Friday, April 08, 2022

Hello again

I'm still alive! 8 years without a post could make one wonder. I just wanted everyone to know that I am still kicking! Let's see... 

MrB had a massive stroke back in 2016, and survived, now with aphasia and some other issues, so that pretty much turned the world upside-down. I am now a caregiver, which will be my role from here on out.

I retired in 2020 (while I was working from home during the pandemic) but am glad now (in 2022) that I am not dealing with a hellish commute (again) and largely unmasked office situation. At my final place of employment I worked in a small, windowless office for 18 years. I enjoyed my work (graphic design, illustration, and website maintenance), but it's nice to not be spending 45 hours glued to a keyboard/screen plus about 8 hours in an ugly traffic jam every week. Working from home (for part of 2020) eliminated the commute, but the job was much harder to do hunkered over a laptop with a small screen and poor colors, no way to print, and frequent disconnects. In retrospect, I had a decent, middle-class career considering my humble beginnings. I worked for 47 years with about 37 of them in my field.

This little city of Austin has been rapidly growing into a big city, and I find that my favorite places have been disappearing left and right. I can barely recognize this place. I need to fall in love with it again. Moving away would be very difficult, so we will probably stay. Trying to give it time. I still like sitting on my back porch, so hopefully that will remain as a peaceful sanctuary and escape from all the wrong kinds of weird that are taking over everywhere and everything.

Well, don't forget to vote, and do it in person (if possible) if you are in Texas. Otherwise it might not be counted.

Still have this sweet tuxedo, so I have to add a photo of her showing off to the cat sitter.

That may be it for awhile. Stay well, each and every one of you. 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Dear Mother

I've been using all my spare time (at least what's left after stuff like the full-time job and facebook) scanning hundreds of old photos, and I like to try and put things back together... like a jigsaw puzzle. I came across a letter that my Mother had written home to her Mother in 1937. She would have 17 when this was written from the big city of Chicago back to rural Southern Illinois.

This letter had to put a scare into her Mother, but no more than the previous couple of years of her escapades -- running away and living like a hobo, riding the rails and falling in with bad company -- then being retrieved against her will. I guess this time her folks decided to let her go. Might as well. I don't know if this photo was taken in that year, but it looks like a possibility. I kept her spelling and punctuation intact.

Jan 4, 1937

Dear Mother,

I got here O.K. Kabella's came for me in their car. Jim didn't come to meet me. And I'm glad of it. He told Kabella's a bunch of lies about me. He told them that I slept in the woods two nights with two boy's he has got to prove it. You know what he told about getting letters every day or every other day from Francis Kabella and the girl upstairs. He denied it. He said you was telling a lie and I don't mean to call it cussing I don't mean it that way but he got mad and this is what he said "You and the whole God-Dam family can go straight to hell" and he told Kabella's that in our country there was two classes of people, the low-down and the higher class. He said my family was the lower class. I got mad and told him he couldn't talk about my family and get by with it. He told me to shut up and started to hit me and Mrs. Kabella's brother told him he'd better leave me alone. Then he told Fritz to shut up and they almost had fight. Jim drew his knife on Fritz but didn't cut him he told them he knew how to use a knife if anyone got smart. He has to leave here they are tired of him. I'm not afraid of him. You have to have license to carry a gun here. He's just blowing. He's gone now. I hope I never see him again.

He said the reason he didn't meet me at the depot is because I knew too much about him. See he was afraid I would hear about the things he told there. He couldn't face me.

Well I'm sleepy so I had better. I didn't sleep last night cause he had his knife + a gun borrowed. If he gets back and acts too smart I'll call the cops everybody is on my side they don't like Jimmy.
All the news this time I guess. Good Bye and answer soon.

Your Daughter

I worked upstairs today. I'll see about factory tomorrow. We lock bed-room door. I'm not afraid. Don't worry about me. he will get the worst end of it. You know how he is.
Big windy.

My Mother was in love with a man in Chicago, and I learned from searching out the 1940 Census forms that they lived in the same building. It was not the infamous Jimmy from the letter or anyone else in it. I won't list his full name, but she called him "Cooney." He was married. Had to be a heartbreak in there somewhere.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Well whaddya know?

A Federal Judge struck down the ban that that voted into law in 2005 (I believe), that doubly-tripley (Maddow voice) banned same-sex marriages that were already illegal. The dominoes are falling. This thing will be held up in the courts for month, but I really think it's only a matter of time.

The decision prompted this hilarious typo (Tweepo?) by one of the right-wingers running for higher office. It was fun while it lasted, he has since corrected himself. Ha ha!!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Be merry, be happy, or just get to the other side

The Holidaze are upon us, and hope you are enjoying yours... especially hoping that you get at least a day or 2 off (although some folks are not that lucky) (and if you are working, I hope that you love your job). I have been off work since December 21st, so that fantastic, and don't have to go back until January 6th. I am in the category of persons who just wants to get past the Helliday itself, and it has gone smoothly this year except for just one anxiety attack last week... feeling much better now and in the home stretch!! Go go go!!

We have been entertaining ourselves with concerts, movies, some light shopping, and otherwise just NOT being on a schedule. Here's a bit of a concert from Sunday night, The Band of Heathens played wearing wonderfully tacky Christmas sweaters!

Seeing some good movies too... 'tis the season when the nominees are announced, and a lot of the contenders for awards are the ones freshest in the minds of those who decide. I loved "Inside Llewyn Davis," another Coen Brothers/T. Bone Burnett collaboration (like "O Brother, Where Art Thou?") that is not a musical but is driven by music. I've had the CD soundtrack for awhile, and one of my favorites from it is "The Auld Triangle," which is lip-synced in the movie by 4 guys in matching beige sweaters (I'm not really giving anything away there), but it is these guys (Punch Brothers & Marcus Mumford) plus Justin Timberlake who actually do the vocals. I love this intensely.

We've seen "12 Years a Slave" and "Dallas Buyer's Club," going to see "American Hustle" tomorrow (Christmas Day).

Whatever you do, enjoy it.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Hey, I'm walkin' here!

If you are headed somewhere, hope you get there safe, and enjoy the trip.

Google Street View find.

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Celtic Festival

Here is your soundtrack for this post. Picture sitting on the bank of a river, the weather is perfect, temperature 77°F/25°C, sunny, dry, and light breezes. We were sitting on a blanket behind the stage where a band was playing, so the music is live.

A guy paddled by in a coracle, which I am only familiar with by name because a friend of mine in the UK has one. Considering the recent floods (and the banning of river recreation) he was probably committing a misdemeanor, so I hope his adventure ended well.

I didn't take loads of pictures of the bands and costumes this year, as I have done before. Just a few snapshots. Enjoyed petting the mini-horses, and really... what is cuter than a mini-horse? It would be a tough competition. Princess Neko would be in there (and all cats, really), puppies, baby hedgehogs, mini-horses, etc.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Coming This Winter...

Here is a Sunday Funny for you from the folks at Bad Lip Reading! (When the link pops up to watch the extended scene, hold on and wait until the end - there's a link for them)

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Let it rain!

We don't even really try to go to the ACL Festival anymore. It's harder for us to be on our feet for 12 hours a day than it used to be - where you have to walk a mile to find a spot to sit - crowded and sweaty. This year it wasn't just sweaty, on the penultimate night of it we got something like 4 months worth of rain in one night, so they cancelled that day. A lot of the bands did 'popup' shows, last-minute-arranged stuff you need to be on twitter to find out about. One band played at the homeless shelter for just food donations. Atoms For Peace, which sells out venues at the $100 range, played for $10 a ticket. Many bands put on free shows! Lionel Ritchie picked up a house concert and played for maybe 50 people, don't know what he charged though.

I got happy because one of my favorites, The Lone Bellow, played a couple of free shows -- one of them at 5:00pm (perfect for us old timers who just wanted to get home in time to watch The Walking Dead, then hit the sack for the workweek) (priorities).

I love these guys! This one is a slower ballad but most of their songs are up-tempo -- check them out if you like this:

Still getting some rain (so wonderful) and later this week it will cool down enough to maybe turn off the air conditioner.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Arizona fun

Still working the scanner like a fiend, trying to post photos in chronological order (but we'll see how long that lasts). This gallery is in a similar time and place, 1951-1956 in Arizona. This is an event held annually in Wickenburg AZ (small community about 60-odd miles out of Phoenix) called "Gold Rush Days." It's very cowboy-themed! See the video below (video not mine) shot in 1958... as close to it as I have found. I love seeing all these folks decked out in their 50s best (I think it will enlarge if clicked), and the rest of the shots of cowboys and cheesy floats.

In other news, the weather is FINALLY cooling off, still warm enough to call summer up further north, but feeling less like an oven. We spent Tuesday night of this week attending the Austin City Limits TV taping of Neko Case - who has a haunting voice like no other. She spent some time in Tucson AZ herself (recording an album), her father was in the Air Force (like mine), and told the story during the show of have a stuffed iguana as a kid - not a plush toy but a real dead iguana with painted teeth, stuffed with cotton and (I'm sure) wires... this was funny to hear for me because when I was a kid I had a similar companion -- a stuffed baby alligator (or possibly a crocodile) named Kilroy. Parents can make strange choices sometimes.

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Is this thing on...?

Waving helloooo after a long absence from the Oasis here. I miss it. Facebook drives me crazy sometimes, but also wears me out because it's constantly updating. Anyway, I am up to a lot of my usual activities, going to hear live music once or twice a week, almost too much to list except to make note of attending the Dawes Austin City Limits taping a day after my 60th birthday (OUCH).

I've also been keeping myself busy with the great historical photo and letter sorting project. Great progress, and have been keeping the scanner going. I have cleaned up my old Flickr account and am going to try and post as much as possible there. The first set is of a racetrack in Arizona where my dad worked as a side job in the pit crew for one of the drivers. I love seeing the way people people used to dress! Manzanita Speedway

All Hail the Autumn seasonal change!

Will be checking in and browsing around when I get the chance.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Wendy's Theme

Local band Bright Light Social Hour happened to be at the big Citizen's Filibuster event where the awesome Wendy Davis spoke for 11 hours, on-topic, with being allowed food, bathroom breaks, or even leaning on something -- and they made a music video based on the chants.

You can get a free download of the music here on SoundCloud.

Makes me very proud.

Spread it around if you like it.