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Posts published in June 2003

Drugs from Canada…

Been reading about the cheap prices of medical drugs available in Canada so I asked my licensed and degreed pill pushing friend from Georgia what he thought of it; he’s a straight shooter with me and holds no punches.

Basically he thinks it is a good thing for the consumer as he is one also. Said you can ask any pharmacist and they will tell you that the US drug companies gouge the US public. He said the cost of name brand drugs increase 8 to 12% yearly while inflation is 2 – 4%; go figure. Additionally he said, the cost of an average of $8B to bring one drug to market while it appears the drug companies are trying to recoup all their expenses from the US while only nominally charging other countries.

He also mentioned the mucho much cheaper prices of Mexican drugs and no prescription is needed for most of them. HOWEVER there are almost no controls so you may buy out of date or contaminated drugs. In Canada the controls are much better than Mexico (but not as good as in the USA) so safety is not as big a concern.

I went to school with this Georgia boy and had no idea he could spell so many big words.

Anyway buyers beware and I’ll be the first one to say I told you so.

Did another first for me this morning by making or putting up pickled tomatoes. After reading numerous ways to put them up, I ended up doing it my way anyway. Never bought or used cider vinegar before and boy howdy does that stuff stink when heated.

I used very little cider vinegar in the pickled tomato produce and added some olive oil with whole Pearl onions and sliced Vidalia onions along with some cubed red bell pepper.

Started out with intentions of making one pint and ended up with a quart full by adding a little of this and a little of that. Did not want to make a lot because if it ain’t good, it’ll go to waste. I’ll let it sit in the cupboard until about November then break it open and sample it out with some speckled butter beans, boiled okra, cream corn, dead chicken and cornbread.

Some of the recipes I read would take up to four days to finish making pickled tomatoes but I ain’t got time to mess with all that; so hope I didn’t mess this one up too bad.

Also put up a pint of pepper sauce with the cider vinegar and one pint with white vinegar.

Managed to scrounge up a few green tomatoes and had enough for a small batch of chowchow. This has got to be the mildest batch ever made by me. Would you believe I only used three pods of cayenne pepper? I have made some with 751 pods and that was so hot I could not eat it. Even the Mrs. complained about that batch being so hot.

My green tomato crop has all but dried up now but with this little mess, it’ll make do for now.

This hot weather sure makes the hot pepper produce as I have plenty and some is hotter than a firecracker too.

Open letter to Congressman Green: Dems are “Weenies”, not Heroes…

Dear Editor:

I will do what I know to be the right thing, and respond directly to Congressman Gene Green’s Letter to the Editor dated June 11, 2003.

First, let me say that Mr. Green has evidently become a “Beltway Insider” because he has certainly lost touch with reality and, I believe, with regular Texans who have to work for a living.

I, along with most true Texans, are highly, indeed, tremendously insulted by Mr. Green calling the “Weenie Democrats” who ran away from their responsibilities at the regular session of the recent Legislature, “True Heroes”.

Shame on you Mr. Green!!! You have demonstrated that you either don’t know, or worse, don’t care, about the meaning of HERO to Texans. A HERO is someone who STANDS, and doesn’t run away from adversity, like at the Alamo. My ancestor, The Honorable David Crockett came to Texas to stand for what he believed to be right. He didn’t run, even though he could have. He stood his ground. The men who fought and died at the Alamo and Goliad were HEROES, Mr. Green. The WEENIE DEMOCRATS were NOT heroes, by any definition. There were just the opposite, COWARDS.

By the way congressman, the reason you all chose not to allow redistricting was for “purely political reasons”. Grow up, Gene. It’s all for political reasons, and you darn well know it. Don’t insult us by claiming you Liberals are in it for any other reason and then try and sound holier that thou.

However, let’s look at your argument that the WEENIES were right in what they did.

You said, “redistricting is a serious constitutional matter”, and you are right. However, you use the old liberal ploy of distorting the truth. Redistricting is a matter set out in our State Constitution. It is the responsibility of the Legislature to draw the lines for the Congressional Districts. It is not the responsibility of a “bipartisan three-judge panel”.

The Democratically controlled Legislature in 2001 would not follow their Constitutional responsibilities and redistrict the State. They abdicated their responsibility and left it to the court, which did the job until the next Legislature could do the job, as is set out in the state constitution. It is interesting to note that Liberal/Democrats cannot get their agendas through legislative channels almost anywhere, so they try and use the courts to implement laws that elected representatives would not, or could not pass.

Your own Letter to the Editor proves my point. “While the districts created by the court elected 17 Democrats and 15 Republicans in 2002, statewide Republican candidates carried 20 of 32 Congressional districts”. That means that the state of Texas is 63% Republican and only 27% Democrat. By that formula, Texas is primarily a conservative state, yet it is represented by Liberals, like yourself. Texas should have almost 20 Republican representatives in Washington and only about 12 Democrats. Yet you somehow figure, “there is no compelling reason to redraw Congressional lines at this time”?

And since you speak of fining someone, we voters think the WEENIES should have to pay for the time they left, as well as the special session, which was necessitated because they would not do their job!

Congressman Green, sir, you have lost your ability to reason logically. Heroes stand for something and fight to defend that idea. The 51 WEENIES are not heroes, so do not insult my ancestors by misuse of that word. You will have a fight if you continue with that BS, sir!

I think it’s time for you to come back and work for a livin’, like most Texans. How about you resign? After reading your shameful diatribe, you ought to give it serious thought, especially since that decision may be made for you by the voters.

You have ripped the wrong cowboy this time, sir. I am not impressed by your mis-information, or by your defense of the WEENIES. Remember, Gene, you are judged by the company you keep. You may want to find some new friends!

Sincerely,
Lloyd Shelby
Texan and Taxpayer

July 4th celebrations for Baytown, Crosby

By BOBBY HORN JR.

EAST HARRIS COUNTY— The hot weather will be nothing compared to the hot times that are planned for this year’s Fourth of July celebrations.

The Baytown Parks and Recreation Department has a full day of entertainment and festivities planned at Bicentennial Park.

The festival begins at 1 p.m. with food and beverage, arts and crafts and game booths open. At 2 p.m. D.J. music will be provided by M&D Entertainment.

The first of three lives bands will take the stage at 3 p.m. when Texas Squeeze performs. Texas Squeeze will be followed by Jay Perez at 4:30 p.m.

At 6 p.m. the annual Fourth of July parade will begin on Market Street and proceed around the park.

The annual Baby Goose Race, sponsored by the Evening Pilot Club will be held at 6:45 p.m.

Texas Country Music legend Jerry Jeff Walker will take the main stage at 7 p.m. and will play through 9 a.m. Along with Walker will be special guest Django Walker.

The Bayou Big Band will perform at 9:15 p.m. followed by a fireworks display ay 9:30 p.m.

There are two special events planned for Crosby.

At 10 a.m. the Crosby post of the Veterans of Foreign Wars will hold a parade, beginning at the Crosby Fairgrounds and going north. Lineup for the parade will be at 9 a.m. Later that day the American Legion post will celebrate the Fourth by holding a drawing for their raffle Top prize in the raffle is a Harley-Davidson motorcycle. The drawing will be held at 2 p.m. at the post building on FM 2100.

Lake Houston fishing trip claims two lives

By LEWIS SPEARMAN

HUFFMAN – Three men set out to fish from Lake Houston Marina at about 9:20 p.m. on June 22, only one would survive the brief, tragic misadventure.

Witnesses say the trio scurried out into twilight with fishing equipment and fresh minnows but they were calling for help shortly thereafter.

Although the Houston Lake Patrol responded when informed of the calls for help, critical time would pass before the boat was found.

Lack of boating safety seemed to be a factor. The Houston Lake Patrol found the boat and marked it with a buoy shortly after 10:00 p.m. but it did not have the bottom drain plug in place. There were no life jackets aboard. Family members informed Houston Police that it was the second time the brothers had used the boat.

Houston Lake Patrol determined that the boat must have been swamped with water when the front end came down as it came to rest and then it capsized.

Houston Police Dive Teams found the body of Yonari Olazaran, 28, at about 4:10 a.m., Monday, June 23. They called off the search for Rojello Olazaran, 26, at about 1:00 p.m.

Jessica Escobar was working at Lake Houston Marina the night of the tragedy, she said, “It just seems so ironic, we keep telling people they need to be well prepared before they go on a fishing trip especially if they don’t know the lake. If they had checked out their boat they could have known they didn’t have the plug in place. If they had life jackets, that might have saved them. If they had swam northeast toward the trees they would have been swimming with the current and after about 10 minutes or so they would have been walking to shore on a sandy bottom. They obviously were swimming eastward toward the park lights and that was against the current. This should be a warning to everyone to ask for information before going out, especially at night.”

Houston Lake Patrol estimates the sole survivor swam at least 200 yards against the wind from a location northwest of the McKay Bridge. The survivor reached a private dock in Huffman and telephoned for help.

West Nile Virus nears

By BOBBY HORN JR.

EAST HARRIS COUNTY— Confirmed cases of West Nile Virus, which first hit the West Side of Harris County have shown a migration toward the east side of the county.

Last week, the Harris County Health Department announced that the number of confirmed cases of WNV in birds had increased to seven, including one case in Humble.

Dead birds have tested positive in west, northwest, central and north east areas of the county. These birds include three Blue Jays, an American Crow, a Mourning Dove, a Great-Tailed Grackle and a Carolina Chickadee.

The Mosquito Control Virology Laboratory has confirmed one mosquito pool that has tested positive for WNV. The Culex mosquitoes were collected from a trapping site near Coral Reef Street. Another six more pools throughout the county are suspected of having the WNV as well.

Additionally, the county suspects three pools of having the St. Louis Encephalitis virus.

Harris County residents are urged to take actions to eliminate breeding sites including containers that could hold standing water. Residents are also advised to limit their outdoor exposure during dawn and dusk hours, when mosquitoes are most active, or to wear long sleeves shirts and pants and use insect repellant when outdoors.

Dead man’s curve on FM2100 remains a threat

By LEWIS SPEARMAN

CROSBY – The site of the first fatal automobile accident in Crosby, the Y from Main St. to First St., was the scene of an accident involving a 13 year old girl on a scooter and a van on June 19.

The 13 year old was treated and released by Friday morning with some damage to her leg. The estimated speed of the collision was about 12 miles per hour on impact, according to authorities.

The wreck happened in the same location as decades ago a T-Model Ford rolled over trapping a man and his wife inside as the T-Model burst into flames.

The Crosby / Huffman Chamber of Commerce asked TXDoT to straighten the curve as a safety measure three years ago. TXDoT responded with a plan to make the curve less sever and to put in an overpass at the railroad crossing at FM 2100.

Crosby woman wins $1,009,960 at Casino in Biloxi

BILOXI, Miss, June 16– Nancy Moss’ “pit stop” in Biloxi at the President Casino landed her $1,009,960.55 on the Wheel of Fortune® quarter dollar progressive slot machine.

Moss said she had never played the Wheel of Fortune® progressive slot machines before but “loves the TV show and since no one was around, I decided to give it a try.”

From Crosby, Texas, Moss and her family decided to stop at the President Casino in Biloxi for the evening as it’s the half-way point to her father’s house in Georgia. Moss picked her machine and jokingly asked her husband and family to leave as they were “bringing me bad luck.” Only minutes after her husband and family left her side, Moss hit the jackpot. At first she thought her machine was broken, then was shocked to realize what she had won.

Six other previous winners were recently announced, bringing the total MegaJackpots™ winnings to just over $25 million in the Biloxi/Gulfport area since May 14. This is the second jackpot in one month on the Wheel of Fortune® progressive slot machines.

Moss had played approximately $40 before hitting the MegaJackpots™ bonanza.With her winnings, Moss plans to open her own business – it’s something she’s always wanted to do. “This will make life more comfortable” Moss said.

The Wheel of Fortune® machine is based on the popular television game show, “Wheel of Fortune®.” The jackpot is paid when a player plays the maximum bet ($.75) and lines up all three winning symbols on the appropriate pay line. After the jackpot is verified, the Wheel of Fortune meter is reset at $200,000. The Wheel of Fortune® is one of 15 Mississippi MegaJackpots’ systems operated by IGT, a world leader in the manufacturing of gaming machines and proprietary software for progressive gaming systems. All TGT MegaJackpots™ awards are paid in annual installments upon verification, except MegaJackpots Instant Winners’™ jackpots and Rapid Riches MegaJackpots™ awards, which are paid in their entirety upon verification. Wheel of Fortune ® is a registered trademark of Califon Production Inc. For more information on TGT, visit the company web site at www.IGT.com.

Pests

We have them at the house and at work. They are truly a pest and most bothersome not to mention nasty. Actually they are fruit flies.

They seem more prevalent this time of year for some reason and I assume it is because of all the fresh fruit available at the market and that one has brought home i.e., bananas, peaches, grapes, onions, etc. I think they get in potted plants also.

I managed to get three of them last night in the kitchen by popping them with a wet dish rag. Most folks use a dish cloth but it’s a dish rag to me. They were on the kitchen window and it was near dusk with the window providing the only light coming inside the house.

One can use insecticides but I do not care to spray that stuff in my kitchen. ##M:[more]#

The fruit fly is common around food that can rot, spoil, or ferment. They breed in drains, garbage disposals, empty bottles, trash cans, sour mops and even yeast products.

You’ve seen the cartoons of drunks with the little flies flying around? That is the fruit fly going for the yeast in the alcohol fumes…yuck.

Go to the grocery store and check out the numerous fruit flies around the onions, potatoes and other products. One can lay about 500 eggs and go from egg to adult in a week. They are most plentiful as they breed like a virus. These creatures lay eggs that hatch into what is known as little maggots.

When your produce is ripened, it should be eaten, discarded or refrigerated. Now you know why you want to wash your fruit before you eat it.

You can make a trap for the little creatures by making a paper funnel and place it over a jar with bait consisting of cider vinegar or a slice of banana in the bottom.

Or tape a clear plastic bag over the sink hole over night. If any are breeding in the drain, the adults will emerge and be caught in the bag.

Enough already.

As usual, Four Dog was resting on his belly watching out the sliding glass door as I sat in my rocker and read. The first growl is usually not something that causes me to look but he did it again. Shortly, he did it again so I couldn’t stand it, I had to look. I looked hard too and could not find out what was causing him to take notice.

Finally I looked down close to the door and by the mower. There was a plastic bag of bird seed and inside the bag was a dove. Not one dove but two. I was going to wait until the Mrs. came home and let her see, but thought maybe I’d better let them out. Sure enough they fluttered their wings wildly but could not escape the bag as I picked it up slowly.

Not wanting them to break a wing or anything, I tore the bag and reached in grabbing one of the dove.

As I got the second dove out of the bag I put it down and let Four Dog take a sniff. He had no interest so I gently tossed the dove into flight.

This is Texas, you know…

Boy, I am one lucky cowboy! I traveled all over Texas in the last nine days with my wife and daughter and son-in-law, and saw some of the prettiest country and the best people in the world. After all, this is Texas, you know!

We left Friday, June 6th, and drove to ol San Antone where we did the tourist thing, (something I’m not cut out for), and did the Riverwalk. We also payed tribute to my ancestor, Davy Crockett and the Alamo. By the way, did you know Alamo means, cottonwood? I sure didn’t.

Well, we also got to visit the Texan Days Festival at the Museum of Texan Cultures and went up in that “Hemisphere” thing where you can see for about eighty miles. While we were waitin’ at the entrance, I took off my boots, rolled up my jeans and waded in the fountain. Some local folks musta liked that cause they made me pose for pictures. Only after I got out did someone show me the sign that said, “NO WADING”. I’m sure glad they didn’t catch me!

It was really nice to slow down. We then drove to Galveston and stayed in a friends “little beach house”. Turns out it was one of the biggest places on West End with all the best of everything. Sure is nice to have friends, ain’t it?!

Miss Judy and I caught a plane on Thursday and flew to Amarillo where we were picked up by the fine folks from the Cal Farley Boys Ranch. In case you didn’t know, Cal Farley’s Boys ranch is an amazing place. It is home to over 400 boys and girls who have been abandoned or who’s parents have given them up. They are the best young people I have ever met and the Ranch is a city in itself. They grow most of their beef and much of their vegetables as well as have their own school district. The “town” was formed in 1939 by Cal Farley on the old Tascosa townsite.

I was privileged to be invited to perform, teach and assist in their Second Annual Youth Cowboy Poetry Gathering. I worked with the best of the best. Folks like Red Steagall, R.W. Hampton, Don Dane, J.W. Beeson, Jeff Gore, Trudy Fair, Trey Allen and Stephanie Davis, just to name a few.

I am changed by my time spent at Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch and you can find out more at their website.

We flew back Sunday and went directly into rehearsal with the Baytown Little Theater for the August presentation of “Annie Get Your Gun”. It’s gonna be a humdinger! I’ll let you know more, later on.

Finally, I’m lookin’ forward to seein’ a bunch of you all who like great Texas music on Saturday evening at Lyin’ Larry’s. None other than Doug Supernaw, one of my fav-or-ites, will be on stage. Cost is about $15, a real bargain. But you might want to get your tickets asap, since there’s only room for about 400 or so. Hope to see y’all there! Be sure and say howdy, if’n you see me.

Lotsa other good things happenin, but I’ll tell ya when I see ya next.

Gotta go slog through the mud and feed my babies, so I’d appreciate it if you’d shut the gate and I’ll see ya down the trail.

Just a Ridin’,
Lloyd

Concerts, Cowgals, Auction record make a great Rodeo Week

Grand Champion Steer sells for $11,000 record; attendance high

By LEWIS SPEARMAN

CROSBY – The Crosby Fair & Rodeo Board awarded seven new scholarships, sold the Grand Champion Steer at an all-time record and had good attendance to the rodeo sport and concert shows in spite of rain and rumors.

“The Crosby Fair & Rodeo is dedicated to the future of our cause, our community and stronger than ever before.” said Doug Hall, Chairman of the Board, “We aren’t going anywhere, we’re going to be here for the long haul.”

According to Luther Brady Jr. the 57th marked $101,000 in scholarships presented to students of Crosby and Huffman since the board started and added “We want to thank everyone that showed up for the auction and the shows for making it possible.”

Five scholarships were awarded during the auction and two were awarded to graduate students during the rodeo. Casey Rush, Kathryn Morrison, Kurt Marek, Kaylee Chitty and Tiffaney Bradley received scholarships during the auction. Kimberly Clifton and Jeanelle Windham were awarded scholarships inside the Rock’n C Arena on Saturday night.

Rain pelted each night of the show but that didn’t stop dedicated sports and concert fans from attending. Although Friday night was lighter than usual, owing to the storm. Thursday night was larger than usual with much of the draw credited by attendants to Gene Watson of Baytown being the opening act. Saturday night, concert fans packed in to see a rollicking performance by Patrick Murphy and Cross Canadian Ragweed

According to Gary Clifton, “Overall it was a success. We had a lot of new faces and kept our traditions. Including the tradition of bad weather. People fertilizing grass or hay really appreciate us putting on the show because it brings more rain every year. The 57th will go down as a prolific and profitable year. We are looking forward to next year. The large crowd that attended Saturday night pushed back the effects of Tropical Storm Alison, it was very gratifying for us older board members to see that we had turned the corner from weaker years.”

The auction total was $164,810 for 96 exhibits. Wade Armstrong exhibited the 1300 lbs., Grand Champion Steer bought by Mr. Owens of Owens Specialty Company for $11,000. Annie Michalsky bought the 57th Crosby Fair & Rodeo Belt Buckle for $2,000. RSMIS Foundation purchased a round trip to Las Vegas for $3,050.

Rodeo Queens put beauty in the show

This year, the Crosby Rodeo Queens Contest attracted five lovely and skilled equestrians. Misty Watkins was crowned Queen. Kathryn Morrison was Duchess. Most photogenic went to Andrea Deajon. Horsemanship also went to Misty Watkins. Nicole McGinty was Miss Congeniality. McGinty paid the cost of taking her award, on Thursday night she sprained her ankle following a hard ride. The spunky rider didn’t let that stop her though, not only did she perform well the next two nights, she delighted everyone with her presence. Also recognized for her participation was Julie Glover.

According to Judge Judy Culbreath of Baytown, “Walton Feed & Western Wear supplied the Belt Buckle for Horsemanship, Congeniality, Photogenic and the Queen’s Crown. The saddle’s awarded for Queen and Duchess were donated anonymously. The Queen’s Belt Buckle was donated by Gary Bailey Insurance of Baytown. The Duchess Belt Buckle was donated Highlands Tractor Kawasaki. Lovely floral arrangements of roses were donated by Crosby Florist and Gifts. Goody bags were donated by area merchants.”

According to Mary Wright, “The Queen’s Contest was determined by judges based 40% on Horsemanship, 20% on personality and appearance, and 40% on an interview.”

Motive is mystery in family shooting

By LEWIS SPEARMAN

BAYTOWN – Lakewood Heights residents awoke in the wee hours of Saturday morning to a mammoth police presence beginning at about 3:26 a.m.

At about 3:18 a.m. on June 14, a Baytown 911 Operator received a call from a man claiming to be at 304 Lakewood. The man on the phone was reportedly calm. The man then stated, “ I shot my wife and my child.” but hung up the phone before giving his name.

William Michael Chamblin, 49, was taken into custody at about 6:35 a.m. Without warning the man walked out of his front door and complied with police instructions. So ended over three hours of stand-off with Baytown SWAT teams.

Once inside, mother and daughter were lying side by side in the kitchen, both had gunshot wounds to the head and chest. Two family pets, dogs, also lay dead in the kitchen.

Chamblin was arraigned on June 16 in the 262nd District Court. Judge Mike Anderson placed Chamblin on “No Bond” and he remains in Harris County Jail as of press time.

Baytown Police Sgt. Richard Whitaker indicates that police suspect Chamblin shot his family sometime between 7:30 and midnight Friday. Whitaker indicates his office is speaking with friends and family to determine why the crime was committed.

“We have never had a case more clear cut about how a murder was committed but we are still working on the why.” Whitaker ventured concerning the gruesome details that resulted in the charge of capital murder.

“It looks like he took them by surprise.” said Whitaker.