Category Archives: Houston

brother can you spare a dime?


Hello friendly blog peeps, peepettes and casual visitors.

Today’s post is asking for a HUGE favor.

If you look to the right… right next to the title of this post you’ll see a picture. If you click it, the link will take you to my page on the Lone Star Chapter of The National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s website.

I’m writing about this because I want to let you know I’m riding my bicycle half way across Texas in an effort to raise funds for researchers to find a cure for MS. I’m riding in the 2009 MS 150 Bike Tour from Houston to Austin. It’s about 160 miles or so over two days.

I’m do it for two reasons. One… believe it or not, I find it fun and of course, challenging. (i’ve ridden this ride before) Two… I know I am extremely lucky to be able to move my body on my own and so I feel an obligation to help.

I want to help researchers find a cure for folks who don’t move so well because of this disease.

I’m no scientist. I don’t know much about this disease or what it will take to end it. But I can pedal my bike and ask people to donate to my ride so the smart guys can figure a way to help those who are afflicted with this disease.

So I hope you will.

I hope you can spare ten bucks… or five bucks… or three or even one.

I know five bucks or even one doesn’t seem like a lot but it all adds up.

When I was in the Marine Corps I learned a saying from the grunts… “ounces make pounds.” I first heard it when my unit attached with some grunts for training and we were going on a 13 mile hike carrying all our gear on our back.

A few of the guys took us “non-hackers” aside and said, “ounces make pounds, Marine. Let me see your gear.” They proceeded to show us how stripping every tiny piece of non-essential crap added up to a lot of weight.

“Ounces make pounds” folks. I know times are tough. Hell, I barely have two nickels to rub together but if you could donate whatever you can…

well, every little bit adds up to a lot.

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a morning vignette


Deistette: Ugh!… I’m running late! Where is that concealer I just bought yesterday. [Emilie whizzes past Jules in the living room. Rifles through a plastic bag and whizzes back to the restroom]

Deist: Concealer? How much is that gonna set us back! Why do you need concealer anyway. [jules sits on the stairs doing… nothing]

Deistette: So I can cover up these dark circles I have from being tired, overworked and running this household and so people don’t think you’re beating me!

Deist: [jules scrambles trying to think of what to say next]…. you’re so pretty!

Happy Monday y’all!

there is a little boy in my house


Things changed quite a bit after The Deistette moved into Casa Jules back in mid-September. Changed for the better I think.

I no longer came home from work to an empty house. There was no longer evidence that the person living here subsisted on the fast food joint of the day. And my house had a different… i don’t know… different “feel”.

But Thanksgiving weekend things changed even more. We picked up The Deistette’s son. He’s four and a half. He’s small for his age and he has sent me back in time. Continue reading

The Umbrella Man


Every so often I have to go the County Clerk’s Office in downtown Houston to file stuff for our clients. Parking can be tough and if there is a high profile criminal case going on… forget it. Some of the county offices are right next to the criminal courts building so parking is kind of at a minimum.

Anyway, one day back in the summer while trying to find a spot I met Rick “The Umbrella Man” Johnson. Mr. Johnson is an entrepreneur. He sells umbrellas on the street corner (thus his self imposed nickname) and he also sells parking vouchers.

The city of Houston did away with parking meters to be replaced by high-speed, low-drag models that are solar powered and spit out a little voucher once you pay. The voucher shows when your time expires and you place it on your dash so you don’t get a ticket.      photo byline unknown; found here

 

Well, Mr Johnson saw an opportunity. More often than not, when people come back to their vehicle they have time left on the voucher. So he asks if he can have it then he resells it if he can. Seems like a lot of work for only dimes and quarters but I always try to buy a little extra time and seek him out to give him my voucher when I can. Continue reading

an old saying from Texas


WARNING: NSFW/Reader Discretion Advised due to language.

I rarely write about my UU congregation. I’ve been rather deliberate about not writing about my church. In fact, i think it’s been less than half a dozen times over the year and some change that my blog has been up that I’ve even mentioned my congregation or its members.

There certainly have been plenty of times I could have posted something that really pissed me off about the members of my church… how fucking whiny they can be, how negligent they can be about their kids tearin shit up at the church, how distrusting of fellow church-goers (and human beings in general) they can be, how stingy they are with their time and money, how fucking juvenile they act over the most trivial of events, how they place importance on things that don’t make a god damn bit of difference, and how god damned, fucking shitty, silly, goofy, smelly, nerdy and motley they can be. Continue reading

road trip!!!


A little more than three weeks ago The Deistette and I spent about 14 hours on the road together as we left Amarillo with all her stuff packed in a U-Haul and headed to Houston. (by the way, I found out she’s a Jew.  A Jewish Deistette… do they really make those?  Huh, who knew.)

Coincidentally it was the same weekend Hurricane Ike decided to come into town. I wanted to post this right after we got back but I’ve been kinda busy with work stuff and church stuff and trying to unscrew my house from what was latent storm damage. The appearance of mold has confirmed water got in somehow . Continue reading

teeny, tiny, little bitty


snake.

Found this little guy yesterday while out running in my neighborhood. He was trying to cross a sidewalk and I figured if I scooped him up and placed him near a little water spot near in my backyard he would stand a better chance of not getting eaten by fire ants or other critters.

It’s the smallest snake I’ve ever seen.

Of course, it occurred to me that he will eventually turn into a big snake after i let him loose in my backyard. Unless it’s just some sort of grass snake. Any snake experts out there who can tell what kind of snake this is?

I thought maybe it’s a baby Texas Brown Snake.

I guess a little brown snake wouldn’t be so bad.

tempest in a gulf coast cup


Well, it’s been a couple of years since we had one bear down on us. Although when Rita threatened to slam into Houston I wasn’t too concerned. Not really sure why.

But Hurricane Ike… now Ike could swing up and graze us pretty good (at least on the western half of Houston) and give us a little something to think about… kinda like cousin Guido giving you a little knife cut across the cheek. (Hm…Not sure where that came from. I had a weird dream about the mob last night though.)

Anyway, The Deistette and I are fleeing the city. Not cuz of Ike but because we already had plans to fly out. I guess I didn’t mention this but she’s been here for a couple of weeks trying to find a job. Yep, she’s making the move to live here and be near me. Sorry gals… i guess i’m officially off the market.

~~~

I worry about things not working out between us and me being that guy she talks about with disdain later on in life. When I think about it, it reminds me of one time when I was talking to a girl as she helped fit my daughter for some boots. I asked her how long she’d been here in Texas. I could tell she wasn’t from here. She said about three weeks.

“Three weeks! No kiddin’. Well, welcome to Texas.”

“thanks,” she said with a little resentment in her voice.

“Sooo…,” i began wondering why the tone in her voice changed. “What brought you to Texas.”

“a BOY!”

She explained that not long after she got here he was pretty much done with her. She had spent what little savings she had to move down and was now away from her family, friends and without anyone she knew.

~~~

So the reason I bring up the story is because The Deistette and I have had some growing pains. It’s bound to happen when you stuff two people who are still trying to get to know each other into an 1,100 square foot little house… the both of us realize this. We knew it would happen… every relationship has its moments of tension and so we actually talked about how we would try to get through the inevitable argument well before it even happened.

And so… it happened. We’ve had moments where we didn’t see eye to eye and things got rather heated and uncomfortable. There has been a time or two where a little storm started to brew… in fact one of those times it felt like the storm was blowing pretty hard.

But… we made it through, we were able to see the bigger picture, we said we were sorry, we hugged and we set ourselves back on track and the sky looks beautiful again.

“Hurricane Rita Goes Away” Photo from Uhop‘s Flickr photostream

did Jesus visit my UU church


Like most churches, my congregation has potlucks. Almost every event we organize is intertwined with a potluck. We’re lucky we have a number of members who like to cook and as one of the resident bachelors in the crowd, I get to reap the benefits of some awesome home cooked meals when this happens.

So a few weeks ago we had one. There were quite few people there and a bunch of little kids running around like little maniacs… you know, doing their job as kids. We had music going, good conversation, good food and good fellowship.

Well being a small congregation, you know immediately when someone walks in and is a stranger. Alex, had been riding his bike around in our parking lot for several minutes as he scoped us out to see if we were friend or foe, while a couple of the fellas burned up burgers and dogs on a little hibachi.

He timidly and somewhat ashamedly accepted an invitation to come inside and eat with us. You see Alex is homeless. He looks to be in his late 20s and he has apparently made some bad choices that have him in his current situation. Perhaps you’ve heard the saying, “Sometimes when you’re eating a shit sandwich it’s because you ordered it.”

Continue reading

venturing into the city for music


I meant to post this a couple of months ago when I actually caught this show that included Abra Moore, who is extremely talented and a pretty cool person to talk to. But I actually went to see the opener, one of my favorite singer/songwriters Peter Bradley Adams. He was in town at a really cool little pub called the Mucky Duck and so I ventured out of the burbs and into the big city to go see him.

What a treat. Not only did I get to see an extremely talented performer do what he does so well, but I also got a signed CD (click to see bigger view), I sat at the bar and had a beer with him and was able to get a little insight into his view of the music industry.

If you ever the get the chance to see him, I highly recommend going. You can check out some of his songs on his website to get a feel for what he sounds like.

Here is Pete and his friend Claire Small performing a song they wrote together called, “i will come”. This was its debut…. it was a stroke of luck to be in the audience to hear them perform it for the first time and that I caught it on my little video cam.