Apartments next to exploded plant – West, Texas. These apartments
adjacent to the blast were the worst that I saw of the remaining devastation.I had the privilege this Saturday to go with a group of other volunteers from our church to West, Texas to help out with the ongoing relief efforts there. If you are not familiar with the story, on the evening of April 17, a fire and subsequent massive explosion occurred at a local fertilizer plant that literally leveled adjacent homes and buildings and blew windows and doors and even walls out of homes and businesses blocks away. Many people’s homes and businesses were totally destroyed and several people, mostly firefighters lost their lives. On this Saturday, we were asked to assist with the operations of a relief center that had been set up to provide donated items to those needing assistance. This mostly involved the unloading of boxes of supplies and moving them into the main tent along with sorting and stocking clothes, food, disposable diapers, and other donated items onto tables for easy access by those in need. We also took a brief tour of the more devastated neighborhoods to see for ourselves how bad the situation was. Seeing this kind of thing on television is just not the same as seeing it up close and in person! I’m relieved to report that things did not (appear) as bad as I had envisioned going in but seeing so many people completely uprooted from their homes is still very sad and troubling. The community itself seems to be very resilient and everyone seems to be working very hard to restore normalcy. I saw many, many volunteers and locals working together to help out as needed and the amount of donated goods was both overflowing and overwhelming!
|I obviously did not go to do a photo-shoot, was also too busy working to take many pictures and would have been uncomfortable attempting to do so anyway, even if I had not been busy, but I did take a few of our group (not shown here for privacy reasons) and of some of the abandoned houses from our car just to show what had happened and the severity of the damage. Unfortunately, I missed getting a photo of the relief center itself, but my friend did snap a photo of it with his phone, that (cropped) only shows me (forward), while I was helping move pallets.|
|In lighter news, our last stop was at the famous “Czech Stop / Little Czech Bakery” store (familiar to all of us) to pick up kolaches and other refreshments. The store was almost unscathed by the blast except for a cracked window or too. A frequent stop for people traveling I-35. It was packed and doing land-office business! Please stop by and show your support!
I also set out Friday after work to mow my back pasture for the first time this season and, after three times around, a pulley came flying off. I swear, this crappy 10-year old riding tractor breaks down every other time I use it¡ Getting out the tools again.
Image courtesy “PatsPiks” – Flickr (© unknown) me:Love this clock!
How the [heck] is this photo of the Moon even possible?
by Robert T. Gonzalez, IO9, Apr. 30, 2013.
Image courtesy (©) Philipp Schmidli.
|The Stack of Stuff is overflowing as usual!:
✝ Pentagon: Christians May Face Imprisonment for Sharing Faith
by Anthony Gucciardi, Infowars, May 2, 2013.
me:It’s heating up out there folks, the Obamanation continues to make desolate… ⚥ Bridal shop refuses to let trans-gender shopper try on gowns
by CBC News, May 3, 2013.
me:So, “Human Rights Commission”, WHY do we LOSE all our human rights when it comes to OUR businesses and OUR property?! Trans-genders are totally FREE to open up bridal businesses and cater to whomever they wish too – THAT’s the American way, the way of FREEDOM! I believe this actually happened in Canada, but the same “discrimination rules” have infested our once-free society too. • South Carolina exercising the Tenth Amendment
by Tea Party Patriots, May 3, 2013.
me:Go South Carolina! The article mentions that Obamacare supporters point out that if the individual mandate is countermanded that people will forgo insurance until they get sick and drive up premiums. I am convinced that this will happen ANYWAY, because premiums will be so much higher than the fine no, “tax”! Forcing insurance companies to insure against pre-existing conditions will make insurance unaffordable. • 49ers rookie Quinton Patton shows up early, impresses his new coach, but has to go back home
by Doug Farrar, Yahoo Sports, May 3, 2013.
me:Now there’s a future hall of famer – awesome work ethic! • Medical Test Uses Fingers To Predict Heart Disease
by CBS Los Angeles (KNX), May 3, 2013. •
(© 2013) U. of Conn.The Dogs Of Liberalism
by Ben Crystal, Personal Liberty, Apr. 30, 2013. me:I fail to see how ANYONE can view this logo as sexist, except maybe some of the young skulls full of mush like the complainant who’ve had a steady diet of “womens’ studies”, feminism, and political-correctness bilge blown up their collegiate bloomers for 3-4 years. • Government Seeks to Fine Companies for Not Complying With Wiretap Orders
by Kim Zetter, Wired, Apr. 29, 2013.
me:(paraphraising Thomas Jefferson): “I fail to place my finger on that constitutional amendment [enumerated power] that grants the federal government the right to personal communications.”
|• Americans ‘snapping’ by the millions
by David Kupelian, WND, Apr. 22, 2013. • Boston Friday Is Future America
by Bob Livingston, Personal Liberty, Apr. 23, 2013. <<< Image courtesy (© 2012) Caesar Lima.
May 7, 2013 – 12:45 pm
April 28, 2013 – 9:58 pm
Double-mural in downtown Pilot Point, Texas; by (© 2013) me.Here are some of the photos I took in Sanger and Pilot Point while out with N. and C. last Saturday, as promised! This week was otherwise a quiet week. Don’t have much to write about. I had the chance to go to the annual Jazz-Fest in Denton, but ended up just hanging around with my wife and enjoying the beautiful weather in our front yard Sunday. The only other news is that I – yawn – went for my semi-annual checkup with my dentist and my teeth were given a clean bill of health. I know I’ll probably be kicking myself tomorrow for not going to Jazz-Fest, but I just didn’t feel like driving for an hour one-way, finding a place to park, then dealing with the crowds that my friends were reporting were coming. I should’ve gone earlier in the day, but goofed around until late.
Cool tractor &wind-vane in Sanger, Texas
by (© 2013) me.
The Fiddler, in Sanger, Texas
by (© 2013) me.
Rooster statue in Sanger, Texas
by (© 2013) me.
Neat little trailer near Pilot Point, Texas; by (© 2013) me.
downtown Sanger, Texas; by (© 2013) me.
“Lowbrows” mural, downtown Pilot Point, Texas; by (© 2013) me.
Sunset over Lake Ray Roberts; by (© 2013) me.
|Another Exclusive Party at W.H. at Taxpayer Expense
by Daniel Halper, Weekly Standard, Apr. 9, 2013.
me:Meanwhile the Emperor fiddles on as the Republic burns. Amish prosecuted because scissors ‘crossed state lines’
by WIND, Apr. 12, 2013.
me:If the founders had meant for the “commerce clause” to be this elastic, then WHY bother with state and local common law, courts and criminal jurisdiction at all, why not just make “federal cases” of all crimes? Philadelphia abortion clinic horror: Column
by Kirsten Powers, USA Today, Apr. 11, 2013.
me:”Newsspeak” won’t mention this, so I will!
Religious freedom & ‘gay marriage’ cannot coexist
by Matt Barber, WND, Apr. 12, 2013. Updated homeless ‘bill of rights’ passes CA legislative committee
by Jeremy B. White, The Sacramento Bee, Apr. 23, 2013.
me:Why do vagrants need “special rights”? What about the public’s right to maintain public decency and an orderly civil society. I’m sorry, but I do not believe there’s a fundamental right to sleep on the public sidewalks, urinate in public, loiter in and around businesses that you are not patronizing, or generally be a public nuisance. The technology behind CERN: the hunt for the Higgs boson
by Adam Oxford, Linux Format, Issue 164, Dec. 28th 2012 – via Tech Radar.
image courtesy Tech Radar
12 Stunning Charts Show the World is Becoming a Better Place
by John Hudson, Foreign Policy, Apr. 23, 2013.
“If someone comes out of a liquor store with a weapon and fifty dollars in cash. I don’t care if a drone kills him or a policeman kills him.” – Rand Paul
me:While some see me as always attacking Liberals for the stupid things they say, here, I’m an equal-opportunity commentator – This statement is a stupid, anti-liberty statement! Whatever happened to attempting to at least give the perp a chance to surrender and be arrested, only shooting him/her if necessary?” Not a Joke: West Virginia 8th Grader Suspended & Arrested Over NRA T-Shirt; by Bert Atkinson Jr. IJReview, Apr. 22, 2013.
me:Yet another reason to avoid the government schools! Mastering the Linux Shell : Killing Processes and Dire Warnings
by Marcel Gagné (blog), Apr. 16, 2013.
^^^ Antique car in Pilot Point, Texas; by (© 2013) me.
>>> Gazibo in center of downtown Pilot Point, Texas; by (© 2013) me.
April 23, 2013 – 3:01 pm
Masters Champion Adam Scott celebrates victory Sunday
Image courtesy (© 2013) Masters / PGAI’ve been busy taking advantage of the beautiful weekend weather we’ve been having around here lately and getting out and taking lots of pictures of small-town Texas this month, shooting recently in Lipan, Santo, Palo Pinto, Sanger, and Pilot Point, along with parts here and there and in between! This last weekend, I had two lovely female friends – N. and C. take me for a nice drive from Denton to Sanger and Pilot Point in N’s convertible and show me the best places to shoot! Then it was off to watch a Texas Rangers baseball game at our favorite sports pub in Denton to meet up with another friend, P. The Rangers even won 5-0 over the Seattle Mariners for their second straight shutout. They’ll have the brooms out at Arlington today! All in all, a great day with great friends! The previous Sunday was the Masters and I had to decide whether to go outside in the beautiful weather and shoot in Santo or stay home and watch the Masters, which is the only PGA tournament I ever watch much of. I chose to go out and had a great time AND, lucky me, I got back just in time to see the extra playoff holes between Adam Scott from Australia and Angel Cabrera of Argentina and the awarding of the green jacket to Adam Scott and Australia, who won by a single stroke on the second hole of the sudden death playoff with a birdie! While out I drove to Santo, Texas and then to Palo Pinto and returned home through Mineral Wells, Texas. I spent the time walking around and taking pictures of the beautiful old buildings and other artifacts that I ran across. And this time, fortunately, no deer or other animals were harmed in the making of these photos! As usual, you can view all of the images from Sanger, Palo Pinto, and Mineral Wells in larger size here. I’ll have to leave you in suspense and post photos from this last weekend in Sanger and Palo Pinto in my next post, so stay tuned!
Cool rusted-out tractor and antique gas pump
on US Hwy. 180, going South out of Mineral Wells, Texas; by (© 2013) me.
Old buildings on private property next to park in Santos, Texas
<<< General store in downtown Santos, Texas; by (© 2013) me.
Community Center in downtown Palo Pinto, Texas; by (© 2013) me.
Old Mineral Wells High School; by (© 2013) me.
April 22, 2013 – 9:27 pm
An army of “Storm troopers” descend upon and “lock down” the Boston area
Friday in search of a lone nineteen year old bombing suspect.
image courtesy (© 2013) Associated Press.Man, what a week, so much going on, disasters both far and near. My heart and prayers go out to the people of the Boston / Watertown area and the friendly people of nearby West, Texas. The fact that they attacked the Boston Marathon finish line particularly touched both my wife and me because so many innocent people were so horribly maimed and that she had run that race nine years ago this month. Marathon runners are some of the nicest people I know. While I’m glad to see the bombers brought to justice, there are a few things that do concern me and should concern all patriotic Americans and lovers of Liberty. First, we’ve had bombings and dangerous fugitives on the run before, but the concept of “locking down” an entire metropolitan area is brand new and scares me as much or more than the armed desperadoes themselves (This was not done in LA when that rogue cop went off shooting and fleeing). I used to associate “lock downs” with prisons, now I associated them with government schools, which do it these days at the drop of a hat. Now it appears to be spreading to communities. This looked very much to me like a some sort of “trial run” for martial law. The thought of thousands of police armed to the teeth like our soldiers fighting an urban gorilla war going door-to-door searching houses (without warrants?) to capture a single nineteen year old kid just strikes me as possibly slightly overblown. If I had been in my house all day with the doors locked, as “requested” by the law martial, I would NOT have wanted these “troops” searching through the inside of my house (outside’s a different matter since he could be hiding there and I most likely would have given them full permission) since I could assure them that the suspect is NOT inside my home (and would, hopefully, have had the courage to tell a bunch of men armed with automatic weapons to (please) show me a warrant!)
Statue of a brave patriot minuteman looks over the desolate city amid
sheepish signs from it’s defenceless residents now “sheltering in place”.
image courtesy UK Daily Mail Online, copyright “EPA” (unknown).I, like the nations’ founders, simply have a reasonable concern and suspicion of government power. We grant government a monopoly on the use of force out of necessity in order to secure our liberties, but as a free people, we must always keep vigilant to elect leaders who will wield that power carefully, properly, and responsibly, always remembering that power in human hands corrupts. I’m not saying that the police and government officials did not do an outstanding job under the extremely difficult and dangerous circumstances, just that I would not want any bunch of armed men storming through my house without a warrant if I was already sure that the suspect was not there. A second thing that puzzles me was that somehow a home-owner walked up to his bloody boat cover (while this dangerous situation was in progress) and actually peered inside to see the suspect without getting his head blown off or worse, but the police ended up in a pitched gun-battle when they tried same and it took them hours to smoke him out. I for one (in that situation) would have just immediately called the police to investigate as soon as I saw blood on my boat, without daring to go outside! A third point of interest is that, at the moment, I understand the FBI is not allowing the hospital staff to report on the captured suspect’s wounds – seems strange! Anyway, when I saw this photo (especially when shown with the other one above), the irony really struck me and made me sad in many ways as an American and a patriot.
|Obama slams Republicans for gun reform ‘stunts’
by France24.com, Apr. 9, 2013.
me:More “government by sob-story”: The Obamanation w[h]ines and dines his useful idiots (while they’re still useful) on Air Force One in political stunt whilst accusing Republicans and Patriots of doing same. Police Confiscate Man’s Guns Over Son’s Water Pistol Threat
by Paul Joseph Watson, Infowars, April 9, 2013.
me:Meanwhile, Communist officials in the People’s Police State of New York illegally threaten and intimidate another armed and law-abiding American. Yet another “See, I told you so” – This is why the government wants to know when you purchase a gun and why you should avoid the government schools. Don’t listen to me though, it’s easier to just write me off as a paranoid right-wing nut-job, no? Don’t worry either, it’s all “for the children” and “Public Safety”!
President Obama leads his useful idiots onto Airforce One to beg
Congress for another gun law. Image courtesy (© 2013) NYDailyNews
By wildstar84 | |
April 8, 2013 – 6:53 pm
Antique fire truck in downtown Lipan, Texas, by (© 2013) me.WARNING: this post is gonna be a gripe-fest, but I’ll include some photos that’ll (hopefully) keep you reading. You can also feel free to cheat – skipping my rant and just look at the photos if you wish! Ok, here goes: Spring, how I love thee, how I loathe thee! I so want to like thee, but my body seems to always have other ideas. First off, we’ve been having a most typical Winter this Spring with temperatures ranging from the 30s to the 50s and gray and dank most of last week. This, along with the trees all budded out and spewing their annual pollen resulted in a 24 hour long “sinus migraine” last week. Then, the weather became teasingly beautiful and warm Friday just in time for a nasty cold to come along and invade my nose, throat, and now chest, yay me¡ Saturday, before the aches and pains started in earnest, while just my nose and throat felt like I had snorted acid (not the psychedelic stuff mind you, but rather the stuff you used to handle carefully in chemistry lab), I just decided to take off by myself on a nice drive in the country armed with my trusty camera and a gynormous Big Gulp-ish cup of soda to soothe my throat and take my mind off how bad I felt. You can see larger images and more photos from this shoot here!
Old shopping center in downtown Lipan, Texas, by (© 2013) me.I stopped in Lipan, Texas, and several scenic spots in between and just took pictures. Then to top it all off, I managed to smack a smallish youthful deer on the highway traveling back home. I didn’t even manage to kill it cleanly out of it’s misery, but just horribly wounding it enough for the poor thing to hobble itself off the road into the bushes to expire slowly, CRAP¡ It was probably karma telling me that I should’ve stayed in bed, but it was such a rare beautiful Saturday. With no place to even pull over to try to check on it, I cruelly drove on shaken. I had looked up and seen it standing just a few feet from the roadway ahead looking ominously at me as if to say “I really want to cross this road right now, and you’re always supposed to yield to pedestrians!” I instantly had a very bad feeling what was about to happen next and slammed on my brakes to slow down (and stop if necessarily) and, sure enough, the worst thing happened – he sprinted toward me and turned right in front of me and committed suicide as we met at what I guess was about 15-20mph (instead of the 60+mph I was traveling when I saw him moments earlier). The result was that I was not hurt and my front bumper and headlight were only slightly bruised. Not really noticeable, but would cost me hundreds (with the deductible and higher insurance rate) to fix if I were to file (another) claim this year.
Front gate to Sweetwater Ranch, near Dennis, Texas, by (© 2013) me.After getting home, I treated my raw throat to some awesomely good ice cream soft-serve from our local Dairy Queen, which made me feel a little better briefly. Today, I just generally feel like roadkill myself. While I’m whining, another annoying thing I can’t figure out is why it is that there are no longer any ATM machines or branches for my bank here in my hometown, which is otherwise full of banks. I bank at the “Too Big To Fail Bank of the Northern Hemisphere”, which has branches just about everywhere I go, EXCEPT here in my town. This was never a problem when I worked in Fort Worth, but now that I work at home, I can’t get cash unless I venture to Fort Worth or Mineral Wells or Denton (all in the surrounding counties) if I have a sudden need for moneys between getting my “allowance” from my wife (who works in Fort Worth).
Colorful storefront in downtown Lipan, Texas, by (© 2013) me.Computer Fraud And Abuse Act 2013: New CFAA Draft Aims To Expand, Not Reform, The “Worst Law In Technology”
by Dave Smith, IB Times, Mar. 28 2013.
me:So they can make felons out of all of us? GMOs are one solution to an ancient puzzle
by Robert T. Gonzalez, IO9, Mar. 25, 2013.
me:I haven’t figured out what people have against GMOs. Following Founders’ Wisdom An Unsafe Choice In Modern America
by Ben Bullard, Personal Liberty, April 4, 2013.
(image courtesy (© 2012) IJReview) What the Internet looked like in 1995
by Brad Plumer, Washington Post, Mar. 29, 2013:
Video by (© 1995) PBS, posted by TheCanadianToast via Youtube.