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.