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Showing posts from March, 2014

The good old days you say?

“Bring back the good old days!All this here fightin’ and dadburned confusion going on is horrible; what with Russia annexin’ Crimea, a winless war goin’ over in Afghanistan and North Korea fiddin’ to blow up the whole world…”
I looked at the grizzly old timer on the front porch of the country feed store near Bastrop, Texas and taking the bait, I asked him what time period he was referring to.
“What time period you referring to, old timer?”
“Youknow.Lyndon Baines Johnson’s Great Society.The one where all those civil rights laws were enacted and Texas education got a boost,” he coughed heavily for about 30 seconds and then spit a long brown line of what he called “tabacker juice” into a dull bronze spittoon close to my left Columbia hiking boot.
“The 60’s then?” I inquired.
“Yea, back in the 60’s I left the keys in my Corvair Monza in the parking lot of the Piggly Wiggly and never worried someone would steal it.Never gave it a thought.”He paused for effect and then looking me in the ey…

An open appeal to Texas Geocachers

I first joined the Texas Geocaching Association (TXGA) when USMorrows started it and to be honest, never saw much benefit one way or another from the association.  Heck, I knew a number of the Board members for a long time before I even knew they were associated with TXGA.  The subject was never brought up and I believe that is commonplace. Over the last two or three years I've heard the same thing repeated that there is no benefit to joining the TXGA.  After attending the Challenge, I say there definitely is; it just needs more exposure and more contributing members.

Back 15 years ago, I started the TX4X4 Cyber Club, the first organized 4X4 Internet-based club in Texas.  It grew to about 800 members with 14 chapters before I turned it over to a new President and stepped out of it.  It was hugely popular and we held events all across the state and into Arkansas and Oklahoma.

The reason I stepped out was I was burned out.

What burned me out was the constant complaining by the peop…

Hear ye, hear ye! Baytown Talks!

. You may well remember that the long time Internet local forum Baytown Talks re-launched January 1, 2014 as baytowntalks.net.Well, it has taken off, to put it mildly.We are averaging 100 new subscribers per month.
Some of our notables are Mayor DonCarlos, council members Brandon Capetillo and Terry Sain.I’ve written each of our councilmen inviting them to join.After all, it is in their best interest to know what people are talking about, right?
Professor Susan Cummings came on board yesterday, which to me is an endorsement of sorts.Susan and I agreed to disagree about ten years ago and both of us enjoy reading what the other writes.Terry Prothro joined to keep us informed about the nature Center’s activities.
The hand of the king is Anna “Booksie” Singleton.She is the forum’s number one moderator and keeps everything running smoothly.Booksie (a nickname I gave her as she is an avid reader) knows what is acceptable on the forum and what is not and watches everything, like a sharp…

The 22 Top Attractions in Baytown!

Hello Baytown Bert, here are the top 22 attractions that I see as important for anyone visiting or living in Baytown. I added one restaurant and one beer company as a 21st and 22nd attraction because we all love to eat and socialize! Instead of providing a list of 22 in order of importance, I decided to divide the attractions and venues into four broad categories. They are not ordered according to importance because different people are interested in different things. Let me know if you need anything else. Thanks!

Birding, Fishing and Outdoors

1.     Eddie V. Gray Wetlands Education Center

2.     Baytown Nature Center

3.     Thompson’s Bait Camp (Facebook link)

4.     Bayland Marina and waterfront park (3 Historical markers, boat ramp, fishing pier, etc.)

5.     WL Jenkins Park (disc golf, Bark Park, trails, etc.)

6.     Bicentennial Park (Fireman’s Memorial and the Veteran’s Memorial)

Entertainment and Recreation

1.     Royal Purple Raceway

2.     Pirate’s Bay Waterpark

3.     Cork Gr…

Baytown is Our Baytown

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As the old saying goes, I wasn’t born here, but I came as soon as I heard about it.Baytown is my town of choice.I’m not sure if I adopted it, or it adopted me, but one thing is a warm fact – folks call me Baytown Bert and for good reason.

“What is that reason there fella?” The reason is I promote living here and expanding our parks.Yea, I have never been guilty of calling Baytown,”the dirty bay”.In fact, it ain’t a dirty bay at all; not unless you want to call the Gulf of Mexico west of the Mississippi River, the dirty Gulf.We do have 7 bays and estuaries and these are breeding grounds for all kinds of aquatic life and yes, sometimes due to rainfall there is a good mix of salt and silt in the waters surrounding our town.
Estuaries provide habitats for a large number of organisms and support very high productivity for many fish species. Also, migratory bird populations make essential use of these sanctuaries and this is just one reason dredging Goose Creek could be detrimental.Sure, I…

Give me back my phone Mr. Bigshot!

Notice to all current and aspiring politicians: How dare you have the temerity and self-righteous arrogance to vote yourself an exemption to the Do Not Call registry? What? You say you weren’t in on that invasive luxury? Well, how about the intent of the registry? How about those of us that have opted to not receive ANY unsolicited phone calls? How about our right to not receive a phone call we do not want, especially when someone is pushing a product?
Yea, I was as surprised as many of you when non-tangible goods were suddenly labeled products. If you have an idea, or an agenda in these times, it is now labeled a product. It’s hilarious and stupid and unfortunately, it has become the go-to phrase by people selling almost anything. For instance, an insurance policy is now called a product. “You will really like this product, Mr. Marshall!”
“Uh, you mean policy, right?” My question is met with a non-comprehending look.
Back to the danged self-serving politicians calling my house while I’…

BB donates animal mounts to the Eddie V. Gray Wetlands Center

Baytown advocate Bert Marshall donated 2 animal mounts to the Eddie V. Gray Wetlands Center.  One is a javelina (collared peccary) and the other is a  pronghorn antelope.  Both animals are native to Texas and will be used as educational tools. BNC Naturalist Crissy Butcher accepts the two animal mounts.
Each year, thousands of visitors and school children come to the Eddie V. Gray Wetlands Education and Recreation Center in Baytown to learn about the importance of wetlands and their inhabitants. It is an official site on the Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail.
Other educational offerings include The Wetlands Wagon program taken to schools, libraries, clubs and businesses to educate students and the public on the importance and preservation of wetlands. Hours and fees The Wetlands Center is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., except holidays. Entry is free. Guided tours and educational programs are offered for a fee. Phone 281-…

Horse on W. Cedar Bayou Lynchburg and E. Road

Am I the only one who has spied the painted horse standing by a tree on W. Cedar Bayou Lynchburg and E. Road?No?I didn’t think so and like you I wondered if this was a case of neglect, or there is reason and purpose for tethering a lone horse in what appeared to be a small plot of land.
Is this a case of animal cruelty?  Should the humane society, PETA, Houston SPCA, or Marvin Zindler be called?
Well, I thought I would just go over and see if I could talk to someone before I jumped to conclusions.  Hopping in my venerable 4X4 Jeep I call, "The Choppa", I drove over to take photos and possibly get the truth about the situation and this is what I discovered. 
As I drove over Sunday morning, camera in hand, I planned at the very least to get a few photos. Yesterday, I passed by and the horse was lying down. At the time I wondered if it was dead.There were two men and two women unsuccessfully trying to push out a rent truck close to the horse, so I jumped the curb in my Jeep and…