Friday, May 29, 2009

Padre Signs With Another Team, His Ball's In Pope's Court Now

Father Alberto Cutie, the Catholic priest from Fla. who admitted having a romantic affair and breaking his vow of celibacy, is joining the Episcopal Church to be with the woman he loves, he said Thursday. To show this will not be completely tongue in cheek, I will allow that despite my preponderance to use wordplay, his last name is actually pronounced koo-tee-AY.

For what it's worth, his new team announced that he will go right into the rotation, and make his first start on Sunday, after his usual six days rest.
A spokesman from the diocese he is leaving, John C. Favalora, archbishop of the Catholic Church's Miami archdiocese, had a few choice words for the departing pastor, starting with the Revelation that he hasn't been granted his release yet. Apparently he signed a no trade clause, that only the GM (Pope,you guess what GM is an acronym for) can sign off on.....well, he's the one that can hold the pen anyway.

As with many such team switches, it seems that a rivalry is sure to develop. According to CNN, Favalora also had harsh words for the Episcopal church's decision to accept Cutie. "This truly is a serious setback for ecumenical relations and cooperation between us," he said.

This in a way, shouldn't come as such a shock to many folks. The practice of taking, or inventing a new gig to improve one's lot in life, isn't like a new concept, even in religion, especially in this country. If you don't think so, think of the original bunch of settlers being primarily Catholic or Church of England.....okay, not counting Salem, Mass. Now go open your Sunday paper or Yellow Pages, and thumb over to the church directory. I rest my case. Even in my hometown, Footloose, Tx, there are a number of folks who years ago, swapped dunking for dancin'. The drive was two blocks closer on Sunday, and the possibilities on Friday and Saturday night increased exponentially.

Well, all kidding aside, I wish the man the best. He is in love, and that is a natural and wonderful thing...........and by the way, she's a cutie too.......sorry, couldn't resist.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A Tale of Two Blogs - Well, Three Actually

First the two. I find myself back in good graces of The Victoria Advocate, after being banned. I am not going to go into that other than to say that I accepted being excommunicated, and I moved on, and created or re-created my blog here.
I had or have mixed emotions about being reinstated in that space. I have been blogging there through at least a couple of management and editor changes at the Advocate, and a couple of format an software changes to the blogs. I started out writing stories and a a few opinion pieces, and was fortunate to be part of a small group of writers that was accustomed to their writings being around for a day or two, and having some meaningful dialogue and interaction with a few readers. Needless to say, I was disappointed in the first change instituted by current management, when it became a free for all, anybody could blog if they could remember a password and username. I think after a rocky period, I adapted to the format, however much I grumbled from time to time. It just wasn't the same, and our stories and writings were pushed off the front page, almost before some late sleepers were able to even see them, and quite honestly, there were so many flippant and inconsistent new bloggers, that a lot of the old readers and commenters just gave up and quit reading. Well, was I in for a shock when the latest change was implemented. Same story, tenfold. What once was a small group of reasonably literate writers and readers/commenters, had turned into an absolute circus of geeks, freaks, and a 75/25 mix of some actual serious bloggers/commenters with something constructive to contribute, and in a reasonably literate fashion, and a majority of others just looking for a fight and someone to disagree with and a limited at best grasp of proper grammar, and the spelling skills of fifth graders. Now that I probably have pissed off management again, and that 75%, let me say that I realize that this is apparently the direction our society is headed, when it comes to online newspapers. Which is another reason I started my parallel blog. It is my blog. Only. If some of the other bloggers want to do one, more power to 'em, but what is on my page, is all that will ever be there. If I go a month between comments, that is fine too. As much as I do and have enjoyed the interaction with readers here, at times, I tire of some of the hayseed, illiterate vermin who come out from under the baseboards with no intention of doing anything but harassing and dealing out vicious personal attacks to the other bloggers.
So for anyone who has bothered to stay with me to this point, most everything you see there on my blog will have been published on Blogger first. There will be things posted here that are not relevant there, and there will be things posted here, that would likely get me busted again there. I am not belittling the Advocate forum in any way, and being interested in the issues and comings and goings of the place I was raised and have family and friends, I would like to contribute and participate there as long as I can. By the same token, I would like to invite anyone who reads my blogs there, to feel free to check this blog site also, as well as that of a former staff writer and blogger for the Vicad, and a fine wordsmith and veteran writer and newspaperman with a keen wit, whom I am sure you will find quite informative and very entertaining, with daily (when the urge hits him) to many other very good blogs, online publications and such.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Weight A Minute, This Can't Be Right..........

.......which is what I thought when I retrieved our invoice for a night in the old Stephen F. Austin Hotel this morning. Even feeling the effects of a five mile UPSTREAM kayak paddle on the Colorado yesterday, and a night of walking the streets of downtown Austin, I was still cognizant enough to glance at the document and see a short laundry list of outrageously priced little hotel room treats that we were apparently being gouged to the tune of about fifty bucks for. Now mind you while I have stayed in posh Manhattan hotels, as well as places with stick walls a thatched roof and a hammock for a bed, most of my hotel stays are in places like I stayed last night. Porcelain throne, plastic shampoo & conditioner bottles, a Klingon coffee maker, little pads and pens that go directly into the pocket of your backpack, a ten dollar bottle of Fiji water, that is like a fire alarm under glass - you don't dare open it unless your first born is choking on a continental breakfast bagel. Then there is the fridge. Most hotel/motels in rural recreational areas come with a functional, empty fridge, as opposed to the ones in the city which come with a tiny fully stocked fridge and a list hidden somewhere nearby with some really astonishing prices associated with sample sized candy bars, Red Bulls, Evian, and nuts and pretzels. I can safely say that I have never been on death's door from hunger and attempted to even sniff of one of these little high priced treats, so you can imagine my surprise at being charged an arm and a leg for a couple of midget water bottles, energy drinks and a can of pretzels almost light enough to float away on it's own. Which lead me to wonder at 7AM, even if I had gotten the munchies and raided that little treasure box, how did they know? Did they send someone to surreptitiously slip into our room as we slept, with a little flashlight to inventory the fridge? When I brought this to the attention of my partner,(an engineer by trade), she thought for a second or two, then reminded me that I had rearranged the contents of the box the night before to make room for a hunk of cheese and a bottle of White Truck Sauvignon Blanc (2007, which I highly recommend), and asked me what items I had to relocate to make room.........and sure enough, everything I moved was on the list even though with my photographic memory, I carefully returned each to it's proper place after I wiped them down for fingerprints. She surmised that the fridge had weight sensors that charged the little high priced treat to your room when it was moved. Well strip my gears and call me shiftless, if she wasn't dead on. What will they think of next? Call me a country boy for not figuring that one out. I wonder if the bed is also similarly rigged with little sensors that send activity reports back to hotel comm central. I'd really like to see that printout......... Next time, just for them making me wonder about all of these things, I think I am going to slam that bottle of Fiji water and refill it with tap water. Surely the glass top desk doesn't have pressure sensors..........

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Cuba - The Forbidden Fruit

I caught a piece in the New York Times this morning that I felt would be worth sharing and hearing some opinions on. It was about the island nation of Cuba - so close, yet so far away.

As a grade schooler, post WWII kid, I was intrigued and fascinated by the beauty of the place as I saw it in Life magazine and National Geographic. It had beautiful mountain waterfalls, and miles and miles of Caribbean beaches and coral reefs. I was too young to appreciate it at the time, but there also is quite the rich culture and historical significance as well.

Then came the revolution in Cuba, and the cold war, and Cuba falling to the "Red Menace", and the Cuban Missle Crisis. Then came the distinct possibility of the Soviet Union raining the same hell on us down south that we rained on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, just a decade and a half previous.

It's amazing, when watching bomb shelters being hastily built, and having school assemblies for the purpose of advising the kids on what to expect in the event of a nuclear attack and how to survive, how quickly a kid can forget about coral reefs, mountains, waterfalls and such.

Well, I am no longer a kid. Nor am I the least bit impressed by our government's continued resolve to attempt to rub the Cuban's nose in it for falling to the Communists. In case they haven't noticed, their laws have no teeth. You can go to Cancun or Montreal, and get in and out - no questions asked. Our embargo is having no effect on them, with the rest of the world free to and taking full advantage of the chance to travel there and to do trade with them.

For Pete's sake, Nixon made up with Communist China, and after all these years of kissing their butts and bestowing our technology on them, we are staring at quite a trade deficit. How much harm could it do to forgive and forget and get back to business with our Caribbean neighbors?

Just think, the price of Loon's cigars would surely go down. There would be a world of travel opportunities for us all, not to mention all that music, Rum, and all those reefs to dive on the south side of the island! I can't stand locked doors, and sooner or later, if they don't open it, I will take my wife and kids and my dear friends Wayne and Beckie and go in through the back door so we can get a taste of that forbidden fruit and blow some bubbles on those reefs! For a look at the NY Times story, go here Or just go to Google and have a look.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Honey, I Think We Need A Bigger Place

I don't speak barn swallow, but I am pretty sure that's what the ones who have a nest over my front door are chirping about of late......okay only door - I live in an apartment complex that for all the world probably is the closest thing our here in rice country that resembles a barn. You see, these cute little swallows (they're cute when they aren't dive bombing me anyway), apparently a monogamous little pair, and quite fruitful, a couple of months ago, right on time, constructed this little mud and straw nest that looks like a balcony. So the gal pal and my kids and I have been waiting for the inevitable couple of chicks to appear, poking their little beaks over the edge of the nest on the lookout for mom or dad returning with grubs or some other such tasty morsels.

Well about a week ago, they finally did. The girlfriend has said she's seen as many as six chicks, but I never see more than four as a rule, I am assuming they are taking turns standing on the each other's backs, as the nest just doesn't seem large enough for the flock these two proud parents hatched. I have watched the mama and papa swallows come and go, but they usually just stop on the wooden ledge and feed the kids, or simply do flybys to take inventory every few seconds.
I now notice about three feet away from the original nest, a new one being constructed, well after the nest building period and mating time for these little guys. One can only conclude that they, as humans do, can tell when they have outgrown their abode, and apparently are adding a master bedroom. That's fine by me, and very resourceful of the little feathered guys, but I wish the had budgeted in enough to their project for a new bathroom as well well away from my stairs.........I guess the upside to the mess, is that I at least know now that the dewberries are ripe and that if I beat the birds to them before they are all gone, I can pick enough for a couple of dewberry cobblers. Oh, and the Hindi script below is a testimonial to my stumbling through setting up this blog..........I left the translator on, and that is how "Honey, I Think We Need A Bigger Place" looks in Hindi. I just left it because it looks cool. My Indian friends should get a laugh out of that.......

हनी,इ थिंक बिंगो!