Posts Tagged ‘Texas’

dfw

“Rape, mutilation, abuse, and theft are the natural outcome of a world in which force rules, in which human beings are objects.”~ Chris Hedges

Recently, it has been in the news about how the sled hockey team located in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area had equipment stolen from them.

http://dfw.cbslocal.com/video/9359854-equipment-stolen-from-dfw-sled-hockey-team/

It becomes more and more surprising for me that there are more people in this world who are so low that they have to engage in criminal activities such as these.

And now all the extra equipment for the Dallas team is gone and they have to rebuild.

I decided personally as a member of a sledge hockey team, as well as being part of the Texas Sled Hockey League, that I would put this out there to everyone in the world to read about. Hopefully with your kindness that is within your heart, you will be able to help DFW Sled Hockey get back to where they used to be.

Send your donations to the address below:

SWAA
Attn: Sled Hockey Equipment
PO Box 1389
Hurst, TX76053

gotohell

That pretty much says it all right there. I first saw it when I visited The Alamo in San Antonio, Texas and pretty much have kept up with a collection of anything that had that quote by Davy Crockett printed on it. Starting out with a t-shirt.

The unfortunate thing is that Davy Crockett would be one of the many who were slaughtered at The Alamo on the 6th of March, in 1836. Along with other prominent characters of Texas, as well as United States history. Characters that would be noted for building the state of Texas as we know it today.

But here I was, only just yesterday, Taking in a lot of state history and overloading my brain with everything.

We had taken a field trip to the Texas State Capitol and I had never been to it before, so I didn’t really know what to expect.

I was given the wrong impression that we were embarking on this historical journey on the anniversary of the Battle of Gonzales, which is also important to the story of the state of Texas.  flag

Evidently, I was a few days too early as the “COME AND TAKE IT” incident didn’t actually happen until October.

Nonetheless, the four of us were dropped off and were looking for the handicapped accessible entrance to this great state monument. And wouldn’t you know it, it was all the way in the back what is considered the South Entrance.

We looked around on our own for a bit, before finding the North Entrance that was actually more interesting than any of the other entrances.

Stephen_F._Austin_at_the_Texas_State_Capitol

Statue of Stephen F. Austin at the Texas State Capitol

It was where we found that there were in fact, Capitol tours. And a few wanted to join one. But because we were going to be picked up in just 90 minutes, we had to make sure that we had enough time. But the tour guide said about 30 minutes. And so we jumped on board.

The one thing about state capitols is that the artwork and all that is kept within its walls is so mind-blowing and spectacular. I mean, there were paintings of the “Founding Fathers of Texas” that were on the wall bigger than my home. And definitely larger than ANY vehicle out on the road today. It was incredible.

Statues and artwork were everywhere. Including a large collection of every single past governor of the state of Texas were along the walls and the collection apparently goes up each and every floor to the top of the rotunda with the most current governors on the ground floor.

When Governor Perry leaves office, his portrait will go on the walls of the Capitol. And it was mentioned that there are only space for seven more portraits and they do not know what they are going to do after that.

On the ground floor is the image of the five circles of Texas, which gives tribute to all of the different nations who had ruled over the land. The French, the Spanish, even being its own nation for a short time. I thought that was really cool too.  texas_capital8

From the middle is a star and to the top of the Capitol dome is another star which is apparently eight feet in diameter. And from start to star from the floor to the top of the dome is 223 feet.

Way too cool. It was hilarious to watch these people stand on the center star on the ground floor and attempt to look straight up inside the dome and nearly fall and bust their asses.

This was the fourth state capitol that I have visited in my entire life time. And it was just more and more and more impressive.

Texas Capitol Dome Inside

At least for me it was.

Our tour guide, the longer we were with her, well… she was turning into something really cute. And that was almost going to turn into a problem.

But we continued on, I said nothing to her personally. And we checked out the legislative rooms where everyone does their government work. Both the House and the Senate.

The Texas State Capitol however has some really cool stuff in it. And I wondered if that was the case for every state capitol in the nation. The unfortunate thing is that its been so long since the last capitol that I visited that I don’t really remember what was inside.

Probably the one thing that blew my mind was the life of Sam Houston. Yet another founding father of the state. His political career is curiously interesting.

Sam Houston is the only person ever to be governor of two states. He was governor of Texas in 1859 through 1861. He had been a U.S. Senator from the state of Texas in 1846 through 1859. Samuel_houston

But here’s some thing that I never knew about Sam Houston: He was named the first and third President of the Republic of Texas, once from 1836 through 1838 and then again, in 1841 through 1844.

In 1827, he was governor of Tennessee. So that makes him the only person to be governor of two states of the union.

Sam Houston is buried in Huntsville, Texas.

I probably could have spent all day there. But we got separated from the tour group, because we didn’t understand the instructions on where to meet. We found ourselves asking the Texas State troopers where the Gift Shop was.

When we were led into the right direction……. HELL BROKE LOOSE.

We met up with our “turning cute” tour guide and realized that it was basically the end of the tour, so we instead just went on our own way into the Gift Shop.

Somewhere in the world…… it turned dark. Nearly pitch black as $61 dollars was burned up and gone from my pocket. Can anyone say OUCH?!?!?!?!?

The one t-shirt alone was $19.

Souvenirs are just not cheap any more and I think I may have stumbled on to an expensive hobby.  texas-state-cac

The Texas State Capitol though has got some really odd statues on the lawn and property. Some of which were dedicated to the CONFEDERATE state of Texas during the Civil War. I never thought I would see something like that. But there it was.

After that, I returned home. But my day was not over. Not by a very long shot at all.

I had plans to go out to Sixth Street to watch a show. I had been looking forward to it for a very long time. And simply because of that, I had some serious dork moments last night. But that’s for the next blog post.

Let’s just say that I hope and pray that I’ve made a new friend.

 

 

a-pop-star-not-a-prostitute1

“I’m just a musical prostitute, my dear.”~ Freddie Mercury

Here we go again.

I guess I was not finished talking about prostitution as this story was brought to my attention via Facebook this afternoon.

Of course with anything, I don’t always BELIEVE in everything that I read on Facebook. But this story had me wondering what just happened??

There is an online petition that is aimed at the Texas Attorney General because of this story to change the laws based on what happened in court recently. But the other parts of the petition are inaccurate and don’t give the full scope of the situation and story.

So let me fill you in on what I am blabbering on about.

prostitute_2159543b

She took Gilbert’s $150 in cash, but did not provide any services and attempted to leave his home with his money.

Ezekiel Gilbert was facing life imprisonment for the murder of a prostitute.

Gilbert had gone to Craigslist and hired a prostitute for the evening, paying $150 for her company and umm, services.

The prostitute then had a change of heart and decided that nothing was going to happen between the two of them and left Gilbert’s home to be picked up by her pimp who was waiting in the car outside. ak47

As Gilbert was obviously upset for not receiving any services, and the fact that the woman took his money and left, Gilbert went outside after the vehicle and started to fire his AK-47 at them in order to stop them from leaving and retrieve his money back.

But the bullets that were fired killed the prostitute.

And so he went to court because of her death. He was acquitted and not found guilty of any crimes.

WHY?

The state of Texas has a law that states that you are allowed to use force in a situation when at night, if you are being robbed or your property is being stolen. You are allowed to use said force in order to stop the criminal from stealing from you.

This is what Gilbert stated what he was aiming to do. Killing her however was not the intention.

So there you have it. Gilbert was within the law to do whatever he could in order to get his money back since the prostitute did not give up on her end of the deal. That is what the court decided.

Many people are outraged. They are so outraged and pissed off that they are attempting to make this a gun control issue, in which it isn’t.

Granted, I personally feel that AK-47 could be seen as overkill, but if that’s what he had to use in order to protect his property… then so be it.  The property in this matter obviously being his money after the prostitute pretty much called off the deal.

I have seen far too many links to this story in which whatever media outlet or journalist has taken the general basis of this story and blown it so far out of the water that it no longer has proportion. One going as far as to be so bold to accuse the state of  Texas to be sending a message that it is “okay” to kill prostitutes.

No, its NOT okay to kill….. anyone. elite-daily-selling-virginity

It is ridiculous that those who had nothing to do with this story or had any connections to it could turn it to be so ugly on its head.

The story is tragic enough that a woman is now dead.

Prostitution in the state of  Texas is illegal. Protecting your property in the state of Texas within the letter of the law is not illegal.

And after all, this is TEXAS we are talking about. Second largest state in the nation. There’s going to be a lot of laws that are strange and peculiar.

CB_Hooker_WWI_T

‘Gimme back my money, you darned ho!! Come back here and cum to daddy!’

I am also going to guess that this law was signed in place during a time when bandits would steal horses and cattle from neighbors in the middle of the night. This law would obviously give them the protection that they needed to shoot someone in the ass and keep them from rustling and stealing.

So if the laws are so awful, then the people of Texas needs to stand up and let their lawmakers know that they want a change. Although I would have to be honest with you…. I don’t see that happening. This wasn’t even on the news this week. This came to my attention from some people who are “out there” if you know what I mean. And of  course they are crying foul. And to top it off, they are NOT from Texas.

This is a state law, not a national law. So please: calm the hell down!!

Gilbert is going to have to have to deal with this for the rest of his life regardless of whether or not he is behind bars. He stated in court that murder was not his intention. And whether or not Gilbert was lying about that… well, that’s going to be on his conscience as well.

Nobody won in this case. The stealing prostitute is dead. Gilbert has dug himself inside of an emotional hole from which he cannot get out of. And the law stands where it does today.

 

 

 

 

west-fire-explosion630

“Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive.”~ Dalai Lama

Its been a very difficult week for the United States of America. So many tragedies happening. Not too long after the Boston Marathon bombing came the news of a fertilizer plant that exploded in a small town called West, Texas.

West, Texas is just a few miles north of Waco, Texas.

It is a very sad story to hear and there is going to be a very difficult uphill battle for the town and its citizens.

Many people in Texas were horrified upon hearing the news. And even a full day later after the explosion, officials are not given any information on casualties and/or deaths.

This story broke nationwide for sure.

And throughout the pandemonium  hearing different stories that were actually never official that maybe up to 60 people had died in this explosion. Even early this morning there was a possible death toll of 5-15 people. But again, nobody is talking about those kinds of numbers. There are however, first responders and firefighters who missing at this hour.

After reading countless posts on Facebook about this tragedy closer to home, we enter the people whom I have given this month’s Compassion Award.

DSC03553-2-600

Brenda Flores, Auggie Del Ray

The band that I have recently been writing about, BEAUTIFUL DISTURBANCE, who comes originally from Waco, Texas had many compassionate posts by its members. Auggie Del Ray and Brenda Flores.

Just hours after the news had broke about this story, Auggie Del Ray was so moved that he decided that he wanted to do something for the people of West, Texas who were suffering.

The story last night was that many of the citizens were being evacuated and more or less left homeless until fires at the plant could be contained and the threat was diminished.

Auggie Del Ray in an act of selflessness, posted on his personal Facebook profile that HIS home would be open to those who were being displaced and evacuated.

He also was encouraging for those who could help to do so. No matter if it meant donating money or blood.

Then this afternoon, BEAUTIFUL DISTURBANCE came together as the family that they are, and now are going to give 100% of the proceeds of the band’s merchandise sold on the 18th and 19th of April to the victims of West, Texas.

Any kind of merchandise that you can find on their website, ALL the money will be donated!!!

It was very awesome gesture on behalf of Auggie, Brenda, and the rest of the band. And it floored me that they were so very willing to do this.

These kinds of tragedies will only be overcome by people willing to donate. Usually this means a lot of money for the restoration and rebuilding of what was lost, which was a lot!!!

So go ahead and buy yourself a t-shirt, some posters, a wristband, whatever you like. And do so knowing that your purchases will go towards the hurting victims of this disaster.

http://www.beautifuldisturbancemusic.com

 

Mitchell+Marcus

“A lot of young players don’t really know much about the history of the game and a lot of them are missing out on what the game is all about, especially the whole concept of sportsmanship and teamwork.”~ Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

This story completely moved me when I read it. Thanks to YouTube sensation, Michael Buckley. These kinds of stories are the ones that I love to share. And I believe that they should be!!

It was Senior Night at Coronado High School in El Paso, Texas. And it will be a night that senior Mitchell Marcus will remember for the rest of his life.

Mitchell had serving as the manager to the boys’ varsity basketball team and had been since his freshman year.

Coach Peter Morales kept Marcus by his side for those four long years on the bench. But for one night, Morales had Mitchell dress for the game.

Finally in the fourth quarter of the game, Coronado High had a lead over their rival Franklin by double digits. Within the last two minutes of the game, Coach Morales put Marcus in… TO PLAY!

What happened next will go down in history. Not only in El Paso, but throughout the WORLD!

After several unsuccessful attempts to get Marcus to score, Franklin had possession with 13 seconds remaining. Franklin’s Jon Montanez, in an act of great sportsmanship, passed Marcus the ball and allowed him score.

At the end of the game, Coronado High had beaten Franklin still by double digits. And the audience rushed on to the court and treated Marcus as if he had thrown in the game winning goal. They lifted him high and carried him around.

In a sense I know how it must have felt for Mitchell Marcus to get that opportunity to say that he had scored in a high school basketball game. That he had scored in sports at least once in his life.

Growing up I was a part of a wheelchair basketball team during the summer. It was mixed with wheelchair and able-bodied people. But I never got the chance to even try to shoot the ball. I would be able to deflect passes and almost cause turnovers, but never got that opportunity to actually be in possession of the ball.

Until one day at the end of the summer, playing the last game of the day. The inbounds pass was given to me.

I was thrilled to death in my young mind. .

I’m so glad that I came across the story of Mitchell Marcus and his high school basketball coach. Even that, will make memories for me.
http://nesn.com/2013/02/special-needs-student-mitchell-marcus-scores-on-senior-night-in-act-of-great-sportsmanship-video/

black-beans-and-white-beans

I learned this about American, and more specifically, Texas history this evening. It is a chilling story of how captured fighters to earn their independence from Mexico were systematically executed by something as small as chance.

The story begins on the 20th of December, 1842, the 308 Texan soldiers who ignored orders to pull back from the Rio Grande to Gonzales approached Ciudad Mier. They camped on the Texas side of the Rio Grande.

261 soldiers participated in the attack on the town, while the others remained behind as the camp guard.

The Texans were unaware that thousands of Mexican troops were in the area under the command of Generals Francisco Mejia and Pedro de Ampudia.

Although they inflicted heavy casualties on the Mexicans, 650 dead and 200 wounded, the Texans were forced to surrender on the day after Christmas Day.

243 Texans were taken prisoner and marched toward Mexico City via Matamoros and Monterrey for punishment.

On the 11th of February, 1843, 181 Texans escaped, but the lack of food and water in the mountainous Mexican desert forced 176 to surrender or be recaptured by the end of the month.

When the prisoners arrived in Saltillo, Coahuila, they learned an outraged Santa Anna ordered the execution of all the escapees, but Governor Francisco Mexía of the state of Coahuila refused to follow the order.

The new commander, Colonel Domingo Huerta, moved the prisoners to El Rancho Salado. By this time, diplomatic efforts on behalf of Texas by the foreign ministers of the United States and Great Britain led Santa Anna to compromise that only one in ten would die. Which is the definition of decimation– one-tenth.

To help determine who would die Huerta had 159 white beans and seventeen black beans placed in a pot. In what came to be known as the Black Bean Episode or the Bean Lottery, the Texans were blindfolded and ordered to draw beans. Officers and then enlisted men, in alphabetical order, were ordered to draw. The seventeen men who drew a black bean were allowed to write letters home and then were executed by firing squad.

On the evening of 25th of March, 1843, the Texans were shot in two groups, one of nine men and one of eight. According to legend, Huerta placed the black beans in last and had the officers pick first, so that they would make up the majority of those killed.

The first Texan to draw a black bean was Major James D. Cocke. As a witness recalled, Cocke held up the bean between his forefinger and thumb, and with a smile of contempt, said, “Boys, I told you so; I never failed in my life to draw a prize.” He later told a fellow Texan, “They only rob me of forty years.” Fearing that the Mexicans would strip his body after he was dead, he removed his pants and gave them to a companion whose own clothing was in worse shape. He was shot with the sixteen others who drew black beans on that gruesome day. His last words were reported to have been, “Tell my friends I die with grace.”

The seventeen that drew black beans in the lottery were James Decatur Cocke, William Mosby Eastland, Patrick Mahan, James M. Ogden, James N. Torrey, Martin Carroll Wing, John L. Cash, Robert Holmes Dunham, Edward E. Este, Robert Harris, Thomas L. Jones, Christopher Roberts, William N. Rowan, James L. Shepherd, J. N. M. Thompson, James Turnbull, and Henry Walling.

Shepherd survived the firing squad by pretending to be dead. The guards left him for dead in the courtyard, and he escaped in the night but was recaptured and shot. Eastland County, Texas is named after William Mosby Eastland.

Captain Ewen Cameron had drawn a white bean, but was ordered executed anyway by Santa Anna. As he waited to die, Cameron refused to confess to a priest. Standing before the firing squad, Cameron declined the offer of a blindfold, declaring, “For the liberty of Texas, Ewen Cameron can look death in the face.” He then opened his hunting shirt and yelled at his executioners, “Fuego!”, meaning fire in Spanish.

The white bean survivors, including Bigfoot Wallace, and Samuel Hamilton Walker finished the march to Mexico City and were imprisoned at Perote Castle along with the fifteen survivors from the Dawson Massacre. Some of the Texans escaped from Perote or died there, but most remained captive until they were released, by order of Santa Anna, on the 16th of September, 1844.

Captain Ewen Cameron sure had some balls to face off against his executioners as he did so. Even after drawing a white bean, his fate can be seen by many to be unjust and unfair.

But to think about how a man’s life would be decided by the drawing of something as simple back then as a bean, had to be terrifying. The rest as they say is actual history.

“Let’s Get Scared!”~ House of Torment, 2011

So I realized by watching this “upgraded” newsfeed on Facebook that the House of Torment is officially open tonight for the 2011 Halloween season.

And still, there is one solid week left of the month of September before things turn a little more, spooky… shall we say??

If you read the earlier post about getting scared early, you’ll know that the House of Torment is something of a fascination. And if you read it all the way through, you’ll understand why.

Needless to say that I never could find sufficient transportation to make it to any auditions or casting calls, so again it slips away from me. But I still get all excited like a little boy deep down inside whenever October comes. Knowing that they are doing a fine job down there scaring thousands of customers throughout the month of October, and yes even the end of September. I believe it is the longest running haunted attraction in the state of Texas.

It still remains in the top ten lists of scariest haunted houses. And that surely is good for business.

But for me, since most of these kinds of attractions are not really ADA compliant, my account from my experiences in the previous blog post will probably be my last. And that is a shame. Its always the same for me. Wanting to go, wishing I could go, but never go.

But I shifted with the change of the breeze outside when I realized the attraction was celebrating opening night this evening. I’ll be more interested in scarier things. My fascination for horror films will rise, and I’ll be all about those blood sucking vampires. And then just before the Thanksgiving holiday, I’ll snap out of it and life will move on again for another twelve months.

Haunted houses make so much money annually. It would be nice to be able to tap into some of it, I think. But hey, life is what it is. I will continue my fascination with it… believing that one day, something can happen for me.

Where will you go this Halloween season? Do you have a favorite haunted attraction?? What things are you afraid of??? Let me know!!