Sunday, May 31, 2009

Stingaree/Crab Festival 2009 - Bolivar Peninsula - Crystal Beach, Texas

In September of 2008, Hurricane Ike devastated the Bolivar Peninsula. This weekend Crystal Beach put on a combination of their two biggest festivals to bring people back to the beach and raise money to rebuild the baseball park.

My niece Katie, her best friend Chloe and I have never missed a Stingaree Festival and we were thrilled when we heard Hayes Carll was going to have a festival this year. We loved Ryan Bingham, the Magpies closed out there set with a cover of a song by The Clash, the John Evans Band streaked (in their underwear) during Hayes Carll's set and Hayes and John both got in the dunking booth to raise money.

Upcoming blog posts: slideshow of all the videos and pictures (they're still uploading to Flickr) and an unusual little video of two beach'll call it "dirty dancing."

Katie and Chloe

Ryan Bingham

John Evans

Jesse Dayton

Hayes Carll

John Evans Band bass player with Katie and Chloe

The Magpies

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Something Else to Worry About - Gulf Coast Tsunami?

I just saw on the news that there was a 7.1 magnitude earthquake in Honduras a short while ago and there are tsunami concerns.

My first thought was, "Oh, my."

My second thought was, "Wait. A tsunami in the Caribbean or Gulf of Mexico could"

When I think about tsunamis, I think about Thailand, Japan, know...not here. Can seawalls and levees hold back a tsunami? How far inland would a tsunami go? I suppose that depends on where and how strong the quake is, but I want details. I want charts and graphics. I want warning.

The only good thing about hurricanes is that we coastal residents usually have plenty of warning before landfall. Earthquake? That's a California thing. Tsunami? Not here.


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Crystal Beach - Stingaree/Crab Festival

Also, there will be a kick-off party/concert at Courville's Thursday night with John Evans and Hayes Carll. $20 a ticket and it includes dinner.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Billy Joe Shaver at Courville's

Friday night I joined my friend Steve for another memorable night at Courville's. This night, however, was more than memorable, it was surreal. The night would consist of the first ever five minute drum solo I've ever seen at Courville's, a mini set by Donnie Courville of the Courville's Courvilles and an opening act of two country music Australian women.

One of the things I like most about concerts at Courville's is that the main performer goes on at around 8:00 p.m. and I'm home by 10:00 p.m. The top act Friday night was Billy Joe Shaver and he didn't really understand the concept of an 8:00 p.m. start time and was two hours late getting to Courville's.

I knew something was up Billy Joe Shaver-wise when the opening act seemed to be going a little long. The opening act was Anne McCue and Audrey Auld playing a combination of blues, blue grass, rock and Australian bush music. They were fantastic and great sports about the whole thing.

When they finished their set at around 8:30 p.m., Donnie took the stage to try to fill some more time. I've never heard him play or sing before and he was terrific. After about five songs, Donnie told the crowd that he was running out of songs, because he can only remember about five songs at any given time. That brought Ann and Audrey back to the stage.

Things began to get really interesting, because Ann and Audrey had been drinking Shiner Bocks and Merlot during their show and then during Donnie's set and Rich Courville started selling $1 draft beer to everyone.

Ann and Audrey were a lot of fun for their first set, but were a riot during their second set. They played a little bit of everything they knew and we were all beginning to feel like we were in some weird parallel universe and that Billy Joe Shaver would never show up and we would all be there forever all taking turns playing instruments and trying to sing and drinking $1 draft beer for eternity.

Suddenly, behind Audrey and Ann a guy with a drum kit appeared. Everybody was overly excited about a drum kit until the drummer told us Billy Joe Shaver was the inevitable "ten minutes away." So, Audrey and Ann sang another couple of songs and, by God, Billy Joe Shaver showed up around 10:00 p.m.

There he was, a tall wispy 70 year old version of the legendary Billy Joe Shaver. He immediately stood in front of the mic while the band continued to set up and started a stream of consciousness explanation of where he and the band had been and instantly, all was forgiven. Just like that exboyfriend or exgirlfriend you always forgive because they make you smile, we were all in deep like again.

Billy Joe has an amazing band and his voice is still wonderful. He only performs songs he's written and that is a beautiful thing. If you have an opportunity to see Billy Joe Shaver, do it.

Also, I've told you this before and I'm telling you again. Go to Courville's!

Do they think we're that dumb?

Southern Comfort is now So Co? Says who?

Headline News is not HLN? Why?

National Geographic is now Nat Geo. Et tu, National Geographic?

Some ad guys somewhere decided that abbreviating the names of these iconic symbols of American life would make them more hip and cool. The sad part is that it probably worked.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

I love Sonic, but...damn.

Sonic girl: Welcome to Sonic, what would you like today?

Me: Medium mango limeade, small caramel iced latte, small tater tots, bacon bistro sandwich.

Sonic girl: What was that first thing you said?

Me: Medium Mango Limeade.

Sonic girl: ((nothing))

Me: Hello?

Sonic girl: Okay.

Me: Did you get the bistro sandwich and the rest of the order?

Sonic girl: What else did you want?

Me: Medium mango limeade...

Sonic girl: Okay...

Me: Small caramel iced latte...

Sonic girl: Okay...

Me: Small tater tots...

Sonic girl: Okay...

Me: Bacon bistro sandwich.

Sonic girl: Okay...

Me: That's all.

Sonic girl: Okay. Medium Mango LEMONADE, bacon breakfast BURRITO, iced wanted caramel right?

Me: Mango LIMEADE, bacon breakfast BISTRO...not burrito...caramel iced latte and tater tots.

Sonic girl: Okay. Medium Mango LEMONADE, bacon breakfast bistro sandwich, iced latte...caramel?... and tater tots.

Inside my head: NO!!! Mango LIMEADE!!! LIMEADE GOTDAMMIT!!! LIMEADE!!!!!!!!

Me to Sonic girl: Yeah. That's it.

Inside my head: Fuck it.

Aren't you curious about what I actually got when the girl brought my order? I got a small order of tater tots, mango limeade (!!!!), bacon bistro sandwich and a HOT latte, three straws, three packets of catsup, no napkins and no peppermint.

I started to ask the carhop why I would drink a HOT latte with one of the various straws she brought me, but instead just told her that I had ordered an ICED latte and not a HOT latte. She said, "Okay, they're the same price. I'll just go back in and get you the iced latte instead of the hot." She was very nice about the whole thing, but I had the feeling she thought I was confused.

Yeah, I was the confused one.

Friday, May 22, 2009


Last night, I woke up at about 4:00 a.m., sat up in bed and said, "I feel like I should say something."

I looked at the dog, looked at the wall, tried to remember what I was dreaming, then went back to sleep.

The weirdest part is that, when I woke up this morning, I still remembered doing that.


Thursday, May 21, 2009

Father of the Bride

My good friend Mary Beth's daughter is getting married next weekend. For months Mary Beth has been spending every waking hour working and planning and pondering the big event.

This morning she came to my desk and said that now...a week away from the wedding...her husband has begun to join in the fretting and had a suggestion for her. Last night he told her that she should maybe...make a list.

Make a list.

Mary Beth has spreadsheets and charts and graphs and lists that help her to keep track of her lists. God bless you, Mr. Mary Beth. It's comforting to know that if you're ever in charge of planning a wedding, that seven days before the wedding, you will make a list.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

My Friends Longneck Road Opening for Django Walker

Longneck Road features, from left, Ron Arceneaux,
Robert Arena, Dick LeMasters and Miles Sykes

Stolen from the Port Arthur News article by By Darragh Doiron...

Boys’ Haven’s biggest fund raiser of the year has a new name.

The Boys' Haven Food & Music Festival, formerly known as the Boys’ Haven Crawfish Festival, will help keep the center open for young boys in need. Music from The Bryce Shaver Band, Cajun Harmony, Still Cruisin', Longneck Road and Django Walker will highlight the affair, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, May 23, at Ford Park Pavilion off Interstate 10 in Beaumont, Jim Ferrell, the center’s development and business manager, said.

The affair will include Boys’ Haven’s “famous” crawfish dinners with corn and potatoes, pork-ka-bobs, boudain, roasted corn, barbecue and funnel cakes. Tickets are $8 in advance from FastLane stores and $10 at the gate.

A youth play area, games, face painting and a car show will make for family fun, Ferrell said. For information or sponsorship information call Robert Pate Ferrell at 833-5060, or visit

Django Walker is son of Texas music legend Jerry Jeff Walker. He will take the stage from 9:30 to 11:00 p.m. Local band Longneck Road will take the stage around 7:40 p.m. to warm up for Walker.

Longneck Road members call their music “Texas Rock,” a blend of rock, Texas Country, blues and boogie. The band mixes its original music with covers of Jimi Hendrix, Steve Earle, Kenny Wayne Shepherd and even the occasional Johnny Cash song.

Members say they’re excited to play the same bill as Walker.

“Having grown up listening to Jerry Jeff, opening up for Django Walker is certainly an honor,” said Dick LeMasters, singer and songwriter for Longneck Road.

Ron Arceneaux, bass player for Longneck Road, has performed at shows with Walker in the past.

“Opening for Django back in 2005 at Texas GatorFest was an awesome experience,” Arceneaux said. “He’s really an inspired writer in the Lone Star music tradition and reaches across many genres having been influenced by Tom Petty and Coldplay.”

Drummer Robert Arena and lead guitar player Miles Sykes round out the lineup of Longneck Road, which was formed in early 2008 in Beaumont. The focus of the band has been on perfecting and performing original music, and events such as the Boys Haven festival are ideal, members say.

“We have a great time playing at events like this,” said Arena. The band is quick to thank the directors of Boys Haven for featuring Longneck Road in this year’s lineup.

“Robert Pate, who handled the music lineup, was great to deal with, and we all really appreciate him including us in the show,” Sykes said

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Dr. Pepper Barbeque Sauce? Why not?

I love Dr. Pepper. In Texas, we call all soft drinks "Coke", but I would call Dr. Pepper the soft drink of choice for most of us here.

During summer vacation in the '60s, we used to walk to Burger Chef at least once a day and I would always order a cherry Dr. Pepper. I now get my cherry Dr. Pepper at Sonic and I can't wait to try the new cherry Dr. Pepper that Gene Simmons is so excited about.

Today I opened the coupon pamphlets in the Sunday newspaper and I see there is now a Dr. Pepper barbecue sauce. Texans love barbecue and Texans love Dr. Pepper. Sounds like a match made in barbecue sauce heaven, right? I'll let you know how it is as soon as I try it.

Here are some vintage Dr. Pepper commercials. Be sure to watch the last one. WTF?


I'm a Pepper.

Friday, May 15, 2009


I'll do a post about Mercury retrogrades later. For now, I have to tell you that one of my favorite local bands will be paying at one of my favorite night spots Friday night. Don't miss Simple Logic at The Logon Cafe.

The sound at the Logon is great, they have yummy sandwiches, a nice wine list, lots of cold interesting beers and Simple Logic has one of the best lead singers of any band in the area. They play covers of groups like Maroon 5, Jason Mraz, Matchbox 20, get my drift. They also play some fun dance music.

Don't miss this one.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Beaumont Emergency Animal Hospital

Yesterday evening, I gave Oakley his monthly flea treatment. I usually use Adam's flea products, but the only brand available at CVS was Sergeant's Gold Flea and Tick squeeze-on application.

After about three hours, Oakley started acting funny. He got very restless, so I took him outside. As soon as we got outside, he threw up. When we got in the house, he kept acting strange (very jittery, sensitive to noise, still throwing up). I watched him for a while and got online to Google reactions to Sergeant's Gold products.

If you do a Google of Sergeant's Gold products, it will scare you to death. Since Oakley wasn't displaying any of the more severe reactions, I bathed him in dishwashing liquid like the websites recommended and continued to watch him for another hour or so and he seemed to be calming down a bit. However, around 12:30 a.m. he started crying which he never does.

Fortunately, Beaumont has a 24-hour emergency animal clinic which I knew about through friends. I brought Oakley in and, as I had been told by others who have had to use the clinic, everyone there was terrific.

They told me to check with my vet about flea medications and they told me they hate Sergeants and Hartz flea medications because they see so many animals with complications from those brands.

They gave Oakley a cortisone shot and said he had a pretty bad skin reaction to a chemical in the Sergeant's Gold. It's 1:44 a.m. now and I'm waiting for the sedative to kick in so he'll settle down and we can go to sleep. Thank God, the skin reaction was his only complication.

To get to the clinic, take the 4th Street exit off of Cardinal Drive and it's on the northbound feeder road of the highway. I hope you never need them.

Southeast Texas Animal Emergency Clinic
3420 W Cardinal Dr
Beaumont,Texas 77705

8:00 a.m.UPDATE:
Oakley finally settled down about 3:30 a.m., but even after he fell asleep, the sedative they gave him at the animal clinic made him sleep so hard, I thought he wasn't breathing all night and kept poking him to make him move. He seems to be fine this morning and I’m going to go check on him at lunch. His back where I put the chemical still seems to be bothering him a bit.

11:00 a.m. UPDATE:
All appears to be well. I gave Oakley a little water and a dog biscuit and he kept both down and he's resting well with no fidgeting.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


When I did a previous post (click here), I promised that my next post would be about mercury retrogrades and how they can seriously screw with your life. As you might have noticed, that blog post hasn't come yet. Want to know why? Because the stupid retrograde is jacking with my modem every night and I can't get an internet connection in the evenings.

I'll try again tonight.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Have a Google-y Happy Mother's Day!

(I thought the Google symbol today was pretty, so I stole it.)

Friday, May 08, 2009

The "Fun" Continues

Monday, I did a post about a chaotic hour I had after I left the office. Part of my problem was that my debit card wouldn't work.

I went to my bank Wednesday and the girl there had no problem with my card. She ran every test she could including going out to the ATM machine and trying it herself. I had tried the ATM machine ten minutes before she did and my card wouldn't work. For her, no problem.

I went back out to the ATM machine and, at first, my card wouldn't work. On my second attempt...MONEY!

Last night, I went to Hallmark and tried to use my debit card. Wouldn't work. I told them about my problem Monday and she said that the problem Monday was with the Pulse network and not a Hallmark problem. This was a Hallmark problem. I dug to the bottom of my purse, dusted the cobwebs off my checkbook and wrote a check...something I haven't done in months.

I left Hallmark, drove across the parking lot to Popeye's and was confronted with a sign that read, "Cash or checks, please. Credit card machine not working." WTF?! I placed my order and drove up to the window and told the girl about my trouble at Hallmark and suggested it might be the same problem. She said, "No, the machine up front works fine. It's only at the drive-thru."

I'll be helping Cory and Jamie move this weekend, so I'm not sure when my next post will be. That post will be about retrogrades. You can read ahead and do your homework in preparation for that post by clicking here. A friend told me about mercury retrogrades about fifteen years ago and I'm telling you, it's not my imagination. During a mercury retrograde, things tend to go to s-h-i-t.

Oh, yeah. The voice mail at my office quit working yesterday afternoon.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

First Thursdays at the Mildred Building

This sounds wonderful. I can't go this month, but I'm going to definitely try to go next month and take pictures. The Mildred Building is a fantastic piece of architecture here in Beaumont,Texas located at the corner of Calder Street and Martin Luther King Boulevard. I hope this is a success.

Click here for more pictures of The Mildred and for a link to the site from which I heisted the above pictures.

Monday, May 04, 2009

How many things can go wrong in an hour?

5:10 p.m. Gas pump wouldn't take my debit card.

5:12 p.m. Had to move to another gas pump and it wouldn't take my debit card either.

5:13 p.m. Had to walk to glass attendant cage which totally pissed me off.

5:13 p.m. Rude chick in glass attendant cage took her sweet time counting her money drawer just to piss me off some more.

5:18 p.m. Old lady, her daughter and grandson hogged the cereal aisle and every third aisle I tried to shop on in the grocery store.

5:28p.m. When I was ready to leave, every checkout lane had at least two people with full baskets in line.

5:30 p.m. When I was loading my groceries onto the conveyor belt, I noticed that my bag of Giant Cheetos (which I STILL haven't tasted), had evidently already been opened and taste tested by some jokester and Giant Cheetos spilled onto the conveyor belt.

5:31 p.m. When I handed the bag of opened Cheetos to the cashier and told her that I hadn't opened the bag she asked, "Do you want me to throw them away?"

5:31:05 p.m. I told the cashier WITH A SMILE ON MY FACE, "Well, I don't think anyone's going to want to eat them."

5:31:07 p.m. The cashier didn't see the humor in my statement, acted like it was my fault that she had to put the Cheetos in the throw-away bin and proceeded to carry on a conversation with the bagger guy and to totally ignore me while checking my groceries.

5:41 p.m. My debit card wouldn't work to pay for my groceries.

5:51 p.m. When I got home, construction guys were blocking my driveway. I had to park in front of my house and carry my groceries in through the front door instead of right into my kitchen from the garage all while trying to distract the dog and keep him from running out the front door.

If you lost count, that's twelve.