I was thinking the other day about Boykin Springs campground in the Angelina National Forest. There is nothing I want to expound upon. This scene kind of does it for me for the time being.
SE Texas visited by Harvey, and Santa in 2017
Back am I at the old keyboard after more than a month. And in looking back over the past year — soon will 2018 come, next week to be exact — likely the largest story where I live and one that was prominent nationally was Hurricane Harvey. Harvey made three landfalls, the last being some 40 miles southeast of where I live as Tropical Storm Harvey. The most extensive damage from Harvey was from a continual rain and flooding, also in my area.
Some 15 or so miles down the road from where I live is Nederland, Texas, which set a new rainfall record of more than 64 inches of rain over five days. The area closest to where I live in Beaumont had a bit more that 54 inches. Permit me to add that the average annual rainfall for the Beaumont metropolitan statistical area is more than 50 inches a year.
Harvey plowed into the central Texas Gulf Coast area near Rockport on Aug. 25. Not much in the way of forecasts came forth to indicate the upper Texas Coast would be hardest hit, though not from hurricane winds, from Harvey. It is also not, I should add, correct to imply Southern Texas was not walloped by the hurricane. It was.
When the storm moved out of the Coastal Bend area some weird natural trickery took place that would make Houston and the Beaumont areas familiar to those who keep up with national news. I present the trickery, as described by the Weather Prediction Center of the weather service’s parent agency NOAA, for National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration:
“Harvey weakened as it moved north-northwest toward central Texas. Regaining tropical storm status on the 26th, Harvey slowed significantly east of San Antonio. Remaining within Texas borders for 60 hours, Harvey wrapped dry air around its southern and southeast portions of its circulation showing up as a dry slot on satellite imagery and forcing convection with heavy rainfall into its northeast quadrant near Houston near a thermal boundary, appearing extratropical. As Harvey moved east offshore Texas, thunderstorm activity began to focus within its northern and northwestern quadrants which prolonged the heavy rainfall across southeast Texas between the Sabine River and Houston.
“Harvey moved back ashore across southwesternmost Louisiana on the morning of August 29. Harvey weakened to a tropical depression during the evening of August 30 and continued tracking north-northeast, becoming fully extratropical on September 1. “
As I have noted here before, I have long enjoyed the rain. Coming from Southeast Texas, one doesn’t have much of a choice. I suppose one might consider me a “pluviophile,” that being one who finds joy and peace of mind during rainy days. It has since snowed here and a cold rain is falling outside now. I am now reexamining my pluviophilia. As it stands, only rainy days that ARE Mondays bring me down.
A whole lot of folks felt a whole lot of hurt this year. Some continue to feel it. They may be spending their days fixing up their waterlogged homes while sleeping in a camping trailer or even a tent.
One of the several people who stirred my interest in storytelling and journalism is the late Charles Kuralt. The bald and comfortably-appearing newsman traveled from town-to-town in search of “real American people” in his “On The Road” segment of the CBS Evening News. That segment celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. Kuralt died 20 years ago. Steve Hartman was given the On The Road segment starting in 2011. I bring up Hartman in this missive because of a recent segment that, as sometimes his spots do, tugged at heart strings. But this time, it was in a post-Harvey environment. It happened in Beaumont.
Secret Santa is generic name for one who provides gifts for those who may be unknown to the recipient and the giver. Sometimes, those gifts may be larger than others. I remember of hearing of one Secret Santa in particular who comes out of nowhere and usually gives no less than $100 and sometimes more. This guy may have been featured by CBS in past years, I don’t know. I just know that Hartman of CBS gave this year’s report that Santa is alive and well.
I leave you a link for that piece of story-telling where I live. Hartman visited here in Beaumont a week or so ago when the real Santa was here to spread cheer. Among those involved in helping spread the cheer were a number of Beaumont police officers — a department where my late brother Robert spent more than 30 years — with many of those officers who didn’t have to work due to their homes having been flooded but still came out to do their jobs.
By the way, over the past, I do not know how many years, I have been told there is this war on Christmas. Supposedly we are to believe that saying “Merry Christmas” has been banned among the general public. These right-wing fools like 45 (who lives now in the White House) try to sell such division to a mostly ill-informed base. What an ass. I asked Santa if he would bring me a new president. Perhaps by sometime in 2018. That would really make for a happy new year.
The clown prince speaks his insanity once more
Trump is talking about what “we” will do in Afghanistan and issue yet again a “Trump” doctrine. Is there a mouse in his pocket? Crap o’mighty.
He speaks in his hyperbolic narcissism. It is just too ridiculous to repeat.
Trump’s Secret Squirrel attitude once again promised he will not tell the public — who provides “blood and treasure” in the manner of bullet catchers and unlimited money — what our troops will do. That danger is a government that willingly spends those lives and those dollars with no oversight. Oh, well there is “congressional oversight,” if you don’t find those words oxymoronic. Perhaps in Trump’s mind, this might be viewed more toward the moronic.
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan on a “town hall” with CNN’s Jake Tapper, the former whom I have long felt bears a scary resemblance with the 60s sitcom “The Munsters” character Eddie Munster, is back ready to suck up to Trump after the president’s bright shining insanity last week.
This is all for right now. Such clarity. I wish I could say this all is a big joke. Well, at least Trump is a joke, but his mouthing off and his stupidity is out for all to see.
Money, money, money, money. Money!!!
It’s been so long. No, I haven’t gone on a long trip. Although, if my Power Play ticket hits all six numbers tonight, I might just take a trip.
I once would daydream about hitting the big lottery pots. That was mostly when I was able to walk an hour a day for exercise. But I am lucky if I can stand for 60 minutes within a day.
If I were to fantasize about winning the lottery, it would include thoughts of seeing whatever doctor was possible to help my lower back which pains me so standing or walking today. Then I would hire a personal trainer to help whip my overweight ass into shape. All of that would be little to accomplish if I won the $154, 800,000 cash value of Power Ball.
Oh hell, I would buy my dream home somewhere — likely in the East Texas piney woods — and maybe a townhouse on some coast somewhere. And a vehicle? Oh yeah. I would buy an SUV, trading in my newly purchased 2004 Chrysler Pacifica; I’d buy some kind of full-size pickup; and I think I’d probably buy some cool little BMW. I had a Beemer once.
I bought, kind of, a 1972 BMW 2002. I became its driver in 1990 from my friend Bruce. It was a rather odd-looking vehicle with three colors. I drove it during my first months in a small East Texas sawmill town where my first newspaper job resided. I edited a weekly paper, all with no experience except a degree in journalism. I must have done something right. I was told the paper turned a profit for the first time in years during my tenure.
Here is my take on winning the big money:
- Being an old sailor man, I find it hard to fathom someone who wins a jackpot who previously hadn’t thought for what reason or reasons, he or she might use a lot of money.
- No one will feel that you are s**t if you buy an expensive car. If you can afford it and want to kiss it all over, who cares?
- I don’t care one way or another what you do with you money. If you want to fund a kangaroo path in Melbourne, just do it!
There is so much silliness one might think of should one hit the jackpot. Besides my material world items — not to mention I would fly off or ride a ship to wherever — I would likewise try my best to help people.
I think I would do whatever possible to help, relatives first, then friends or acquaintances or family to attend college. Check back with me when or if I win the Power Ball.
I once worked as a firefighter. I have and have had relatives and friends who became firemen/firefighters. Two nieces are officers in my hometown volunteer fire department. They also work as police officers in a nearby town. I would like to help out fire departments or other public safety services in my hometown or other groups whose existences mean quite a lot to me.
Will I win? I never won more than $10 playing Lotto. I won $50 once or twice and $100 doing scratch off on my 40th birthday in Massachusetts. I had to split it with my friend who bought the ticket. Oh well! If I win the almost $155 million. I will not let you know, at least not immediately. But if you know me, you might some day see the green. Or not.
Here is a shocking thought: Trump might just be lying to you!
The man who claims to be our president continued his “chamber of commerce” ploy this week. I speak of Trump claiming credit for various job-adding projects. The ploy I speak of is when the local C of C promotes a new industry coming to town and touts the “thousands” of jobs that project will bring.
People of all political parties and walks of life will often dance in glee when some big business is eyeing their community. I have seen this happen time and again. The Trumpsters and locals both care little about the consequences when some earth-polluting industry announces their intention to locate hither or yon.
Let’s take for instance, the XL pipeline. I have friends who worked and some still work on pipeline jobs through their various labor unions. I have served as a local officer in two separate public service unions. I feel for my Union brothers and sisters. But the 10s of thousands of jobs that will supposedly benefit many, including my friends, in pipeline construction jobs, might just be sleight of hand. The money is very good in construction. But these folks end up going from job to job. And permanent work — one estimate says — will be no more than from 50-to-150.
In my neck of the woods, two LNG terminals being built on the edge of the Gulf of Mexico in Texas and Louisiana has booster putting forth unbelievable numbers of jobs that these projects will bring. They are right. I don’t believe those numbers.
I have seen these numbers games all of my life. First seeing the number of jobs from timber production plants and oil and gas plants. While some of these jobs provide some good construction employment, permanent jobs always seem to be lacking. And industries always seem to have a habit of eventually disappearing.
During my last couple of years in high school, we had a bunch of new faces in town. A large plywood plant was built in our county, only 10 or so miles away from me. A number of older friends, maybe those who graduated a year or two ahead of me, worked there. Several of these construction workers, mostly from Louisiana or Arkansas, became friends of my friends. One friend whom I met moved back to New Orleans while I was stationed with the Navy on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. I used to spend an occasional weekend with my friend and his then-wife. These were both great people.
I was and remain happy to see good friends with good jobs. However, construction jobs, by nature, last only as long as it takes to build a project.
My friends in construction, many are getting long in the tooth although they wouldn’t like to hear that, are generally very good at their jobs. I wish only the best for these folks. I just can’t hack the president when he claims all the jobs for a certain project and those are not jobs he brought about. I don’t like Trump. I think he is a jackass and possibly a dangerous one at that.
Most likely, I should not go into detail about the president’s failings when it comes to jobs and statistics
I think most people whom I know realize the restrictions on the number of jobs that might be really be at the end of the rainbow. Especially when those jobs are construction. Why people believe everything this president says, I can’t fathom. I feel eventually the majority that matters, those who are involved in the political process, will come to realize that Trump lies. And he is probably one of the most prolific liars in American politics. That is not a good thing, Donald. Wacko!