My fiancée (Samantha) and I went to the Texas Renaissance Festival Saturday, November 19th and we had a great time. The weather was perfect. A cold front had blown through on Friday, which dropped daytime highs to the mid 60s. Skies were clear and beautiful.
Samantha and I woke up around 6:00 am. I got my shower, got dressed, and we headed out around 7:00. On the way out we stopped at the Donut Palace on Hwy 190 in Jasper Texas. When I was working on a tugboat, this was the same donut shop I would stop at on the way to work. The Donut Palace is ran by a friendly Asian couple. I got a sausage, egg and cheese croissant, blue monster and chocolate glazed donut. Samantha got a bag of donut holes.
We headed west on Hwy 190, which took us through Woodville Texas and into Livingston Texas. At Livingston, we turn south on Hwy 59 south until we reached Cleveland. At Cleveland we turned west on Hwy 105. Hwy 105 took us through Cut-n-Shoot, Conroe, Montgomery, and finally to the Plantersville exit, which is 1774.
As Bane said in Dark Knight Rises, “Now is not the time for fear, that comes later.”
There have been two cases in Texas and as of this posting there have been reports of possible cases at LAX and Boston. Unless you have face-to-face contact with someone with ebola, chances are you have nothing to worry about.
The problem is we as a nation have forgot what it is like to have an infectious agent in our mist. Small pox, measles, mumps and polio are a thing of the past. For the most part diseases like ebola a problem for the rest of the world, but not anymore. Ebola is here and now, and we have to deal with it.
Time will tell if ebola can get a foothold in the United States. Due to our healthcare protocols the cards are stacked against ebola. The United States with localized health departments and the CDC are an uphill battle for the disease. South and central America is another story. Worse case situation, ebola gets a foothold in Central America, mutates, becomes airborne and moves across the border into one of the border states.
We need to pay attention to the current situation, but let’s not panic. I see no reason to buy 10,000 n-95 facemask or 1,000 gallons of bleach.
If ebola does get a foothold there will be plenty of time to panic, but now is not the time.
During the battle of San Jacinto April 21, 1836 9 Texans died, compared to the 1,360 Mexicans who lost their lives. The fighting quickly went from rifles to hand-to-hand. As the Texans overwhelmed the Mexicans, the Mexicans fled into the swamps and marshes.
In the book The Raven: A Biography of Sam Houston, it is noted some of the Mexicans were screaming “Me no Alamo !” as Texans gave the Mexicans the same quarter that was shown at the Alamo and Goliad.
The battle only lasted about 18 minutes. But the slaughter continued for an hour or so after the main battle ended.
After Santa Anna was captured he was treated with the upmost respect by Sam Houston.
Sam was wounded during the battle and almost died from infection.
I feel that this kind of spirit is mostly dead. As Bain said in Dark Knight Rises, “victory has defeated you.” We have allowed ourselves to become weak and complacent.
Chances are the founding father would have revolted over an income tax, must less the federal reserve, gun control and various excessive taxation.
Americans have grown fat and lazy. We no longer care about freedom, but instead are content in our subjugation.
Remember the Boston Tea Party we learned about in school? How would the founding father have felt about all the taxes we have to pay now?
And now we have to buy health insurance or pay a fine.
We need to pause for a minute and ask ourselves what this nation is coming to.
I George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and Sam Houston were alive today, would they be happy with the way the nation turned out?
I suspect that yes, they would be happy about a lot of stuff. Jefferson was a proponent of education. Having a free public school system would probably make him very proud.
On the other hand, the amount of taxation we live under would have pissed the founding fathers off.
How is our current state any different than the serfdom in medieval Europe?
You either pay a fee to the lord (in this case the government) or you are kicked off the property. The concept of true property ownership is a thing of the past. The government has told us what we must pay every year to keep our property and to stay out of prison. We are supposed to call that freedom?
Where are the leaders like Sam Houston? Not as in armed revolt, but as in standing up to the government?
I think a lot of it boils down to the voters.
After the bank bailout my local federal representative was only opposed by a libertarian. Did the people of southeast Texas vote Kevin Brady out of office? Nope. Even though he voted for the bank bailout the people returned him to office.
I feel the people have been in a vicious cycle for the past 100+ years of returning people to office over and over.
We say we want change in Washington, but the same people are voted back in year after year. When someone steps forward and says they will bring about real change, such as the Libertarian Party, the people turn their back.
How are the people supposed to change the course of government when the same elected officials are returned to office decade after decade?
Come and take It Texas, Austin division is doing their monthly walk, when someone calls the cops to report people with guns. the caller said the people with the guns were being nice. Which is a thumbs up to the caller.
From the video, the citizens are in Subway ordering food when the cop shows up. Cop talks to the citizens, cop talks to Subway employees, everything goes better than expected.
Believe it or not, in Texas citizens have the right to carry a long arm in public. But here lately certain police departments have been trying to make political statements but harassing people who are exercising their rights. One such incident was in Beaumont Texas were a man was arrested for carrying an AR-15.
If the people do not use their rights, those rights are slowly taken away. With gun hating liberals trying to take our gun rights away we need more people to take a stand.
At 9 minutes into the video there is a discussion about the Texas Department of Public Safety is trying to use policy to override stay law. It will to be interesting to see how this works out in the courts if Texas DPS arrest people for exercising their rights.
I applaud the Austin police officer who responded to the call in the video. You set a wonderful example for others to follow.
KBMT news is reporting Beaumont police arrested a man for lawfully carrying a rifle. The incident happening in Parkdale Mall in Beaumont Texas. It is reported that he has a store in the mall where he sells firearm accessories, but no actual firearms are sold there. He was allowed to have the rifle at the store for demonstration purposes. While walking to the store, with the AR-15 slung over his back, several people called the police. The police responded and arrested the man.
I never thought I would see the day when a police force in southeast Texas did not support gun rights. The article says the man was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct. Chances are the guy will be charged under Section 42.01 of the Texas Penal Code, which states,
Sec. 42.01. DISORDERLY CONDUCT. (8) displays a firearm or other deadly weapon in a public place in a manner calculated to alarm;
Man oh man, what a weekend. My wife and I left Jasper Texas around 6 am Friday morning, got breakfast at Jack in the box in Woodville Texas, and arrived at the NRA show at the 9 am. Traffic was not that bad. thank goodness there were no wrecks on HWY 59.
We found a parking lot directly in front of Minute Maid park, which is across from the George R Brown convention center. Holy crap was parking expensive, we had to pay $30, but the location was perfect.
My wife and I entered the show, obtained our media badges, then started walking around.
This was my wifes first real gun show. She never showed any interest in gun shows, that was until I built her a pink M4. Now that she has something she can relate to she is showing more interest.
It is funny how I remember certain things as if they were yesterday, and then it seems like who years are missing from my memory.
January 28, 1986 is a day I remember quite well.
On January 28, 1986 I skipped school with Bryan, Eric, and my brother. We found out later that day the space shuttle had blown up.
If I remember right, Bryans truck had a flat tire as we were going through burger king for breakfast that morning. We agreed a flat tire was a good reason to skip school.
What did we do with our free time? We ended up shooting pine cones out of trees with 22 rifles for a couple of hours. I bought my Ruger 10/22 the day I turned 18 years old – January 17, 1986. I was itching to take my new rifle out and shoot something, so why not shoot pine cones?
After we got tired of shooting pine cones, we went to Erics house to watch TV. It was at this time we saw the news that the space shuttle had blown up.
Eric was upset because he changed the TV channel and his moms soap opera did not record on the VCR. Maybe “upset” is not the best word to describe the situation. Eric was on the edge of being in tears. He was worried his mother was going to beat him when she found out he skipped school.
A little about my work history; in 1986 I went to work for S&T Fabrication (they were in Woodville Texas at the time), in 1987 I went to work for Ohmstede at their Sulphur Louisiana shop. I worked at Ohmstede from 1987 to 1991.
In 1996 I landed a job at Allied Fabrication in Rose City Texas. Allied was one of the better companies I worked for.
The other companies that will remain nameless can kiss my ass. The sorry ass companies that exploit their employees, pay terrible and provide no benefits will not be mentioned by name.
Its not that I regret working in the welding field, I regret allowing myself to be exploited. Why should someone have to work 60, 70, 80 hours a week to be able to live?
While I was working at Ohmstede my supervisor (Bill Scott) told me that it was either feast or famine. Either you worked the overtime and had a good paycheck, or you worked 40 hours a week and starved.
In other words, sacrifice time with your family on the alter of money.
That is a heck of a choice, work overtime to make sure your family can pay the bills, or not work the overtime and barely get by.
If I could go back to 1986, I doubt I would every go into the welding field. The pay sucks and the the benefits suck. Why should I sacrifice my hearing and my lungs so a company can throw its employees some scraps?
One company I worked at in southwest Louisiana did not provide any kind of benefits, nor did the employees get a cost of living raise. After the 90 day probation period the employee received a 25 cent an hour raise. After that first 25 cent raise, no other pay raises were given. Why should employees have to suffer that kind of poverty level wages? We are not talking about stocking shelves at a grocery store. We are talking about skilled fitters and welders.
And welding companies wonder why they have problems finding skilled workers? Look no further then the pay and the benefits.
Why should young people go to work at a welding shop and make barely above poverty wages, when they can go into computers and make 3 times the money?
I have yet to see an ASME certified pressure vessel or heat exchanger shop that pays like working with computers does.
A few weeks ago I bought a bone collector dog house blind from the local china-mart. This past saturday 2 of my sons and I went out to the lease, did some scouting and setup the blind. Rifle season here in Texas starts in 2 weeks. I am getting a late start on the season, but oh well, you do what you have to do.
We followed a creek until we found an oak tree that had a bunch of acorns on the ground and some rubs in the area.
From the oak tree we moved to the north maybe 35 yards and setup the blind on the edge of some underbrush. There is a thicket with a lot of underbrush that opens up to the creek bottom and a pine tree clearing. The blind is setup on the edge.
Water – Texas has been under a terrible drought, probably the worst drought in 50 years. Due to the drought a lot of creeks have dried up, that is why I paid special attention to water.
Food – Due to the drought, a lot of oak trees are stressed and seem to be dropping immature acorns. I was looking for an oak tree close to the creek that was dropping mature acorns. The acorns should attract squirrels, hogs and deer.
Deer sign – with several rubs in the area, I know there is a buck moving around. I did not find any scraps, so rubs will have to do.
Our tree sheds their leaves and start to die, and still no rain falls.
Back in February 2011 my kids and I went to the Bug Out Location and planted some trees. the trees included some oak trees, a plum tree and a peach tree. One of the oak trees had been grown from an oak that fell from the tree in my front yard. When the oak tree was planted, it might have been maybe 5 years old.
Over the past 6 months my family and I have been making trips to the camp to make sure the trees have been getting plenty of water. Well, over the past few weeks it looked like we had been getting some rain at the camp, so I did not bother checking on the trees. The problem is, the rain was a little of nothing.
August 20, 2011 my wife and I go to check on the trees, and they were in bad shape. Most of the leaves had turned brown and fallen off. There were a few green leaves, but not many. My wife and I put 2 gallons of water on the tree, waited about 30 – 45 minutes, and then put 2 more gallons on the tree.
When the trees were planted, the root ball sits about 2 inches before the surface of the soil, with the dirt from the hole used to make a ring. That way, the ring holds whatever rain we get and puts it at the base of the tree.
As my wife and I were leaving the camp, I noticed a large sweet gum tree that was turning brown and shedding its leaves.
From the camp my wife and I went to Mill Creek Park on Lake Sam Rayburn. I had heard that the boat launch at Mill creek Park had dried up, but I was not prepared for what I was about to see. Not only was the boat launch dried up, but Mill Creek was nothing more then a trickle.
The lady at the ranger station told my wife and I that the lake was around 11 feet low. The record was somewhere around 13 feet low, which was set in 1996.
Sam Rayburn has been so low for so long, that weeds are 3 feet tall on the mud flats.
In December of 2010 my brother, my nephew and I launched a boat at Mill Creek and went out on Rayburn for a few hours. When we launched, lake Sam Rayburn was so dry that we hit bottom a few times leaving from the boat launch.
My brother wanted to go look for a place to go duck hunting. One of the places we went was Bear Creek, which is on the north end of the lake from Mill Creek Park. while we were around Bear creek we hit ground several times. More then once we had to get the paddle and use it as a push pole.
What has me worried, is that we (the human race), is in the start of a global climate change. Whether the climate change is man made or naturally occurring, I do not know.
Survivalist can prep for all kinds of stuff – hurricanes, floods, riots, disease outbreak, but how do you prep for climate change? With crops withering in the fields, long term survival plans are out the window. If growing crops is not an option, then mankind would have to revert back to a hunter-gather lifestyle.
On Saturday June 18, 2011 the residents of Jasper Texas got the dreaded news, a wildfire has broken out in the Northern part of the county. Over the past couple of months Jasper county has been under a burn ban. But for some reason, people still continue to burn outdoors.
A few weeks ago a fire broke out close to Sand creek park on the south side of Dam B. After a couple of days the fire was contained. But this new fire was different, it was in a part of the county that was difficult to access.
It seems that this new fire was started when someone was shooting propane tanks. The size of the propane tanks is unknown at the time. But the fire must have happened pretty fast, because the people (or person) left their ice chest full of beer at the scene of where the fire started. Police have taken the ice chest and the contents as evidence.
As of Sunday around 5pm, highway 255 remained open. Sometime around 8:00pm central time, highway 255 and part of 1007 was closed to through traffic.
As of Saturday night, somewhere around 1,500 – 2,000 acres have been burned.
A camper trailer and a canvas tent in a deer camp in the path of the fire were consumed by the inferno.
This wildfire brings up several questions:
1 – The intelligence of some people. Jasper county has been under a burn ban for several months. Who in their right mind goes out to the middle of the woods and starts shooting propane tanks? What does that say about people? The person clearly did not understand the widespread disaster their reckless action would cause.
2 – Your remote camp / bug out location is not as safe as you think. The reckless actions of someone miles away could destroy everything that you and your family have worked for. This is where your going to need some kind of home owners insurance to help rebuild.
Good thing this wildfire did not happen during some kind of long term SHTF survival situation.
Short version: This morning my daughter and I went to a local park to go fishing. After a few minutes a 6 foot gator showed up to see what was going on.
Over the course of about 15 – 20 minutes, the gator slowly worked its way to within about 8 – 10 feet of the bank. the day was getting hot, and the gator was getting a little too close, so my daughter and I decided to pack up and go home.
Long Version: The day started off around 10:30am when my daughter decided it was time to drag herself out of bed so we could finally go fishing. I had already been up for a couple of hours, had gotten my shower, brushed my teeth, and even made a trip to the store to pick up a couple of low carb blue rock star energy drinks.
While I was waiting for my daughter to get ready, I went through my tackle box, sorted through some of my fishing gear, rounded up the fishing poles, loaded a small ice chest with drinking water into my truck,,,,, finally we were ready to go.
As we were driving out to the park, the wind was hitting the side of my truck pretty good. With the wind like it was, I figured the water around Martin Dies State Park would be stirred up pretty good. So my daughter and I changed plans, and went to Magnolia Ridge Park.
As my daughter and I stopped at the entrance of Magnolia Ridge Park to talk to the attendant, I noticed the lady was eating on a burger. And I must say, that was a nice looking burger. After talking for a few minutes, the attendant told me where she got her burger at. As my daughter and I entered the park, we made a u-turn, went back out to the main rode, and drove to the local country store to get us a cheese burger. It was lunch time anyway, so why not.
Time to eat – I do not remember the stores name, but its right across the road from a rest area that over looks Dam B. We placed our order – 2 cheeseburgers, with everything, but cut the onions.
While we were waiting for the burgers to be cooked, my daughter and I walked across the road and looked over Dam B. I think its rather neat how the Neches river winds its way from Jasper, all the way down to Sabine Lake.
After talking about the Dam and the lake for a few minutes, my daughter and I walked back across the road to the store, got a fountain drink to go with our burgers, then drove back to Magnolia Ridge Park.
There is a spot at the very back of the park where there are some camping areas and a nice bathroom – that is where my daughter and I went.
When we arrived at the spot, I ate my burger and walked along the waters edge looking for a place to fish. There was a nice cypress tree that was growing on the edge of the water, there were also some open spots in the water that were not covered by moss.
Here is the thing with the tree – fish like to hang out under trees, and the tree provides shade to keep the hot sun off my head. In a survival situation take shade when possible. Its not a good idea to stand out in the hot sun when its 100 degrees.
Why do fish like to hang out under trees? Maybe its the change of water temp, with the water under the tree being cooler then out in the open water. Maybe its the occasional meal when a bug falls out of the tree and lands in the water.
The first line in the water was not for perch, but for catfish.
A few days ago I went by a local sporting goods store and picked up some leader material to make homemade leaders. The leader had a swivel where the line was going to be tied, then two 30 pound cable attached to the other side of the swivel. One cable was about 10 inches along and had a weight attached. The other cable was about 16 or 18 inches long and had a #1 hook attached.
The hook was baited with a worm, then cast about 40 feet off the bank. As I cast the bait, something splashed in the water no more then about 6 feet off the bank. There are only a few things that get that close to bank, and one of them is an alligator.
When the rig was reeled in, there was so much moss in the water that it got hung up and the line broke.
Ok, enough with the catfishing, the moss is too thick, lets see how the perch are biting.
The good thing about the perch, the moss stopped maybe 8 – 10 feet away from the bank. This provided a nice place to drop the hook and worm without getting hung up.
Those perch must have been hungry. As soon as the worm hit the water, they went after it.
It was at this time that I saw what had splashed in the water a few minutes earlier, and it was a gator. Gators are a common sight around Southeast Texas. When I was growing up in Bridge City, gators were a common sight in the bayous and marshes. There were lots of times when I passed a gator while hydro-sliding down Cow Bayou.
As long as you keep your distance, don’t harass them, don’t try to hand feed them, keep small pets and children away from the water, everything should be good.
Unlike cats and dogs, gators are not interested in being petted. A little scratching behind the ears is not going to win them over, so don’t even try. With their thick skin, is a gator even going to feel you trying to scratch behind its ears to start with?
As more fish were caught and thrown back, the gator zeroed in on the commotion in the water. Over the course of maybe 15 – 20 minutes, the gator moved from about 30 feet away, to about 8 feet off the bank.
The gator appeared to be about 6 feet long. At that length, I do not think he posed any real danger to myself or my daughter. As long as we did not go into the water, everything should have been fine. But even with this knowledge, I could not help but to feel uneasy with our unwelcome guest so close at hand. Although I have been around gators for most of my life, there is just something about being so close to a top level predator that is difficult to describe.
The weather was getting a little hot, the gator was a little too close for comfort, so my daughter and I packed up and headed home.
When my daughter and I decided to go home, it was more then “lets go home”, I felt that I needed to set an example for her to follow. That example was to give wildlife their room.
We had intruded into the gators home. I could have thrown a stick across the gators head and drove it away, but what kind of example would that have set for my daughter? That we go into nature and drive the animals away? No, we have to share our planet with nature.
Even though the gator did not pose a danger, I felt it was important to set an example for my daughter and that example was why we went home.
On top of giving wildlife its space, my daughter, my wife and I had plans on going to the movies later in the evening. My wife and I were going to go see Green Lantern, and my daughter wanted to go see some penguin movie with Jim Carrey. So lets go home, and get freshened up before we have to go to the movies.
While we are on the topic of gators, how about a video from July 2010 where I spot a gator on the Angelina River. Some friends and I were out in the boat, when we spot a gator tearing chunks off of a dead turtle.
Last Saturday my wife and I went out on the Angelina River south of Lake Sam Rayburn for a day of fishing and relaxation. Long story short, it was hot, my wife got sunburned, and she caught the only fish of the day.
I don’t know what it is, but the fish just were not biting. The fish were not biting pumpkin seed worms in a Texas rig, nor were they biting a beetle spin. The only thing we even got a nibble on was a worm on a perch hook.
Awhile back I received some lures from Daves Great Outdoors, also known as The Fishin Shack. One of the lures I rigged up like a beetle spin. That was the only lure that I saw fish cashing, but nothing was hitting. The fish would follow the lure right up to the boat, then turn around. Which was more then they were doing for the pumpkin seed worm.
Have you ever had a weekend that you never wanted to end? Well, that is the weekend that I had this weekend. Things kicked off Friday with getting ready for Relay for Life here in Jasper County. TJ went to Beaumont to pick up my kids from my ex-wife for the weekend, so that saved me a LOT of time. After lunch I washed my truck, hooked up the pit, loaded up some stuff, left home about 5pm, drove to the Jasper County court house square, and setup for the relay.
The thing that I spent a lot of time thinking about Friday was washing my truck. Because it was more then just washing off dirt, it was washing off memories. The majority of the dirt on my truck was from driving to the lease during hunting season. So the dirt had built up like memories, good memories. Like when my son got his deer for the 2010 – 2011 deer season. For the deer hunting story, visit this article – our first deer of the 2010- 2011 season. As I was washing the layers of dirt off, I was also thinking about the memories built around the truck over the past few months.
Around 4pm my wife and my step-daughter show up and start loading stuff into the truck. We loaded up the canopy, ice chest, tables,,,,, and other stuff. they left a little before 5pm to go get ice. I left for the court house around 5.
Got to the court house square, backed the pit into place, and started setting everything up. The event started at 7pm, and within minutes we had a line at our table. We were selling hotlinks – on a bun, stick, or flatbread.
In all, we raised a little over $600 Friday night, which was donated that night.
There did not seem to be as many people at this years relay as last year. The weather was great, so I dont know what the issue was.
Even though we were supposed to stay all night for the relay, I had made prior commitments for Saturday. Somewhere around 2:15am we loaded up our stuff and headed home. We had a good time at the relay, but I had promised to help a buddy Saturday.
Saturday morning rolled around, my buddy called and did not need my help after all.
Sunday evening we went to a birthday party at a bowling alley in Beaumont. My wife and I rented a lane for my kids and a friend of theirs, and got them a pizza for lunch. Everyone seemed to have a good time, at least I hope they had a good time.
We dropped the kids off with my ex-wife around 3:30. From there my wife and I went to Kroger in Beaumont to look for long term food storage items.
Unfortunately we did not find what we were looking for (powdered eggs), so we went to HEB in Beaumont. I could not find powered eggs their either, but we did find pinto beans in 20 pound bags for making up some 5 gallon bucket superpails. The 5 gallon mylar bags and oxygen absorbers were ordered last week and will hopefully be in Monday or Tuesday. When the mylar bags come in next week my wife and I are going to make up 5 – 5 gallon buckets; 1 – rice, 1 – pinto beans, 1 – bisquick, and that is all my wife and I have talked about. The last 2 buckets I am not real sure about yet.
I am pretty happy with my canned food stockpile, so now its time to move forward to stockpiling food in mylar bags. The goal is to have a stockpile at my home, and at the camp. Since breakfast is the most important meal of the day, that is where I am starting with my mylar bag project. We need powered milk, powered eggs, powered milk, instant pancake mix,,,,, and a few other odds and ends.
I will post more about the mylar bag project later.
From the local Beaumont news, it appears that Joe Deshotel supports a state income tax for Texas. Its time to stand up to tax happy politicians – when its time to reelect Joe Deshotel, say no to a state income tax and vote for whoever is running against Joe Deshotel.
The people have to draw a line in the sand, and its a line that we do not cross. Texas has money to take care of illegal immigrants, but we are supposed to be broke?
Say no to a state income tax – the power to tax is the power to destroy. The federal income is a failure. Instead of the tax base being shifted to the people that can afford it, the tax burden is placed on the shoulders on those that can not afford it – the middle class and the poor.
But for some reason, an income tax for Texas is “supposed” to be a good thing?
Stand up to tax happy politicians, and vote no to Joe Deshotel.