Weekend

Posted: June 7, 2010 in recreation, weekend
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I had the best Saturday ever and it did not include wine, women or song. I went to bed at a ridiculously early hour Friday night and woke up at an equally ridiculously early hour Saturday morning.

I was wandering around my apartment wondering what to do with myself. Then it hit me: “Go to the beach dummy”. So without checking the weather or tide information I gathered a some extra clothes, a few apples (wonderful on the beach), my fishing gear and just took off. Alone. Gabby was staying at a friend’s house.

I was estimating my arrival at Surfside beach to be about 2:00. Hell, I was there by 12:30. I stopped at the usual Buckee’s for some squid, shrimp, a couple of burritos and a fishing license.

This is the coolest store I’ve ever known. There are many and growing but to me this is the original. I’ve always associated them with the beach but they are springing up everywhere. They are known for their immaculately clean restrooms. It’s true. I’d actually eat one of those burritos I bought in there. Of course, I’d probably be asked to leave. This place is completely jam-packed on the weekends with super long lines but I happened to catch a newly opened register. Another thing: This store’s registers are manned by seriously cute girls. Every single one. It’s like the Hooters of large convenience stores. When I told the girl I need a fishing license she and the girl at the next register both tell me that I don’t need one. They reminded me that the first Saturday of June is a freebie compliments of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (game wardens). I never knew that or maybe forgot about it. I’ve just always made a point to be current after a 1980’s quail hunting incident where my friend went to jail for unpaid tickets and I was fined $200.00 for not having a license.

When I rolled onto the beach I was taken down a bit. The water was like chocolate milk. I wasn’t too down about it. It was my very first day out there this summer and I was actually just happy to be there. I baited my hooks and waded out into the surf. I stood out there, and stood out there, and stood out there without so much as a bump on my line. At this point I actually got a little discouraged. I went back to my truck and just sat on the tailgate looking out at the water. About this time I was surrounded by two carloads of people. One on the left and one on the right. This upset me because I go out there to get away from people. I’m not anti-social, I just like my beach time to be private.

I threw all my gear back into the truck and left. I found a spot about a half mile or so down the beach that was better. This is where I stopped. This is an acceptable comfort zone for me.

I baited my line again and went back out into the surf. This time I swam out to the second sandbar with my rod and reel above my head. When I was finally able to touch bottom again I cast my line out. I don’t think it even hit the bottom before something took off with it. I now had a fight ahead of me.

Getting back to the beach with something that big on the line and trying to do so without the power of one arm when you can’t even touch bottom is quite a struggle. But it’s exciting. And tiring. When I got back to the first sandbar I started working on reeling in whatever this was. It was an exhausting give and take. It stripped yards of line and I reeled back what I could. Back and forth. With something like this it’s all about tiring it out without it snapping your line.

When I got my feet back on sand, still chest deep in the surf, my reel self destructed. A critical knob came loose and fell into the water. I thought I was screwed and would never know what I had on my line.

Guess what? Not so. With my reel completely useless, I held my thumb on the spool and carefully walked back to shore. Once I got back to the beach started winding my fishing line by hand around the float at the end of my stringer. It took forever to get this damned fish in like that. I was like Santiago of “The Old Man and the Sea”. My hands are cut to shreds and I’m sore as shit.

Fortunately I had my camera with me and took some pictures. This Redfish was 3 feet and 4 inches. That’s 12 inches over the legal limit. Sorry TPWD. I set aside half of it for my parents and divided the other half into thirds for Gabby and I. Tonight I’m frying part of it.

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What do you do?

Posted: April 21, 2010 in home, miscellaneous
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I got home about the usual time this afternoon and stopped sideways next to my parking space like I always do. I do this to let the assholes behind me speed past. I do this because I always back my truck in. It’s the only way we can get in and out of the doors. I have a big truck and a very tight parking space.

It is only because of this routine that I managed to see these little guys right between the lines of my parking space.

Every spring I see baby birds on the ground. I never know whether they are tossed out by the mother, pushed out by other siblings or whether they fall out or just decide kamikaze out of the nest on their own. In this case these three took the equivalent of a 40 story fall right on to the concrete below. I know that baby birds are built for it, they’re sort of designed like a tennis ball, but it still amazes me that they survive this.

I normally don’t meddle with nature. I’ve always thought that it is usually best not to get involved and let it run it’s course. But when it’s blocking my $20 per month parking space, I have no choice.

Gabby was immediately out of the truck and on all fours saying “Ohhh . . . Awww . . . !” and “Can we keep ’em?” She already knew the answer but she tried. And tried. I scooped them up and took them to the patio where we looked them over. They started perking up. Once their little eyes finally focused on us they started toddling around then started squawking and gaping their beaks. They were perfectly fine but hungry. We watched them for a while and took a few pictures. Then I took them one by one back up to their nest. So far they are still there.

Kitchen Drama

Posted: March 27, 2010 in Uncategorized

The tots never teased the conjoined potato twins again

I’m back in Houston for awhile. Don’t get the wrong impression by the title above. I don’t mind flat terrain. Hell, I grew up on Padre Island and Houston is close enough to the Gulf that it’s also flat as a board. I’m just glad to finally be home.

I love the hills and mountains of California. This was my forth time out there and I have to say that I think it is one of the most beautiful places in the country.

I was out there to help the L.A. guys install a ridiculous number of water treatment devices. 35 in all. It was work hell. I pretty much just worked, ate and slept the whole two weeks I was out there.

However, we did get Sunday off. I thought that was odd because of the cost of having me out there. By then I was so tired and pissed off at everyone out there that I didn’t care. I was staying in Simi Valley so that Sunday I actually took a cab to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. Here are some photos of that.

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Go ahead and laugh at the picture of the missile. I did.
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My work out there was in some really bad neighborhoods. One was near the intersection of Crenshaw and Slausen. Anyone who listens to rap knows what that means. Another job was in Ingelwood. I think we all know what that means. Below are some photos of my last day out there.

The ghetto bird starts circling above us.

Despite having to work in this environment the two weeks I was there, I did get to drive through my favorite part of L.A. on the way to the airport. I got to revisit Malibu, Santa Monica and Venice. As much as I love it out there I still have to say God bless the state of Texas. I am so happy to be back.

Skyline

Posted: February 18, 2010 in city
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This is just a snapshot of downtown Houston from the roof of a 10 story building in the Heights.

Checklist

Posted: January 31, 2010 in travel, Uncategorized, work
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Pay rent
Do laundry
Find some half-assed decent clothes
Pack
Do an OCD walk through the apartment
Sleep

I’m flying out of Houston tomorrow at 7:05 AM. I hope and I mean hope I can get up at 4:00 am. I’m going to Los Angeles for a long stretch of work related hell. I don’t even know when I’m coming back.

Floating Cube?

Posted: January 23, 2010 in art
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I’ve seen a lot of illusions like this but I think this one is the most interesting I’ve ever seen. Imagine a party at this guy’s place with lots of alcohol and the bathroom located in that hallway.