The stars at night are big and bright...

The stars at night are big and bright...
The stars at night are big and bright...

Thursday, January 31, 2008

What A Difference A Day Makes!

We've all heard it before. If you don't like Texas weather, just wait a minute.

Yesterday I was running around sweating (well, a fire will do that to ya anyway), tonight my feet are colder than a well diggers shovel. That freakin' 20mph wind don't help matters... Oh well, it looks like warmer weather is on the way soon. I'll lay odds we don't see a drop of rain Sunday, Monday or Tuesday.

Man, I sure miss Harold Taft!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

A Not So Beautiful Day In My Neighborhood

I had to work dayshift today to make deliveries and there were remarkably very few so I wound up walking around bs'ing with the cashiers. I was chatting with one of them when I heard something on the scanner one of my department managers was wearing about a fire north of Chico on 101.

Hmm, I live on 101 north of Chico. I asked him where it was and he said he did'nt know, but it was big because they called in help from 2 other fire departments. The winds were gusting 20-35mph. I decicded it was time to go to lunch!

I work about 15 miles from home. I could see the smoke from work. I hauled ass towards the house. On the way I called my phone to see if the answering machine would pick up. It went straight to voice mail. I floored it.

As I got closer there was no doubt it was on my place. It was like driving in a fog bank heading up my driveway. The first thing I saw was 3 firetrucks around my house and roaring flames in the woods that surround it. Luckily, the house was still standing. I ran to the well house and turned on the 150 ft hose. It was burned into about 5 feet from the wellhouse. I ran and grabbed 2 5 gallon gas cans and started filling them with water. I noticed a guy standing around taking pictures but I did'nt have time to jack with him. As I was filling the cans a second time he walked over and took one to help fight the fire. He later introduced himself (I already forgot his name) and said he was from The Fort Worth Star-Telegram. You will probably see me in there tomorrow.

I called my Brother-In-Law and asked him to bring me all the hoses he had. He showed up with 100ft and we started working thru the trees putting out hotspots. 4 1/2 hours later the fire was out.

All the underpinning was melted away. My phone lines were crispy. My antenna pole bent over from the heat. My DirecTv coax was fried. 5 windows along the back of the house cracked from the flames. My brushhog was burnt to a crisp. My air compressor is toast. My air conditioner is cooked. But not 1 scorch, burn or bubbled paint on the house it's self that I can see. About 100 acres of my place went up and around 50 more on the place next to mine. The fire started when my neighbor to the south left a live wire hanging from a broken light socket. I hope he's got GREAT insurance!

A huge tip of my hat to the Chico Community Volunteer Fire Department, Crafton Volunteer Fire Department and all the other departments that responded along with all the county public works crews that showed up to cut firebreaks.

I owe ya'll more than I can ever repay you!

(And I promise never to make fun of Stephanie Lucero ever again!!!)

[edit] if you look at the aerial video on the Star-Telegram website (Reign of Fire), my driveway is the serpentine gravel road they keep showing firetrucks speeding up and down. Almost all of the fire they show is on my property.[/edit]

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Now Who Would Have Guessed That 9/11 Card Was Played Out?

Sorry, Rudy. You are not going in during the 4th quarter and win the game.
Now don't let the doorknob hit you in the ass on the way out!

Wow, I Never Noticed That Before

While channel surfing thru the 10 o'clock news to see coverage of the fires I managed to catch Channel 11 cutting "live" to Stephanie Lucero in Paradise. The only problem was she was standing in the middle of a mall parking lot next to the freeway. Now, I don't get down 114 as much as I used to, but I'm pretty sure they did'nt build a new freeway and mall in Paradise.
I gotta figure out how to get screenshots off the TV.

Easy Money

I want one of these bad boys. Skystream 3.7 wind turbine. Costs around $8,500 but on days like this Wise Electric would be cutting me a check!

The Skystream 3.7™ is a new generation residential wind generator that hooks up to your your home to reduce or eliminate your monthly electrical bill. It’s the first all-inclusive wind generator (with controls and inverter built in) designed to provide quiet, clean electricity in very low winds.

I know of a few around here. I'd love to hear from somebody that has one.

Support Your Local Sheriff?

Did anyone catch the Channel 5 news last night? Mike Snyder did a poorly veiled plug for Sheriff David Walker. The "story" was a message from Sheriff Walker that all residents of Wise County should join The Texas Sheriff's Association. If we don't we might not be able to train new deputies.

Huh? Pay up or else?

I thought that was what my taxes I've been paying were for. If we don't have one of those little stickers are we going to get lesser protection and service? Are'nt most of these "associations" known for making more for the "association" than actual benefits for cops on the beat?
Does'nt this give other candidates fuel for their campaign?
Stay tuned...

Monday, January 28, 2008

State Of The Union or The Farewell Edition of "Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader?"

Anyone manage to stay awake thru Dubya's final (praise the 6 pound baby Jesus) State Of The Union Address? Gotta say it was his weakest speech evar. Cheney sneared, Condoleeza scowled and the rest of the peanut gallery was just as predictable.

He did some early grandstanding with threatening to veto any bill that had earmarks (I believe the exact quote was "at least 1/2 as many earmarks). I'm sure he will find a way to weasle out of that. He called for cleaner emission autos that will "cut emissions that add to global climate change". I guess he's on Al Gore's bandwagon now... He also wants Pell Grants for public school students (vouchers). Besides breaking into a characature of himself giggling early on, it was uneventful and his most forgetable SOTU.

I was less than thrilled with Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius' Democratic response as well. Brian Williams made the comment she was on the short list of Democratic Veep candidates. I did'nt see anything that would inspire me to vote for her.

Ya'll Come Back Now, Ya hear?

Hello and welcome to The South 40!

Inspired by Liberally Lean, I've been compelled to start my own blog. I hope I can live up to the high standards Barry's readers have come to expect and possibly broaden your horizons.

In the immortal words of many a Wise County partier, "Ya'll hold my beer and watch this!"