Saturday, October 2, 2010

New Direction

Now hear this.

There's a new web page in town...make that online.

It Is What It Is

Had an offer I couldn't refuse and put a little something together to make it easier and not so confining as this here blogspot thingy.

Just for your information... the new web page...

It Is What It Is

...will be where all my concentration will be. I hope you will page on over and give it a try. The web page is bit more friendly and still will have all my archives for your favorite stories you love so much....

...the new web page will have an easier user friendly comment section for you to please make use of it..and let me know if anything in there puts a smile on your big ol mugg and brings happiness to those around you...

thanks for hanging in there with me, but please head on over to the new place where I will be a putting words into reading.

It Is What It Is

Saturday, September 11, 2010

It's only been 21 years...

Finally, the day has arrived.

Our local university once again has football on its list of sports that fields a team.

Twenty-one years. Wow. A freaking lifetime it seems.

What has changed in your life in the past 21 years? Family, work, bought a new vehicle, discovered a new love or hobby?

The buzz that has been created with the bringing back of collegiate football to our local higher education campus is running rampant like a California wildfire.

Big Red mania is touching just about everyone and everything. Thinking back to the last college game I attended, I remember sitting close to the band in the sun soaked bleachers on the east side. The year, was probably circa 1974-75.

Tonight marks Lamar University's first home game in 21 years.

My oldest brother originally attended Lamar when it was known as Lamar Tech. Way back in the day. I remember him making it as a cheerleader for Lamar.

Now that I think about it, he had a pretty good thing going on...considering the benefits of jumping up and down with the female version of a college cheerleader....

The game is sold out. Standing room only. All the parking lots in close proximity to the stadium are sealed up with tail-gaters and LU supporters.

The stadium has been to bottom. New field house. Newly designed Big Red mascot, snazzy new uniforms, the marching band is back, local football players with a chance to perform at the college level in front of hometown fans.

I bought season tickets. Got plans to take in as much of the festivities as I can and still find my seat. Weather looks good, I'll have my red on and watch from my second level vantage point.

Let's Go Big Red.

The only down side to today... my son has been smitten with the hormone bug. Seems he has opted for a 'party' of a school mate that happens to be celebrating the magical Sweet Sixteen tonight.

Once again, the mystery of the female lure to a growing young man has surfaced. He and his mother even went as far to purchase the 'perfect' shirt for this gala event.

I completely understand.

I succumbed to the lure almost 30 years ago myself; but I DO have the 3 seats ALL to myself, to spread out on to enjoy the first home game tonight.

Support your local sporting venues...and the freedoms we enjoy as Americans.

Go Big Red.



Remember that day!

I am not asking you IF you remember the morning, it's more of a reminder to you to simply not ever forget that day.

Our lives, our nation was changed in an instant. Our security had been threatened and yet, our American neighbors, our American family became closer on that day.

All barriers became non-existent at that moment and continued for a short while. Barriers of our own making.






People lined up together in donor lines for giving of their blood.

People had a new found patriotism and joined our military.

People prayed to God.

And as history tells us, the American society has come together and are rebuilding their lives. Rebuilding our nation in particular, at Ground Zero there in New York. It looks to be a tribute to America and our stamina and intestinal fortitude.

Remember 9-11 as you wish.

It's a freedom you can enjoy. Say a prayer, remember the moment you heard the news, the way you felt, something you heard someone say that has burned into your memory.

Remember 9-11

Monday, September 6, 2010

Counting it a Blessing

Call it what you want, I will call it a blessing.

One of many divine interventions I have received that has provided for my family over the course of my married life and career.

A recent offer from another business unit at the plant site that I have worked at for the last 20 plus years will allow me the opportunity to finish my career with the same company.

A blessing from God to me and my family. Plain and simple.

It really has been a tumultuous ride since the announcement of the decision to 'exit' the business last year.

Some of the men I worked with, managed to find positions with a 'sister' plant in a neighboring county, while others secured new employment with a new employer and refinery. Only a couple actually will take retirement after the wrecking ball finishes its job of dismantlement.

All the while, I was thinking of taking the severance package and going on to quite possibly another field altogether. I have two good friends who are in real estate and I tossed the idea around to get into that field.

Or even going back to my roots of working in the electrical construction industry... but the more I watched my friends drift away to their jobs, I began to wonder and allow that emotion of doubt to filter in.

What if...

What about...

How will you manage that...

The rumor mill had it that the last standing business unit at the Beaumont Works site would be needing specific skill based individuals by years end.

Did you see the second word in that sentence above....'rumor'.

Finally one day, in an informational meeting I was in, the announcement was shared that the other business unit would in deed want to talk to any employees of specific skill sets (electricians, maintenance mechanics, & operators) for consideration in furthering their careers.

Furthering my career....all I need is another 4-1/2 years to finish to reach the magic number to get the 100% of retirement.

As it was, the other business unit had an immediate opening of... count 'em.. 1 electrician...and it just so happened that I was the last standing electrician that was in need of a position after the wrecking ball finished wrecking my existing unit.

Sounds simple right? Still the interview process and the nerves and stress until you finally get the official offer. This took a total of about 2 months..maybe less.

Any one of the guys that I mentioned earlier would of loved to have the opportunity to take that position, but they had to respond to what was in front of them at the time.

Divine intervention..? That's my take on it.

When I look back and see all of the times that God has put things together to provide for me and my family. I simply sit in awe of His power and His grace.

Reckon I am just a work in progress with Him...or maybe it's someone I've yet to meet and be a part of their life or for them to influence my life someway.

Thank you God for all that You have done for me. For getting my attention without the flaming bush or the parting of lake Sam Rayburn like you did the Red Sea a few years back.

Thanks for putting up with me and my weak attempts at being a child of yours. I will try to do better, but, You know that don't you....yeah, You know everything.

Not only do You know our needs, you know them before we do...

Monday, August 30, 2010

Sir..Excuse me but...


I found it in the parking lot of our local Lowe's Home Center here in Beaumont. Wasn't even sure when I pulled up to the parking space that was about as in between the entrance and the exit as humanly possible, that I was gonna run smack dab, squared up, and eyeball to eyeball with justice, but I did.

Think back to the last time you were confronted with the guy at the intersection of Have and Have Not. You know who I'm talking about, the man with the sign informing you of his situation, only needing $20 to get back home, or his water pump is busted, or will work for food which usually gets him cash instead of food.

Most of us keep cash or change in our truck consoles or the ash tray, but never is there a spare hamburger or chicken basket in the passenger seat when you really need one.

Back in June of this year, I stopped on the way home from work to buy a replacement ice cream freezer. Upon exiting the store and finding my truck, I was confronted by an individual with these words..

"Sir...excuse me but could you help me?"

The man didn't mind getting up and into my personal space with his request which was short and to the point.

Seems he had car trouble. The water pump had gone out and it was gonna take $75 to get a replacement. He had his wife and their 12 year old son with him and were from out of town.

No kidding, out of town. Actually he said they were from a little town northwest of Houston called Tomball, Texas.

Beaumont is 88 miles east of Houston. The story was a good one but there was that doubt creeping in.

Being the good guy that I am, I dug into my front pocket and gave him all my change that I had. Nothing but coins which probably totaled up to about $3 or $4 dollars.

On my trip home, I kept thinking about his plight and wondered if I had done enough.

Don't you hate it when your conscience kicks in and makes you feel like you know you could of and should of done more. I almost turned around to go back and give him some of my hard earned folding money, but I didn't.

Fast forward to today. Lowe's Home Center parking lot. Me and my son are making a few runs across town, picking up stuff we need. Dog food and dog bones from the pet store. Checked out a couple of items at Academy, then over to Lowe's for the wife's light bulbs she needs for her bathroom.

Pulling up to the chosen parking space, I notice a thin and aggravated looking woman leaning up against the metal catch pen for Lowe's shopping carts.

Man, did she look out of place. We no sooner got out of our truck, than this guy walks right up to us and says...

"Sir..excuse me, we're from out of town...that's my wife who is 5 months pregnant over there and we need some help getting back home. We live in Tomball...a little town northwest of Houston and our car is broken down...."

Hold it right there mister...that's the same story you told me a couple of months ago across town at the other hardware store. Where's your son today?

Me? I don't have a son. We're from Tomball...

Stop the lies buddy. You came up to me 2 months ago with the same story, only your water pump was busted and you needed $75 to get a new one.

Me? No sir, that had to be someone else. I swear to God it wasn't me....

You swear to God...? I don't think so pal. Do you need some help getting out of my way right now and finding your car to head back to Tomball which is northwest of Houston??

Instant justification. The look on his face said it all and put it right back on him in about as quick a time as it takes to answer the question...

Hi, how are you?

Fine, and you?

In a nutshell. I had scored a direct hit. He began to backtrack and gather himself and his 5 month pregnant wife.
Do you remember me saying how 'thin' she looked leaning against the cart storage pen, texting away on her blue berry wireless thingy?

When we exited the store, we made a quick scan to see if they were still around but didn't see any gathering of folks anywhere around.

Score one for the good guys today.

I found justification and loved it. Sure made up for it being a rainy day Monday as we drove away with his words echoing in my head...

I swear to God, it wasn't me.....swear to God.

Saturday, August 14, 2010


Just relax will you?

Well, I am trying to..really I am. Seems like I just about forgot how to really relax. But with a few more days like today, the total memory recall should kick in shortly.

This has only been my second weekend off that I didn't have to lead into with taking vacation since early this year.

Yeah, I know, I should be thankful to be employed, and I am. I give God thanks everyday for providing for my family through HIS blessings that include our health, our home, our friends, my job that provides so many benefits, and last but not least a Native Texan.

I have found that every Saturday in August, cable TV's American Movie Classic channel plays John Wayne movies all day and night....and in between movies I have seen, I get to watch the Little League playoffs for next weekend's schedule of the Little League World Series. Talk about some good baseball...take a look see and become a fan of tomorrow's big league stars.

I have almost become one with the couch through the course of the day. Relaxing while watching the Duke, baseball, and even finding time to give you a little posting.

I hope to be a bit more diligent in my writing in the coming weeks as my work situation calms down and isn't quite so intense for another month or so. We shall see shant we?

Have an interview next Tuesday for an opening with another unit at my plant site. It's been years since I have been stressed over doing a job interview so I will let you know how it goes as soon as I know something.

There is a possibility I may be upgrading to my own web page in the near future. One of my nieces is getting married in the near future and her husband to be is an IT tech and offered to help me get my own web page....which would offer a lot more to do with a personal page than this type I have now.

Will let you know as it gets closer.

Take care folks, I appreciate your being here, whether it be by complete mistake OR you actually punched in the address to see in fact.... is what it is.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Memory Triggers

How many times do you hear a phrase that takes you back to a specific event?

Do you have any catch phrases that secretly mean something to only a few of your closest friends or family? Do you remember specific details and how this phrase or single word came to be that triggering mechanism of your memory?

One single word comes to mind that quickly takes me and my wife back to an occurrence while on a belated honeymoon to Florida.

In our attempt to find the interstate highway that would take us to our next destination, we passed a roadside vendor selling peaches. Not just any peaches mind you, these were being hailed as genuine Georgia peaches.

The sign that stated this proclamation read with a southern accent that matched the deep southern twang of the old country boy that was in charge of selling these here same genuine Georgia peaches.

To this day I am not certain just how close we were to the state line of Georgia, so we just took it for the truth and pulled over to see about getting our hands on some of them peaches.

Within just a matter of minutes we had made our selection, paid the man in cash money as was requested and stated on another sign that simply read 'Cash Only', and then we were ready to get on down the road.

Seems like there may have been some banjo music in the background but I wasn't certain.. but then never mind.

The man insisted on carrying the peaches to the car for us to complete the sale and being the good salesman he was, noticed our Texas license plates on our recently purchased, brand new, very first 'newlyweds' car; a 1981 Buick Regal with dark blue crushed velour interior that was highlighted by the then popular landau vinyl roof.

"So y'all from Texas are ya..?" he asked.

"Yes we are." And without missing a beat he replied to us,

"You know, I'd trade all my peach trees for just a one your oil wells...yes sir, every single one of my trees...for a single oil well."

"Well, if I had one to trade you, we might be able to work out a deal..." I replied.

As I was opening the passenger side door, he kind of stopped when I said that, but then quickly continued to placing the two small baskets of peaches on the floor mat behind the front passenger's seat when he remarked to us:

"You know, that's some mighty fine upholstery you got in that there car of yourn, yes sirree, mighty fine it is....well, I thank ya, thank ya kindly now."

We thanked him for his help and told him we would be thinking about his offer and we just might be back one day.

Upholstery. That's our trigger word right there, yes sirree, and a good one too. Clean up to today, some 29 years later. But you gotta say it with emphasis on the first syllable, UP-hole-stree...say it out loud now...UP-hole-stree, Georgia style.