Machinery By The Pound

Back when I was a kid, the old times would often reference how much various machines cost by weight. They would say things like “that excavator weighs about 40,000 pounds and costs $40,000” or “that bulldozer weighs 60,000 pounds and costs $60,000 “. This was a way of quickly estimating the cost of equipment based on its weight. This may not seem like a very sophisticated was to do things, but considering there weren’t computers in those days and many of the men in the business had limited education, a lot of simply ways were developed to relate to various … Continue reading Machinery By The Pound

The Odyssey

I have a friend, I’ll call him Jack. We had been doing the same type of construction for many years. He had worked for a couple of my competitors, but each were friendly competitors, so we have been in various joint venture arraignments throughout the years. Somewhere along the way, due to a divorce or perhaps it was the cause of the divorce, Jack developed a serious cocaine habit. He came to me in the need of employment. His habit had caused him to be let go from his last job. Not realizing that cocaine addiction couldn’t be cured with … Continue reading The Odyssey

Cruising The UT Drag

The spring of 1971 found me and Jimmy Frasier (Feline to his friends; not because he was a cat) in Austin one Friday afternoon. Probably for no other reason than hoping to find some excitement. I had a new Chevrolet pickup and we decided a drive down to the Drag was in order. We got as far a 34th street on Guadalupe, heading south when we encountered a red light. A couple of pretty young UT types were in the right lane, with us in the left. Paying more attention to the girls than to driving, when the light changed … Continue reading Cruising The UT Drag

The Scary Thing About Artificial Intelligence

My son Ron Jr. did an experiment with an AI app. Below are 3 examples of asking it to write a poem in the style of various writers in history about a minnow. Each response was completed within 10-15 seconds. Then I asked about the Astros and this years World Series. I am amazed by all this, however I’m not sure whether I actually embrace it or not. Will it not stifle the creativity of generations to come? Why would anyone waste their time composing and writing anything, when a few clicks on a keyboard will get you far superior … Continue reading The Scary Thing About Artificial Intelligence

You Never Know Where A Conversation Will Take You

Through our gathering this past Saturday to assemble information about Pure Stone (now Huber) I brought up the name Doyle Wilkes, from Bertram. He died of a heart attack while on the job at Huber some 28 1/2 years ago. When I asked Robben Thompson if she remembered him, she said he was the nicest man and the hardest worker around. When he collapsed that day, she was there and performed CPR until the First Responders arrived. I told Robben that I barely knew Doyle. We met once. But from the marriage of his Baby Girl, Katherine and my #2 … Continue reading You Never Know Where A Conversation Will Take You

One Thing That Shouldn’t Be Said During Church

I had a good friend that was a steady church goer. When they got to the prayers and concerns portion of the service this friend stood up ask for prayers for this fellow out in West Texas. The West Texas fellow was the father of this friend of mine’s grandson. A divorce had caused a lot of consternation between each side. Back to the church house that day: He said, if old (what’s his name) doesn’t watch himself, “I’m going to drive out to West Texas and shoot him”. Now taking that this was a very small church 4 or … Continue reading One Thing That Shouldn’t Be Said During Church

The Bet – The Naming Of A First Born

I got to the visitation at the funeral home for my friend LJ Henderson, Joy, LJ’s oldest daughter said “your mother’s name was Bonnie, right” ? To which I said yes. She told me the following story. LJ and Cecil were sitting in a beer joint just a couple of days before Joy Henderson was born in the early part of 1950. Both wives were heavy pregnant at the time. Cecil said, “that baby of yours is gonna be a little girl”. A little arguing went back and forth and a bet was formulated right then and there? If it … Continue reading The Bet – The Naming Of A First Born

Going To Get Our Motorcycle License

Houy and I were just a little over a month difference in age, with him being born in July and me in August. That made important happenings in our early lives coincide. While I can’t remember whether we went together to get our drivers license. But we did go get our motorcycle endorsement together. He had a new 350 Honda that we took it took on. We were 14 years old. Tommy had been riding for awhile, so it was easy for him to ride along doing as the officer instructed while following behind. I will never understand how I … Continue reading Going To Get Our Motorcycle License

The Texas Prison Rodeo

The Texas Prison Rodeo At Huntsville was a favorite of many from 1931 until 1986 when it was discontinued. A good article by Jesse Sublett – April 2012 for Texas Monthly Magazine Prison Rodeo Gone, but Not Forgotten Another piece of Texas history was razed in mid-January when bulldozers unceremoniously demolished the prison rodeo arena in Huntsville, but the memory of the event rides on. With barely a peep from preservationists, another piece of Texas history was razed in mid-January as bulldozers unceremoniously demolished the prison rodeo arena in Huntsville. The brick-and-concrete building, which hadn’t held a prison rodeo since … Continue reading The Texas Prison Rodeo

Learning To Do Things in Moderation

There are few things that I ever attempt doing that I do it in moderation. Several years ago a guy was passing through with an old bookcase in the back of his van. He camped out for a while at Cec’s Fishing Camp at Smithwick. The story was that he was short on funds and needed to sell this family heirloom so he could travel farther west. It was full of old books. Mostly classics. Like nice sets of the classics. I found a note inside that told that it was a wedding present to a couple, supposedly the sellers … Continue reading Learning To Do Things in Moderation