robot. She is indeed a sign of our times, just as much as Hendrix was. I guess we can't relate with real people anymore, and $7,000 of talking robot is probably cheaper than marriage. But really, folks, do you want to sit around all day programming your sex 'bot with a laptop?

It just ain't right.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Flying Fish #459

Some more Hieronymus Bosch. Probably painted before the year 1500.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Dreaming about Indian Summer

I just realized that that stinkin' red tide ruined my Indian summer. Technically Indian summer comes after the first frost on a warm weekend, but down here on SPI it generally means the slow fall season before the water gets too darn cold. That's generally the last week in October or the first week of November.

Oh, and wouldn't it be cool to ride an Indian "Chief" motorbike down the beach for a ways, like the dude in the picture? I don't even ride motor-scooters but that sure looked like fun, slow and easy.

And for Canada, that picture sure looks like SPI beaches, nice and flat and wide. Hey, is that a lifeguard station too? My, I think I have lifeguard station envy now!

But yeah, by the time the water dropped from 81 to 58 degrees in the fall, the beaches and a bunch of the lower bay was fouled with noxious red tide fumes, almost metallic tasting in your mouth. Remember? A bunch of dogs and a few people got ill from it. Thank God it is gone now, and hopefully we're good for another 4 years until Nature rebels against us again in such a gross and unpleasant manner.

Now today, we await for the much-ballyhooed Arctic Blast that the media has pimped so much. It ain't fair, but I moved by the sea and I knew about hurricanes and even red tide, spring breakers, and oil spills. From what I've read, "killer freezes" are not all that uncommon here on SPI or in the Valley, with a bad one in 1989 that resulted in a major fish kill in the lower Laguna Madre. The bad one before that was in 1983.

So on such a prospect, yeah, I am daydreaming about riding my Indian on my beach, like Lyle Lovett riding his pony on his boat.

If I had a boat (click for U-Tube)

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

How to Catch a Flying Fish

Well, that pretty much explains how to catch flying fish in your wildest dreams, I suppose, a nice painting from a guy named Draper. Sorta cute, really.