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Showing posts from July, 2008

Black Duck Bay trail system?

Recently while hiking over the south side of the Fred Hartman bridge, I looked down on the dirt road that envelopes 2 giant retaining ponds and thought how wonderful this would be for Exxon-Mobil to open it for jogging and cycling.

A simple bridge spanning the broken road that used to lead to the tunnel is all that is needed for access.

Update: I think this is worthy of asking ExxonMobil. I am happy to put the question to them; as long as everyone understands that this is not City property and that we are not resourced to police or maintain it should ExxonMobil agree to open it up. Would a citizens group be willing to adopt it and be responsible for its upkeep? Garry Brumback
Update: I was contacted by Russ Roberts (ExxonMobil HR) to discuss the real possibility of making this project a reality. 7-31-08

What do you want on your Tombstone?

I was driving to work yesterday and as I exited SH-225, I was passed up by a commercial truck with the Pizza slogan "What do you want on your Tombstone?" and I began to ponder this company's slogan and marketing strategy. Now I realize this may be an odd rumination at 3:30am, but nevertheless with my golden years steadily creeping up all over me, I find I do more thinking about the possibility of my own demise than I did as a robust and invincible man of, say forty-five.

What do I want on my tombstone, or rather as my final hurrah? Should I request actual swans be released into the air for my swan song? Do I want an accurate depiction of my life, a flowery tribute with gushing hyperbole, or a gritty tale of exploits and adventures? By the way, while I'm thinking about it, should I go ahead and write it now, so I can be sure I am accurately portrayed?

Here lies Baytown Bert

Our last words together were:

"This won't hurt"

"Are you sure?"

Will I be rem…

What happened to the Baytown Concerned Citizens group?

Less than a year has passed since planning our first meeting at El Toro's new restaurant and it appears the BCC - Baytown Concerned Citizens, in our zeal to accommodate BPD, has lost track of its original intent. We started out determined to hold the police department management accountable for stemming and controlling crime. We were angry and wanted results.

What we have evolved into, as a group, is a flag-waving patriotic police support group with a quasi-religious zeal instead. Log onto the website designed to report and discuss crime and mildly suggest anything negative concerning the police department, or heckfire - any police department and you will be angrily rebuked, chastised for being unsupportive and your patriotism will be questioned.

What happened? Let's back up to August 11th, 2007 where I wrote: "Citizens are sick and tired of the wave of increasingly violent and bold crime we are experiencing and if there is indeed strife inside the ranks of our police de…

Residents say fatal crash bound to happen

By Kari Griffin
Baytown Sun

Published July 19, 2008

Some Chaparral Village residents who haven’t witnessed the “racing” reported by their neighbors insisted the mountain of an issue was merely a molehill.

But the folks keeping watch at night, writing down license plate numbers and following “racers” to their hangout predicted Thursday’s fatal accident months ago.

This was bound to happen, they just didn’t know when, residents said.

Around 9:20 p.m. Thursday, a Packsaddle resident called 911 to report that a motorcyclist had driven through a wooden fence and into a backyard. The man, 34-year-old Baytown resident Christopher Ramon Shaw, was unconscious — his leg torn off.

Life Flight was contacted and en route when Baytown police officers arrived at the gruesome scene and found that Shaw was dead.

Skid marks are visible two blocks away from the fence Shaw struck when he lost control of the 2008 blue Yamaha R1 he was driving westbound in the 1300 block of Packsaddle Lane. Shaw was separated fr…

Being dubbed my Dauber name

Last week I told you a little about Ken "the Dauber" Pridgeon and how he exited the Air Force and began painting billboards to make ends meet. This week, I once again sat down with Ken at his studio – KTD Signs on Morrell Street and we dug a little deeper into his passion, which is, of course – painting and painting he does well. He had just put the finishing touches (dauber-style) on his story of struggle and armed conflict, covering the wounding of Sgt. Nick Marshall in the war torn hell of Iraq and we discussed the future of art in Baytown.

This finishes up a two-part story on Ken, but hopefully the best part of his story is yet to be told.

"Many good artists lost their lives on those billboards and this story is just one of many and probably won't help anyone remember the loss. Anyway, I was fortunate to end up with my own sign business and in fact, quite a few businesses altogether. You see I am a good designer, but not a good businessman. (Ken laughs) Someho…

My Life As A Billboard Artist

I met Ken "the Dauber" Pridgeon this year at the Baytown Fine Rides car show on Texas Avenue. He was seated comfortably on a folding chair, artist's pad on his lap, doing what he does – sketching in preparation to paint. He's a friendly, approachable artist, humble man, avid teacher and a local treasure, to be sure.

Recently Ken and I met at Starbucks on Garth road to discuss his painting depicting Iraqi Freedom Purple Heart Recipient, Sgt. Nick Marshall and "Dauber" in his usual entertaining and charming way began to expand on this particular painting's" story. Ken is a passionate veteran artist and his visions come to life in his paintings. This is his two-part story in his own words and his emotion-laden telling brought tears to our eyes.

"Well, I started out as simply Ken Pridgeon, USAF 10 years - electronics technician and artist to the boys. You see we didn't have color photographs in 1953 so I would make Sepia tone wedding pictur…

Motorcycles or Mobile Organ Donors?

I was driving home from work this past Saturday, July 5th, enjoying the slower freeway speeds that the weekend's pokier pace allows and saw a sight that raised the hair on my neck. I literally said "Oh, my God" for a full minute afterward.

I was heading north on SH-146, still referred to as "the Loop" by us Baytonians and was closing on West Main when out of the corner of my eye, I spied a Café Racer-type motorcycle heading south on the far lane opposite the north side. These bikes are made for speed and are more commonly known as "Crotch-Rockets" or "Mobile Organ Donors" and for good reason.

According to the Snell Memorial Foundation, a nonprofit, helmet-safety organization, the risk of death per vehicle mile is about 20 times higher for motorcyclists than for passenger-car occupants in a traffic accident and that is precisely why I sold my last bike, way back in 1981. My wife announced that we were going to have a baby and I did not want …

Can you hear me now?

Want to shed about forty pounds of ugly fat in time for Christmas, quit smoking in one hour, or run a 10K race in say - a month? Well in the near future, you'll simply make a trip to your doctor to begin the process of getting a neural implant. A neural implant - what the heck is that? Will it hurt? What if I don't have a neural?

Brain or neural implants, are technological devices or chips that connect directly to your brain - usually placed on the surface of the brain, or attached to the brain's cortex. Properly programmed this will allow us to lose weight safely and without discomfort. We're talking day surgery, so hey! It's no big deal folks and is the next rage - like steroids, except legal. All aboard!

Say you have a real everyday craving for the bane of all fun loving eaters – sweet glazed Honeybuns, but a little tweaking of the programmable chip and all desire for that sugary delight is gone. I'll ask that my chip have a back-up battery and will …