September 1, 2006

A new month has arrived.  The first game of the season for the Groesbeck Goat football team
is tonight in Lorena.  Many years ago I was the public-address announcer for the Goat home
games.  I've been told many times I have a face made for radio, so I figured this would be a
good start to my broadcasting career.  The truth actually is that the principal of the high
school at the time was Mr. Hoel and he could not find anyone else willing to do it.  The press
box was an interesting environment.  The Middle School and Junior Varsity games would be
played on Thursdays and the Varsity game would be on Fridays.  On one particularly crisp
Thursday night, the climate-controlled press box was filling up with school  officials who did not
wish to brave the cold environs of old Goat Field.  Among the non-press heater moochers was
the Athletic Director/Head Coach at the time.  He decided to plant himself in the chair right
beside me.  I think he sat there so as to have easy access to the large bag of Fritoes I had
just opened.  He asked if he could have some and ended up devouring the majority of the
bag, but that is not the crux of the story.  The game progressed and another of the Goat
coaches arrived to the cozy confines of the press box.  To this day I have no idea what
precipitated the events about to transpire.  Evidently something had happened earlier in the
day which caused the head coach to be quite perturbed at his assistant coach.  He begin
hollering at his underling in a very stern tone of voice.  Needless to say, the other people in
the press box immediately became stone silent over this unexpected turn of events.  I would
say you could have heard a pin drop, but in reality all you could hear was the screaming of the
coach.  Now keep in mind this is happening about one foot beside me while I am trying to
announce the game over an open microphone.  In other words, for a few moments the
screamfest was being enjoyed by everyone in the crowd.  When I saw people in the stands
turning around to get a view of the proceedings, I knew it was time to cut the mike.  Both of
these coaches had been my teachers when I went to Groesbeck High, so I found myself in a
very uncomfortable situation.  I considered telling the head coach I would take the bag of
Fritoes away if he didn't calm down, but he did not look in the mood to be bothered.  After a
minute or so I suppose he had released enough testosterone to calm down, and the shouting
came to a merciful end.  I resumed the broadcast and everyone in the press box acted like
nothing had happened.  I found it all quite strange.

As I have said numerous times, we have some good kids working at the Kosse Cafe.  Among
them is Tiffany Johnston.  Tiffany is the stepdaughter of John Rigler and is one of our evening
waitresses.  She's involved in a number of extra-curriculer activities at Groesbeck High School,
including being on the yearbook staff.  I stopped by the cafe last night and she immediately
ran over to talk to me.  She asked if I would like to support her school.  I told her I do in fact
donate to many school activities.  She then begin giving me a sales pitch for buying an ad in
the yearbook.  It took only a few seconds for me to garner the gist of her request and tell her
yes, I will purchase a yearbook ad.  She kept giving me her sales pitch so I told her once again
I would buy one.  She still continued with the sales pitch so I finally said, "Yes Tiffany, I will buy
an ad!"  She responded by telling me she heard me but she had been instructed to finish her
sales speech.  I dutifully stood there and listened to the remainder of her spiel, wishing for a
moment I could regain the wide-eyed exuberance of a totally uncynical sixteen year old.

Divine Image Headline of the Day:
Will Wonders Never Cease?           

August 31, 2006

Our hottest August in history has thankfully come to its end.  Our 7-day forecast predicts only
one day above 100 degrees (tomorrow) with lows each night in the 60's.  Maybe I'm just
getting more heat intolerant with advancing age, but this summer has zapped me.  

The scourges of age are eventually felt by all.  My mother, who is 83, has had another major
medical setback.  She underwent surgery this morning to have her breast removed.  This is
her second bout with breast cancer so she will be unable to undergo radiation treatments.  
(She has already reached her lifetime limit.)  She will begin chemotherapy soon, suffering
once again through the vicious side-effects to her already battered body.  

Finally got to meet Kosse Chamber of Commerce President Ray Bowden in person.  He is one
of many emigres who have added diversity of ideas and actions to benefit Kosse.  What a
friendly and interesting person we found him to be.  To say he has an active background
would be an understatement.  His office is lined with photos and plaques from his days as a
triathlete, skydiver, mountain climber, and cyclist.  Ray has recently been diagnosed with a
physical ailment which has put an end to the more demanding of his activities, although he did
say he still cycles in 30-40 mile increments.  While there is no cure or prognosis for
improvement, Ray has decided (in his own words) to be a guinea pig for clinical trials at a
Galveston hospital.  He said his affliction is hereditary, and he wants to do everything possible
to prevent his children and grandchildren from undergoing what he has, and if that involves
medical procedures and inconvenience for the foreseeable future, then so be it.  What a
selfless outlook.

In a 1988 interview with Jay Leno, Frank Zappa (of 1960's rock music fame) discussed a
conversation he had recently had with the head of the Soviet News Agency TASS.  Zappa was
suggesting to the Soviet official the benefits of tearing down the Berlin Wall in 1989.  Although
it was presented in the humorous forum of "The Tonight Show", Zappa's ideas were well-
reasoned.  Jay Leno was making jokes of this preposterous plan, and it was obvious Zappa's
ideas were considered out in left field.  What I found interesting was that this preposterous
idea from 1988 did in fact come to pass in 1989 and the Berlin Wall was torn down.  
Click for
video of interview.    

Terrapin Headline of the Day:
It's eBay Time

August 30, 2006

The 17-19 year old males in America are taking a shellacking from the females in the fields of
intelligence, ambition, and higher education.  One of the predominant college entrance exams
is the SAT.  For the first time in 35 years, females have proven to be the superior writers on
the exam.  
Click for article.  Furthermore, women are becoming increasingly more successful
in their college performance compared to males.  According to U.S News & World Report,
"Females graduate from high school at a slightly higher rate than men. Female high school
graduates are more likely to forgo the workforce and seek a college education, and they are
more likely to succeed once there.  Just 33 percent of men finish their degrees in four years,
for example, compared with 40 percent of women."  
Click for article.  

If you've never looked in the Articles & Tips section of this website you're missing out on some
pretty good information.
Click for Articles & Tips Section.  The titles (which are written by
experts in their field) include:

10 Secrets That Hotels Don’t Want You to Know

A Cat Burglar's Guide to Protecting Your Home

14 Easy Ways to Boost the Value of Your Home

Prescription Drug Dangers

Best Ways to Relax When There's No Time to Unwind

How the Prudent Penny-Pincher Pinches Pennies

Fuel-Efficient Driving Tips to Cut Your Gasoline Bill

Doctor-Approved Folk Remedies That Work

How to Buy Almost Anything For Much Less

Eight Mouth-Watering Thanksgiving Recipes

What Happy People Know

Using the Lessons of Failure To Boost Your Success

Clever Ways to Get Rid of Garden Pests

Snoring Remedies That Really Work

Hidden Causes of Memory Loss

Cures for the Top Foot Ailments

Clutter Control

Girl Talk Headline of the Day:
They Should Have Kept It Zipped

August 29, 2006

The predicted low tomorrow night is 66 degrees with winds from the north/northeast.  
According to the weather bureau, our area has had twenty-six days this month in which the
temperature reached 100 degrees, which ties the all time record.
Click for article.

Looks as if Ernesto is not going to be as damaging as earlier predicted.  It has been
downgraded to a tropical storm and is now predicted to hit along the Atlantic coastline rather
than in the Gulf of Mexico.  One result is that oil prices are continuing downward and predicted
to go even lower.  
Click for article.  I noticed one of the convenience stores in Bremond had
their gasoline at $2.59 per gallon.  I said in my previous post how all things are relative.  A
couple of years ago we would have been aghast at the prospect of $2.59 gasoline.  Now it
sounds good.

One of my first jobs in life was that of media circulation coordinator for a large Houston
corporation.  In other words, I was a paper boy for the Houston Chronicle.  I was thirteen when
I acquired this position, and had waited months for the opportunity.  There was a certain
amount of prestige among the seventh grade crowd in being a paper boy, so I felt great pride
in my new position in life.  I had undergone a two week training period with the previous paper
boy, who had bettered himself in life by attaining employment as a sacker at Shaddock's
Grocery in downtown Lake Jackson.  I learned a lot during that two week period.  In retrospect
I was learning so much because I was doing all the work for the guy, but I suppose that was
one of his perks of retirement from the Houston Chronicle.  Each day I would rush home from
school to be greeted with a bundle or two of newspapers strategically placed by our sidewalk.  
I became an expert at inserting, rolling and rubberbanding sections of newsprint.  Once the
prep work was complete, the papers would be taken outside to the awaiting Schwinn one-
speed delivery vehicle and placed in the two-bag canvas recepticle emblazoned with "Houston
Chronicle" on its side.  My journey through the streets of west Lake Jackson could now begin.  
My route traversed a distance of approximately four miles and took about an hour to
complete.  My accuracy in throwing the Chronicle to its intended landing spot became
amazingly good.  My throwing ability came in quite handy when some people moved into the
neighborhood who allowed their canine to run loose.  It became a daily contest between me
and the adversarial fleabag.  His intent was to frighten the wits out of me by nipping at my
heels while I was furiously pedaling my newspaper-laden Schwinn.  My intent was to bean his
noggin with the small rocks I had begun carrying for the daily confrontation.  This is where my
acquired accuracy in throwing paid off.  To add insult to injury, the owners of the marauding
mongrel were not even Houston Chronicle subscribers.  I made about $30.00 per month for
my efforts, which placed me among the upper echelon of wage-earning thirteen year olds in
Lake Jackson, Texas in 1970.

Despot Headline of the Day:
A Fate Worse than Death                 

August 27, 2006

The big news story of the day is the crash of the Delta-owned commuter jet which killed forty-
nine people in Kentucky.  
Click for article.  Another story making headlines is the status of now
Hurricane Ernesto.  It is expected to become as strong as last year's Katrina.  
Click for article.  
While Kosse is in no danger of hurricane damage, the possible economic effect could directly
impact our pocketbook if offshore oil production facilities are damaged and gasoline prices
take another jump.  A third prominent headline involves the release of the Fox News reporter
and cameraman that were kidnapped in Gaza City.  
Click for article.  

Meadowcreek Park was the scene of another equestrian event this weekend.  I say the same
thing every time: The horse enthusiasts are a boon to Kosse and we are fortunate to have the
Lindseys and Meadowcreek Park.  

It's supposed to get a little cooler for the next few days.  The predicted high tomorrow is 96
degrees with a 30% chance of rain.  A contrarian could look at the forecast and say it will be  
hot as a firecracker with a 70% chance it will once again be bone-dry, but after the last few
week's nonstop 100 degree days and drought, the forecast looks pretty good.  Funny how all
things are relative.

Golden Years Photos of the Day:
If Only They Had Stuck With Shuffleboard

August 26, 2006

There was an article in this week's Groesbeck Journal submitted by the Groesbeck I.S.D.  
superintendent.   The subject was the free/reduced lunch program.  He was exhorting all
eligible parents to sign up for this program.  He led off by giving the health benefits of making
sure all students receive an adequate amount of nutrition in their lives, regardless of parental
income.  Certainly a good and valid point.  His second point bothered me.  It was a plea for all
possible to sign up because the state will give more aid and grants to the district if it can show
a larger number of free/reduced lunch recipients.  While I cannot read his mind and will
apologize if wrong, the implication to me is that we need to make our district look as destitute
as possible so as to get a bigger piece of the pie known as the state education fund.  The
article further encourages recalcitrant parents by promising virtual total anonymity.  This is
what bothers me: I was taught that you do everything possible to stay off the public dole, so
that those who are more needy can share the limited resources.  I cannot swear to this, but I
imagine there were years (being in the unpredictable world of restaurants and internet
businesses) that we could have qualified Ryan for at least a reduced lunch price.  It never
entered my mind to sign him up, and it had nothing to do with the possibility of total anonymity.
It had to do with fairness, determination, and personal pride.  My desire to provide for my
child's sustenance overrode the concept of being the first hog at the trough of the state
education fund.

Officials at Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston discovered a partial stick of dynamite on a
Continental Airlines flight that arrived from Argentina.  It was determined not to involve
terrorism.  I doubt that would have been much solace to the 173 passengers onboard if it had
blown up.  
Click for article.

Periodontal Video of the Day:
It's Polident Time

August 25, 2006

Four months until Christmas, and the high school football season is upon us.  The first games
are next Friday.  I noticed in the Bremond newspaper that the Tigers have a much smaller
squad this year.  The article states this is due to a recently-implemented drug testing program
for prospective players.  I graduated as a Groesbeck Goat but through my junior year
attended Brazoswood High School.  Brazoswood was a 5A-size school and a perennial football
powerhouse.  Their rivalries did not involve the district teams (as is normal) but rather the
teams they would meet in the semi-finals and finals of the state playoffs.  In 1974 (the year I
would have been a senior had we not moved here) the Brazoswood Buccaneers won the state
championship.  I knew most of the players on the team.  Anyway, all I can say is there is no
way they would have won state that year if there had been a drug-testing policy in place.  That
was a partying bunch.  As fate would have it, one day the partying caught up with them.  One
of the better players on the team was a guy I had gone to school with since kindergarten.  He
and another player were drunk and high.  They rolled their truck.  He did not survive.

The weather forecasters are predicting Hurricane Ernesto in the Gulf of Mexico by Tuesday.  It
is predicted to move northwesterly, which would aim it at Texas.  It is expected to be a powerful
storm system.  
Click for article.  It won't be good to have a Category 3 flattening Galveston,
but it might break the drought.  

I've been trying for months to get this website listed in the Google rankings.  Google is by far
the most used search engine and represents over half of all searches in the United States.  
(Yahoo is second, AOL third, and MSN fourth.)  You would think that it you wrote in "Kosse
Cafe", the results page would show among its offerings.  Alas, this was not the
case until two days ago.  All of a sudden it showed up #1.  As an experiment I searched for
derivatives involving the word Kosse, and discovered the following rankings for KosseCafe.
com on Google:

Kosse Cafe: #1
Kosse History: #3
Kosse Texas: #28
Kosse: #15
Kosse TX: #24
Kosse Restaurant: #6

State Capitol Headline of the Day:
We're #5 and Trying Harder

August 24, 2006

The humidity was stifling last night.  I went by the cafe about 3:30 a.m. and saw a huge convoy
of eighteen-wheelers passing through town.  I have had people tell me the Kosse Cafe could
get a lot of trucker business if we stayed open 24 hours.  When Cefco took over the Kosse
convenience store they were initially open day and night.  This only lasted a month or two due
to lack of business.  The cafe and Cefco parking lots do host a variety of parked eighteen-
wheelers each night, so I don't know.   

I occasionally watch the Don Imus show.  He often mentions the upcoming Texas gubernatorial
race between incumbent Rick Perry, current State Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn,
Democratic nominee Chris Bell and Kinky Friedman.  He is endorsing Kinky.  According to the
Kinky Friedman for Governor website, an August 12, 2006 poll has him ahead of all
challengers by at least 10%.  
Click for website.  This should be an interesting race.  

One of the best men I've ever known is Jimmy Phillips.  I remember the first time I heard him
preach.  It was at the Kosse Church of Christ on a crisp Sunday morning.  I had never met
Jimmy and therefore knew nothing about his preaching skills and biblical knowledge.  It was
amazing.  I later found out his oratorical skills and scriptural knowledge were matched by his
genuine integrity.  I don't see Jimmy very often these days, but he is another of the good guys.
Roy Terrell is another.     

Sound Effects Headline of the Day:
You're Acting Quite Catty About This
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