Thursday, October 29, 2020

Danny Elfman Releases First Single in 36 Years

For the first time in thirty-six years, Danny Elfman releases a single called 'Happy'. More commonly known for being Tim Burton's go-to composer, Danny is responsible for the BATMAN (1989) theme, NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS, THE CORPSE BRIDE, and the theme to THE SIMPSONS. For many of his fans, they will know him from his original band Oingo Boingo who gave us 'Dead Man's Party' and many more.

After signing with Anti-/Epitaph, 'Happy' hits the streets with an ode to 2020 it would seem. Gruesome effects bely the lines that state he is "so happy." It's typical Elfman macabre and I'm glad to see him back. Check out the video below and also "Dead Man's Party."

***Warning*** There is foul language if you are concerned with that.

HAPPY - Danny Elfman

DEAD MAN'S PARTY - Oingo Boingo


Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Autumn Trails Is Almost Over

Autumn Trails is something that's been happening in Winnsboro for sixty-two years. We visited for the first time last year and enjoyed the fun, but was really won over by the friendliness of the area's inhabitants. This is one of the reasons that we decided to leave the Dallas area and move out here, in addition to my parents both being within 35 miles of town, instead of two hours.

The many festivities included rodeos, arts & crafts, parades, trail rides and a flea market spread out over the weekends of October. The first weekend hosted barrel racing at the Winnsboro Rodeo Arena. The Kid would love to do this if we only had more room in the apartment for a horse. And barrels. The following weekend saw the Trail Ride parade and mule rodeo. See my previous post about the mule rodeo, which was tons of fun. 

This past weekend was packed with plenty for everyone. There was a Antique Car Parade, trail ride, and classic car show with old cars from just about every decade over the last one hundred years. The Bowery and other streets were blocked off for the Arts & Crafts fair while the Kid and I hosted a spot over at the city park for the Trades Day, Swap Meet, and Flea Market. We missed out on the Chili Cookoff and Pie Baking Contest, but we'll definitely make it next year. We suffered through with a little rain on Friday and cooler temps all weekend, but not enough to not have fun.

There is another event for the last weekend of the month. The Jack Cross Livestock & Dairy Show celebrates 50 years at the Jack Cross Pavilion at City Park Saturday October 31st. Though no where near as big as the Stock Show in Fort Worth, which is canceled by the way, this should entertain young and old alike.

Though not part of Autumn Trails, the downtown area will be hosting a trick or treat event for the kids at all downtown businesses from 4 to 6pm, so be sure and bring the little ones out for that.

Have a happy and safe end to Autumn Trails and a safe and happy Halloween!


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Saturday, October 17, 2020

Ever been to a mule rodeo?

We've lived in Winnsboro for eight months now and even though I've known about mule rodeos, I've never actually been to one. Well, tonight was the first and definitely not the last time we go to one.

In the time we've been here, we've become rodeo geeks. We don't ride, but we love to watch and experience rodeo culture. The July 4th Rodeo was really exciting and Lilly was set on wanting to be a barrel racer. After I explained how we lived in an apartment, horses were expensive, etc etc, she quit harping about it.

Then last night she decides that we should get a mule because she thought some of the events looked fun. I have to admit, I think they did too.

Below, you'll see some of the photos and some video that I took. Have you been to a mule rodeo before? If not, and you get the chance, do not miss out on a lot of fun!






Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Looking for Bigfoot and Other Haunts in East Texas

I grew up on the Arkansas line in Northeast Louisiana. Too far north to be chased by the Rougarou, we still had our share of haunts, haints, will-o-wisps, Bigfoot and a myriad of other supernatural encounters.

Morehouse Parish, where I lived, is home to the world's longest bayou, Bayou Bartholomew. It wanders 360+ miles through southern Arkansas into Northeast Louisiana to eventually feed into the Ouchita River, right outside of my hometown. Just an hour to an hour and a half east, you start to get into the Mississippi River flood plain that makes the soil great for growing cotton, soybeans and other crops. But the biggest export out of this area up to a decade or so back was lumber and paper products, until they started shutting down the paper mills. Yep, woods for miles and miles and you didn't know what was hiding in them.

In Morehouse Parish, we had reports of a Bigfoot roaming around. In fact, the local paper ran an article about a sighting on April Fool's Day. That didn't slow anyone down from believing it which shows how bad folks wanted it to be real.

In addition to Bigfoot, we had other weird places. One such place was a stretch of road called Girl Scout Road. I don't know where that name came from but there were always the rumors of devil worshippers to an old lady who was said to be a witch living out that way. We used to drive it late at night looking for anything out of the norm and the only time I saw any such malevolence was the night a friend and I took a short cut home from church. We witnessed a very large bonfire but didn't see anyone tending it. Of course that could have been because of the speedy departure when my friend gunned the engine of his '67 Cougar and got us out of there.

One thing that I did witness was in Southeast Arkansas. A girlfriend and I joined a couple that we knew and headed up to a spot that was simply referred to as the Light. The tale that was told is one that has been repeated all over the country. A long time ago, a train conductor was checking the track when he fell and somehow the train rolled over his neck freeing his head from his body. Through supernatural powers his body now walks that track, which has since all but disappeared, waving his lantern to and fro' looking for his head.

The male friend told us of his experience with it along with tales of his family who had seen it. We set up at a spot down the road a bit from where the light was supposed to appear. It was well after dark and nothing could be seen for about an hour. Then one of us noticed what looked less light a lantern but more along the lines of a patch dark that was not quite as dark as the rest of the night. A few more minutes and then, yes, it was a light that resembled the light source that a train conductor would use. Not a flashlight but an old-fashioned kerosene lamp. And it was coming towards us. It eventually died out and did not reappear, but it was enough for me. I will not say for certain that it is that doomed conductor, but something definitely did put on a show that night.

Where I live now in East Texas with the abundance of woodlands really reminds me of where I grew up. This makes me wonder what is roaming those areas, too. So what stories have you heard or actually witnessed yourself? Have you heard the calls of the Sasquatch or have you witnessed the will-o-wisps trying to lead wanderers deeper into the woods? Tell me your story, I'd love to hear it!

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Musical Memories

 I don't listen to radio much anymore. Pretty much the only stations that gets played in the car is one of the Kid's Pop stations with the same ten songs on repeat. There are maybe two songs out of the bunch that don't irritate my ulcer. And that's saying a lot.

When I do get to listen to something I like, it's usually met with sullen silence from the progeny and I will eventually relent. You know how it goes; It's better for her to be happy and you suffer in silence than the other way around.

When I had my Google Pixel (original) I would listen to my 91X app through an audio plug into my dashboard. 91X is a station that's been around since 1983 starting on the Baja Peninsula and eventually moving stateside to San Diego. I was first introduced to them while I was stationed in San Diego for electronics training with the Navy. They played alternative which back then included my favorites The Cure, Oingo Boingo, and The Cult, just to mention a few. Unfortunately, since I've upgraded to a Pixel 4, I can't wire it to the dashboard because the Pixel 4 does not have a headphone jack. That's really the only problem I have with the phone though. Time to upgrade to a Bluetooth jack I guess.

I also listen to 91.7 KTX out of Denton, Texas. It's format is AAA (Adult Album Alternative). I've always been a fan of this format because it's playlist varies just like my tastes. This playlist is just a forty-five minute sample of what was played this morning. They also have shows that highlight World Music, Jazz, Blues and much much more. I can pick it up on the car radio on a good day, but if I drive down a hill I lose signal just a little. Fortunately, there's an app for that!

So, question of the day is this: Are you a radio listener? Apps? Or do you value your silence (there's a future blog post about this)? If you do listen to radio or apps, what are they? Inquiring minds want to know!

91X Alternative San Diego

91.7 KXT AAA Denton, Texas

Thursday, June 25, 2020

First Impressions

So, I met Carroll and we had a date or three before I had my next shift DJing at the bar. Walked in and my best friend Dave looks up at me as I walk through the front door. Typical bartender pose, smiling at me over the glass he was polishing. "She's the one, huh." It was just a response to the big grin that I had been wearing since the first night I met her. "Yeah, it's a little early to tell, but I think she might be." He puts the glass down still wearing that grin on his face and says, "Thank God! For a while there I thought you hated women!" That was in response to the many times I had come back from a first date shaking my head "Nope, nope, nope, nope!"

And to any of the ladies that I dated and am still friends with (and there are some of you here) this story is not about you. Trust me.

Saturday, June 6, 2020

The Ideas Behind The 'Defund The Police' Movement

I have to admit when I heard the call to defund police, I was like most and thinking that it was a crazy idea. Then I did a little homework and checked out some articles about the ideas behind the movement. 

The overall idea is to cut police department budgets and redistribute that money to outside agencies that would then handle certain areas that the police were handling before, but weren't qualified to do, such as mental health calls, homelessness, etc. Though there are calls to abolish police departments, I think that is very drastic.

It's crazy to think that the New York City police department's budget is $6 billion dollars. That's $2B more than the World Health Organization and greater than the GDP of 50 other countries.

Here are some links to mull over. Please read. Make your own judgement. Don't take someone else's opinion and make it your own without doing your due diligence.