Watch out for them ol’ Stepladder blues …

Soccer isn’t high on my list of priorities. I like watching the USA in the World Cup. That’s primarily because I like Clint Dempsey and that is primarily because he is from my second hometown of Nacogdoches, Texas.

"Ooh, it makes me wonder ... " Stairway to Heaven. By Jimmy Page and Robert Plant

“Ooh, it makes me wonder … ” — Stairway to Heaven. By Jimmy Page and Robert Plant

So I don’t give a flying foot about what’s going on with Sepp Blatter, who resigned from the governing body of the World Cup amid a corruption scandal. Is it Fifi? No that’s probably his dog. It’s FIFA. Whatever it means.

When I started hearing about this I didn’t know who, or care for that matter, who Sepp Blatter is. I was just confused hearing that this man’s name. It sounded like “Stepladder.” Why would anyone be named “Stepladder” unless he is a blues singer.

“Oh de de, I got me those stepladder blues.

I’m climbin’ up but going down.

I got me those ol’ stepladder blues.”

Sepp Blatter. Meaning it’s a nickname for Septic Bladder. Maybe so. Maybe not. Got them ol’ Sepp Blatter blues.

Yes the water’s rising. To some, it’s old hat.

“Is it raining?”

That is what most folks ask me when I get a phone call from someone living somewhat of a distance from where I live. Yesterday it was a guy in the District of Columbia. Today it was a man in Dallas.

If you have been watching the news in the United States during the past couple of weeks you will see that Texas has had some trophy raining.

It began with the flash flooding in the “Hill Country” of Central Texas, primarily around San Marcos, Wimberley and other areas between Austin or San Antonio. Hays County, where San Marcos and Wimberley is located, really took a pounding. Houston, another low-level city was flooded. Then it was Dallas’ turn. Two of the 10 largest cities in the U.S. waterlogged.

In actuality, the flooding has seemingly settled into the area where I live — in Southeast Texas — for more than a month.

Areas of the Sabine River, south of Deweyville in Newton County, has hung on the precipice of flooding for some time. The area I am referring to has an elevation that would struggle to make 10 feet. Many of the residents see this as just a part of living on the river.

Some times are worse than others though. Recently, the Sabine River Authority has had to let loose some of that mass of water that is kept by Toledo Bend Dam. The dam, like the river, separates the Texas-Louisiana border. The dam is located about 100 miles north of Deweyville and Indian Lake. Both the dam and “greater” Deweyville are located in Newton County. Across the river bank are Beauregard and Calcasieu parishes in Louisiana.

Although the river authority reports that it has “cut back” on water releases, the equivalent of 12,474,852 gallons of water per minute are flowing downstream to regulate the elevation of the largest man-made lake in the south and the fifth largest in the United States.

Local television reports that folks around the area below Deweyville are taking it all in stride. They’ve seen it all before. Some people think the people who live just off the river bank are a little on the insane side. But, be it ever so humble …

Hell, if the water keeps rising they’ll ride their roofs downstream if they have to do so. How high’s the water mama? Well, the present forecast calls for the river to crest tonight in Deweyville. But if it keeps raining, we’ll find out high the water really will be in south Newton County.

The incredible power of music

Just now I was sitting and listening to an old Steely Dan song that I either don’t remember or vaguely remember. The song, “Dallas,” was released in 1972 and has more of a country-rock ballad sound to it than the jazz-rock for which the band is known.

Hearing the song reminds me of my friends over the years and how most of those friends had varying interests in music even though the level in interest usually was somewhere between high and very high.

Some of my best friends from high school days played in a band and I would help them in any way I could short of singing or playing and instrument. My friends throughout have shared a love for music while not always sharing fondness for the same musicians.

A case in point was Waldo, my best friend and one dating back to high school all the way up until his untimely death from cancer in 1998.

People have their preferences as to what they like in their songs. Maybe some love the lyrics. Others like the music and or the lyrics or just the tune itself. Still others may even be taken with just a specific portion of a tune or a lyric. A lack of affinity with a particular group may come from some social context or even a perception of that context.

The latter tended to drive Waldo’s lack of appreciation for Steely Dan. He tended to think their music was “too cool,” in his terms, meaning he felt some people thought it was hip to like the jazzy sounds of the group.

To give full disclosure, Waldo (known as “Mr. Miller” at the high school where he taught government and economics,) did confess to liking the Steely Dan song: “Don’t Take Me Alive.”

 “Got a case of dynamite / I could hold out here all night / Yes, I crossed my old man back in Oregon / Don’t take me alive … “

Those lyrics exemplified the same stubbornness and general dislike of authority with which my friend identified. I am pretty certain that Waldo turned me on to such bands as Black Sabbath, that tended toward espousing a heavy dose of antisocial behavior.

Other discussions with other friends in later — as from the Navy and the 1970s on — spurred new interests which, like Johnny Appleseed, I have sometimes felt obliged to pass along to other friends. Yes, I know, a virtual wheel.

This might explain why I will spend an hour or more reading about someone like Randy Meisner — best known for a short time in the band Poco and the one who played bass and sang high harmony with The Eagles until after “Hotel California” was released. I mean, who don’t like The Eagles … ?

Flag pins only go fabric deep

Look at the photo below:

President Obama mugs it up with newly commissioned Coast Guard officers on May 20 at the USCG Academy in New London, Conn.

President Obama mugs it up with newly commissioned Coast Guard officers on May 20 at the USCG Academy in New London, Conn. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

What do you see besides new Coast Guard ensigns having what appears to be fun poses with their Commander-in-Chief upon the graduation of the 2015 class at the USCG Academy in New London, Conn. Well yes, there’s that. But what else?

Why no!! It can’t be!! OMG, IT IS!!!! If you look at the President’s left lapel, you will see, an American flag pin. (Well, I had to reduce the photo a bit, but trust me, go to and look for yourself.) Heavens to Betsy! What’s the world coming to?

I saw a discussion on a relative’s Facebook page lamenting that ABC News anchors and those from other networks don’t wear flag pins. People also complained it was just as that Obama guy who doesn’t wear an American flag pin. Well, what’s with his photo taken last week?

If you look through most photos of Obama on the White House Web site when he is wearing a coat, you will find he wears a flag lapel pin.

Looking through the various comments about ABC having some new order not to wear flag pins, I found that President Richard Nixon was the first president to wear a flag pin. The practice kind of waned until George W. Bush started wearing them again. Whether that is true I don’t know. I have read on and numerous news stories that ABC had a policy saying on-air people shouldn’t wear symbols such as American flags in order to show impartiality. Apparently, this had been a policy for decades, not after 9/11 or recently, as some claim. Other networks  reportedly have no such policy.

There were a couple of other comments on this particular Facebook post that I feel a need to address. First is that something is “happening to America.” Some say they want their “country back.” Another site said that Obama and network anchors not wearing flag pins were a “slap in the face to all veterans.” I remarked on this post that I am a veteran and it doesn’t bother me in the least.

Symbols, I said, are a sign of patriotism and should not be confused with actually “being a patriot.”

This Memorial Day is supposed to remember all those who died in service of their country. It isn’t a day to remember us of something that never existed. You want a real mess? How about the late 1960s and particular during the Vietnam War? And not only the war but its aftermath. I feel I must constantly remind people that when I served in the Navy, from 1974 to 1978, folks never came up and said to a military member: “Thank you for your service.” Some might say “F*** you very much.” I never had that happen. I did have people, mostly my age, who recoiled from you because you were in uniform or was sporting a military haircut. I’m not saying everyone was like that, thankfully.

I was lucky to find some wonderful civilian people, especially in Gulfport, Miss. and San Diego, when I served there in the 1970s. I still do find good people who sincerely appreciate our service. This Memorial Day I think of those people as well as those who sacrificed all for their country. It doesn’t matter whether you fly a flag, wear a flag lapel or have a flag decal or ribbon on your car. Those things don’t matter. It’s what’s in one’s heart. Like John Prine sings:

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Memorial Day: History of the Day

It was nice to have two hours admin leave today. It starts off a three-day weekend. No work for three days is something I can do. I checked out a couple of books from the library a few days ago. One is a Steve Martini legal thriller I have  not read. Another book is a non-fiction story about a shadow FBI that then FBI director J. Edgar Hoover had. It sounds interesting and I look forward to the read.

I thought to kick off the weekend I would give a history of Memorial Day. It is from the Department of Veterans Affairs. You could read the Web page, but instead you can read it here. When some one gives a reason why there is a Memorial Day, you can tell them something true instead of “Oh, it’s for the start of Summer.” Informally, such may be the reason. But the real reason is below. Have a good and safe holiday.

Memorial Day History

Three years after the Civil War ended, on May 5, 1868, the head of an organization of Union veterans — the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) — established Decoration Day as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers. Maj. Gen. John A. Logan declared that Decoration Day should be observed on May 30. It is believed that date was chosen because flowers would be in bloom all over the country.

The first large observance was held that year at Arlington National Cemetery, across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C.

The ceremonies centered around the mourning-draped veranda of the Arlington mansion, once the home of Gen. Robert E. Lee. Various Washington officials, including Gen. and Mrs. Ulysses S. Grant, presided over the ceremonies. After speeches, children from the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Orphan Home and members of the GAR made their way through the cemetery, strewing flowers on both Union and Confederate graves, reciting prayers and singing hymns.

Local Observances Claim To Be First Local springtime tributes to the Civil War dead already had been held in various places. One of the first occurred in Columbus, Miss., April 25, 1866, when a group of women visited a cemetery to decorate the graves of Confederate soldiers who had fallen in battle at Shiloh. Nearby were the graves of Union soldiers, neglected because they were the enemy. Disturbed at the sight of the bare graves, the women placed some of their flowers on those graves, as well.

Today, cities in the North and the South claim to be the birthplace of Memorial Day in 1866. Both Macon and Columbus, Ga., claim the title, as well as Richmond, Va. The village of Boalsburg, Pa., claims it began there two years earlier. A stone in a Carbondale, Ill., cemetery carries the statement that the first Decoration Day ceremony took place there on April 29, 1866. Carbondale was the wartime home of Gen. Logan. Approximately 25 places have been named in connection with the origin of Memorial Day, many of them in the South where most of the war dead were buried.

Official Birthplace Declared In 1966, Congress and President Lyndon Johnson declared Waterloo, N.Y., the “birthplace” of Memorial Day. There, a ceremony on May 5, 1866, honored local veterans who had fought in the Civil War. Businesses closed and residents flew flags at half-staff. Supporters of Waterloo’s claim say earlier observances in other places were either informal, not community-wide or one-time events.

By the end of the 19th century, Memorial Day ceremonies were being held on May 30 throughout the nation. State legislatures passed proclamations designating the day, and the Army and Navy adopted regulations for proper observance at their facilities.

It was not until after World War I, however, that the day was expanded to honor those who have died in all American wars. In 1971, Memorial Day was declared a national holiday by an act of Congress, though it is still often called Decoration Day. It was then also placed on the last Monday in May, as were some other federal holidays.

Some States Have Confederate Observances Many Southern states also have their own days for honoring the Confederate dead. Mississippi celebrates Confederate Memorial Day on the last Monday of April, Alabama on the fourth Monday of April, and Georgia on April 26. North and South Carolina observe it on May 10, Louisiana on June 3 and Tennessee calls that date Confederate Decoration Day. Texas celebrates Confederate Heroes Day January 19 and Virginia calls the last Monday in May Confederate Memorial Day.

Gen. Logan’s order for his posts to decorate graves in 1868 “with the choicest flowers of springtime” urged: “We should guard their graves with sacred vigilance. … Let pleasant paths invite the coming and going of reverent visitors and fond mourners. Let no neglect, no ravages of time, testify to the present or to the coming generations that we have forgotten as a people the cost of a free and undivided republic.”

The crowd attending the first Memorial Day ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery was approximately the same size as those that attend today’s observance, about 5,000 people. Then, as now, small American flags were placed on each grave — a tradition followed at many national cemeteries today. In recent years, the custom has grown in many families to decorate the graves of all departed loved ones.

The origins of special services to honor those who die in war can be found in antiquity. The Athenian leader Pericles offered a tribute to the fallen heroes of the Peloponnesian War over 24 centuries ago that could be applied today to the 1.1 million Americans who have died in the nation’s wars: “Not only are they commemorated by columns and inscriptions, but there dwells also an unwritten memorial of them, graven not on stone but in the hearts of men.”

To ensure the sacrifices of America ’s fallen heroes are never forgotten, in December 2000, the U.S. Congress passed and the president signed into law “The National Moment of Remembrance Act,” P.L. 106-579, creating the White House Commission on the National Moment of Remembrance. The commission’s charter is to “encourage the people of the United States to give something back to their country, which provides them so much freedom and opportunity” by encouraging and coordinating commemorations in the United States of Memorial Day and the National Moment of Remembrance.

The National Moment of Remembrance encourages all Americans to pause wherever they are at 3 p.m. local time on Memorial Day for a minute of silence to remember and honor those who have died in service to the nation. As Moment of Remembrance founder Carmella LaSpada states: “It’s a way we can all help put the memorial back in Memorial Day.”

Adios Dave

At what point I stopped watching “The Late Show With David Letterman” is difficult to recall. Probably that difficulty remembering stems from not actually pulling the plug on his show in its entirety.

I came to watch Jimmy Kimmel’s show on ABC within the last six months or so. I was just tired of Letterman, something about his show had gone stale. Maybe it’s like becoming what we called in the Navy, a short-timer. We knew the days, hours and minutes before we left for civilian life and we would rub that knowledge in the face let our cohorts who had much more time left. We weren’t particularly big on doing our normal duties either.

Now a show as big as Letterman’s operation can’t just be left to go to hell in a handbasket. I have watched some episodes lately of Letterman, such as last night’s laugh fest with Bill Murray. He came out of a giant celebration cake and upon hugging Letterman, both continued to wear the cake through the episode. No, Dave still had very quality shows when I stopped watching, it’s just, I don’t know, a tiresome act.

David Letterman. Wikimedia. Creative Commons

David Letterman. Wikimedia. Creative Commons

I first started watching Kimmel when his show first aired. I think he had Mike Tyson as a week-long guest and it was very oddball and very funny. And I had never liked Tyson. That show began a process of rehabilitation toward my feelings for Tyson. But I continued on, watching Letterman and occasionally I’d watch Leno. I liked his Jay Walking skits and “Headlines.” But I’d go back to Letterman without fail. My watching mostly depended on who Dave had as a guest.

No entertainer, at least in modern TV, had the type of show like Letterman’s. I think it was interactive before interactive was cool. I liked how some of his seeming “grunts” or regular employees would perform some of the best comedy with Letterman, this would include people like stage manager Biff Henderson, who had done countless skits both on site and off to some forsaken place. Dave’s Mom also became a beloved character on the show. Rupert Jee, the owner of the Hello Deli next door to the Ed Sullivan Theater, was on a recent show. Rupert seemed over the years like he would do anything Dave asked, no matter how ridiculous the request.

1978 Press photo of Warren Zevon.

1978 Press photo of Warren Zevon.

Music director Paul Schafer and his bad were stars in their own right. They often had musical guests who also sat in for multiple nights. One of my favorite guest musicians and apparently Letterman’s was the rock genius Warren Zevon. The writer and performer of hits such as “Werewolves of London” and “Lawyers, Guns and Money,” played many Lettermen shows from the first seasons on NBC to the early 2000s CBS incarnation. Zevon substituted for Shafer about 20 times and Letterman had a show entirely dedicated to Zevon upon his announcement of a diagnosis for terminal cancer that eventually killed him.

Letterman educated people during the aftermath of his own heart attack and he was the perspective-in-chief in the days following that horrible day on Sept. 11, 2001. Watch below.

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These were just some of my most favorable moments from David Letterman, the majority having been on CBS from the 90s on. I either didn’t have or didn’t watch TV much in the 80s when Letterman began his network shows. I haven’t watched Jimmy Fallon’s show on NBC. I don’t know if I will. And I have no idea how Colbert will be as the new man behind the desk here at CBS in the Letterman time spot. If he can give the people the humor, the goofiness, the silliness with style and yes, even the perspective, that folks deserve, I might just watch Colbert’s show as well as Kimmel’s.

Good luck, David Letterman.

Six Shooter Junction rides again

Maybe it’s the location that has led to all the bloodshed.The latest count: 9 killed and almost 20 wounded. That was what came from a clash of more than three different biker gangs that went from fighting in a restaurant bathroom to shooting outside. Nearly 175 are in jail for the bloody melee in Waco.

The best quote of the day: “They’re not here to drink beer and eat barbecue,” said Waco police spokesman, Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton.

 "They're not here to drink beer and eat barbecue"--Sgt. Patrick Swanton, Waco police spokesman

“They’re not here to drink beer and eat barbecue”–Sgt. Patrick Swanton, Waco police spokesman

Way back in the 1870s when cattle were being driven to the market in the Midwest, a spur of the Chisholm Trail as well as passing railroads made Waco, Texas, a busy place. Waco laid out crazily upon the Brazos River made the streets running north and south going east and west and vice versa. Cowboys who didn’t get lost on the streets may have been even more disoriented coming from a night of whiskey guzzling in the many saloons with a stop in the red light district.

Waco had a tough Texas nickname. It was called “Six Shooter Junction” back then.

Despite the carnage coming from barroom shootouts and occasional street duels — a steady dose of dissing the mighty Baptist school Baylor University by the town’s nationally-known journalist William C. Brann got him fatally wounded one day after a shootout — It would be in the 20th and 21st centuries when the real bloodshed flowed.

In the 1990s, a controversial raid by the federal Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agency on a religious cult that ended that day with four ATF agents and six members of the Branch Davidians. This led to a 51-day siege that ended into a fire killing 76 Davidians who had stayed behind at their compound about 10 miles east of Waco. Included in those who died was the leader of cult, Vernon Howell, who was later known as David Koresh.

Though not always peaceful — I covered more than 20 murders in Waco and McLennan County at the turn of the century during the two years I worked as a police beat reporter — the next large loss of life came in 2013 from an industrial explosion about 15 miles north of Waco in the city of West. A fertilizer plant blew up killing 15 and injuring 160. Most of what was settled in the 1880s by Czech emigrants was destroyed. An investigation found the ammonium nitrate — the volatile fertilizer component — was improperly stored.

The needless deaths and injuries — reports say four bikers may have been shot by police — is like something you see on TV. It’s worthy of a “Sons of Anarchy” episode.

It is also something that, much like the Branch Davidian saga, didn’t have to happen, at least according to police.

Information about possible biker throwdowns led Waco police and state troopers to the Twin Peaks restaurant for the past month. Though I’ve not frequented one, Twin Peaks is supposedly “manned” by women dressed in skimpy outfits as is the case at Hooters. Twin Peaks, go figure.

The restaurant is located in a shopping center near the southern outskirts, just off Interstate 35, between Dallas/Fort Worth and Austin. The center is what you see in almost every city above 100,000 people. I have driven I-35 more than I ever wanted to do so. You can’t go from Dallas to San Antonio without seeing the same big box stores and restaurants that pop up from one stop to the other. Perhaps the almost equal distance between the cities may be part of the reason Waco was such a good place for a “meet and greet.”

Maybe it is ironic to some while sickening to others, but our governor issued a statement today about the Waco incident:

“Texas will not stand for the type of lawlessness we witnessed in Waco yesterday, said Gov. Greg Abbott, R, Texas.”

Hmm, I wonder if he will think about that when he signs a bill allowing Texans to openly carry handguns. One can only wonder what might have happened if people were carrying their “shootin’ irons” when something like Twin Peaks broke out. Some might say, that armed civilians carrying their guns would scare them “thugs” off. Maybe. But maybe not. You get a bunch of drunked up, tweaked up guys armed to the teeth, you think Casper Milquetoast sitting there wearing his 9-mm will make his quick draw before Bill the Killer wraps a bike chain and snaps off his neck? Maybe the confusion will be worse.

I wonder if The Abbott thinks about those things?


Pickin’ up that ol’ ring ring? Ain’t nothing new.

Sometimes I think as far as the telephone has come the distance is actually less than it really is. Kind of like those side view mirrors that say the objects are closer than they appear. We can talk about those substances that make objects closer than they appear at a later date.

Today I talked to a phone center person from a company called the Schumacher Group. Among other pursuits in addition to trying to f**k up a perfectly good day, the Lafayette, La., company is a “Your health care solution.”

Schumacher once provided emergency room doctors for a local hospital and its doc-in-a-boxes. The company also bills customer for those choices. I received a call the other day saying I owed $292 for seeing a nurse or physicians assistant for a couple of minutes about a year and a half ago. That was news to me since this was a worker’s comp case and the government paid for subsequent care that included arthroscopic knee surgery and physical therapy. My knee doc actually put the Ps and Qs together linking my fall, for which I went to the doc-in-a-box to begin with, proximately to a meniscus tear.

“Well, we sent a bill (to workers comp) and they rejected it,” said the phone center nag from Schumacher.

“Well, I sure as hell am not going to pay it,”  I said, after about the third time she told me I was responsible. That was followed by hanging up, my hanging up.

Today I talked to the people from the Xerox-owned company that now does our workers comp financial matters. Fortunately, the lady I spoke with was nice and dug through my miles of paper on computer only to discover the wrong coding was put into my initial ER bill.

So I called Schumacher back today and explained what happened. She didn’t want to hear it. The solution was for them to call the workers comp people and find out what was needed for the resolution of this medical mishap!

But no, Schumacher’s lady wasn’t hearing any of it. They would have to call “us.” And she would have to talk with her supervisor. Of course she would. So I asked if I could speak with her supervisor. As luck would have it, she wasn’t available. Of course, she wasn’t.

Click. Or rather a faint “beep” as my cell disconnects.

Well, this is nothing new. Right. Right. And that’s the point. This same scenario isn’t different from where I sit to two blocks away. Or across town. Or across the state line. Or 10 years ago. Or even 50 years ago. That was when I heard my Daddy say in his pissed-off and probably half in the bag voice:

“Well sue and be damned,” Daddy said, before hanging up abruptly, certainly for great effect.

He explained it was a bill collector. I think it was for something Momma bought from Fingerhut.

Things never change. We can watch the weather on our phone. The person we are talking with on the phone can see us and we can see him. My phone takes better pictures than any camera I could afford back in the day. We can listen to just about any song ever recorded on our phone. We can pay our bills — the ones we really owe. We can even take nekkid pictures, though I sure wouldn’t suggest it.

What a wonderful world it will be, Sam Cooke sang so beautifully 50 years ago. About love. If only she will be with me. If only people won’t call for bills I don’t owe. What a wonderful world it would be.

Listicles for itchy feets

Spring on the Gulf Coast is a time that is hard to beat. When I say Gulf Coast, I mean the area that extends from the “ArkLaTex” to the Florida Panhandle. It is a grand time of the year although it always leaves me with a case of “itchy feet.”

My feet, figuratively speaking, have developed that old get-up-and-go-somewhere feeling even more this year since, literally speaking, my feet have held me back from doing much of anything.

At last report, my podiatrist said I should go through about two more weeks of taking it easy on my tootsies, or should I say tootsie. My hammertoe surgery was performed about three weeks ago and yesterday was the first time I could even remove my foot from bandaging and take a shower. It, the shower, was “mahhvelous,” as Billy Crystal would say while performing as Fernando Lamas on “Saturday Night Live.” The toe doesn’t look very well, but that is only because stitches were only removed from both top and bottom of the toe.

I have been pretty much cooped up recently, that is hopefully ending in another week. One might observe that by reading my previous blather. My Union’s steward training at the end of July is in Albuquerque. It will be nice to get out and get away, despite that our training tends to get rather lengthy. And after reading about the Albuquerque police and its brutal ways, I might just stay to myself in my hotel room after training.

All this said, I have some places I have wanted to visit for R & R but couldn’t for one reason or the other, mostly a lack of funds. With that in mind I began thinking of the various places I have been after listening to sports talk radio hosts who were making a listicle of their favorite “Sports Towns.” With that in mind I shall make my own listicles of favorite places I have been to help prod my sad and itchy feet into happy and (non-itchy?) feet. Some of these places I visited 35-to- 40 years ago so for sure they will have undergone change. But as with gifts, it — supposedly — is the thought that counts.


1. Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia

2. Perth, Western Australia

3. Auckland, New Zealand

4. Taipei, Taiwan

5. Devonport, Tasmania, Australia

TOP FIVE MAJOR UNITED STATES CITIES (More than 1 million people)

1. San Antonio, Texas

2. San Diego, California

3. Los Angeles, California

4. Dallas, Texas

5. Houston, Texas

TOP FIVE LARGE U.S. CITIES (From 500,000 to 1,000,000 people)

1. Denver, Colorado

2. Austin, Texas

3. Washington, D.C.

4. El Paso, Texas

5. Fort Worth, Texas

TOP FIVE MEDIUM-LARGE U.S. CITIES (100,000 to 500,000 people)

1. New Orleans,  La.

2. Gulfport- Biloxi, Miss.

3. St. Louis, Mo.

4. Little Rock, Ark.

5. Las Cruces, N.M.

THE REST OF THE BEST (Less than 100,000 people, for various reasons. U.S. and Territories.)

1. Nacogdoches, Texas

2. San Marcos, Texas

3. Hattiesburg, Miss.

4. Santa Barbara, Calif.

5. Estes Park, Colo.

6. Ruidoso N.M.

7. Lake Charles, La.

8. Mobile, Ala.

9. Stockbridge, Mass.

10. Albany, N.Y.

11. Milwaukee, Wisc.

12. Big Sur, Calif.

13. Agana, Guam

14. Surfside, Texas

15. Sabine Pass, Texas

16. Newton, Texas

17. Maydelle, Texas

18. Llano, Texas

19. Wimberley, Texas

20. Lajitas, Texas

*Just as larger cities are ranked more as sentimental favorites, places that I just like, and cool spots on the map, the 20 listed above are not ranked and are merely listed and enumerated.


Unlimited data my a**

I will keep it brief here. I am stuck in the data wall. Last week I hit 90 percent data usage on my phone and data plan. I was able to restrict my mifi use for five days by spending even more money. As it now stands I should not go over on my usage and start incurring more bucks as long as I coast and don’t go crazy until Friday when the usage resets.

It is preposterous that there isn’t really true unlimited data plans for consumer in the U.S. I know what some companies say. But saying and doing are two different animals. So coast shall I. More later!