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Showing posts from March, 2016

There’s Always A Bad Guy, Isn’t There?

Is it me, or is there always a bad guy out there waiting to get us? I was just a kid when I learned that there were ‘bad guys” besides the boogey man under my bed at night. The threat was “Krauts” and “Nips” and they were very real to my brothers and I as we daily sought them out in mortal combat. We didn’t bother with North Koreans, as no one really talked about those guys.
My brother and the neighborhood kids fought these WWII aggressors each and every day as they tried to infiltrate our neighborhoods and because my family moved quite often, I never found out if all this practice did them any good in Vietnam. I know it helped me to be a better “soldier” and that became apparent in boot camp on the obstacle course when others struggled, I excelled.
Then came the Commies and they were the perfect bad guy and in a way, I kind of miss them. At one time there were over 40 Communist countries and now there are just 5 – Laos, North Korea, Cuba, China, and Vietnam. The red scare was so rea…

The Bigger They Are…

It was lightly raining and I got out of my Jeep, global positioning receiver in hand.Thursday morning in Carmine, Texas looks like Baytown… never.It was totally devoid of activity and the tiny park around me was deserted.I stood in the soft rain and looked at the rushing water fight against itself to get under the foot bridge down and away.
I wasn’t worried about my global positioning satellite receiver getting wet.It’s a waterproof top of the line Garmin Oregon 650 and will pinpoint my location within 15 feet any place on earth.I use it for geocaching; my hobby of choice. On the other side of the 40 foot wooden-planked bridge is a “cache” and I plan to find it and sign the logbook it holds. I was ready and felt strong.
As usual, I am by myself and in a remote location.I know a lot about the right and wrongs of being in places of compromise and not having the proper resources, but this is a city park, right? It is a sad confession, but very often bad things happen in the most unexpect…

The K-cup Coffee Phenomenon

Like most everyone I know, I have a Keurig single server coffee maker on my kitchen counter top.It’s a must have status symbol and if you have one of those old low tech Mr. Coffee makers, well… you are behind the times and frankly, need to bump up your game.
The Keurig can make a cup of coffee in less than a minute, providing you leave it on all the time. I’m not sure how much electricity it uses setting there on the counter 23 hours and 59 minutes while it waits for you to zip by and place a 70 cent “pod” in it’s mouth and press a button or two, but how much can it be? Maybe 30 cents worth and that makes that one little cup about a buck.
Well, I kept my Mr. Coffee pot for about 2 years and enjoyed 3-4 cups a day of my peculiar brew of Joe. For reasons that I complied with, but did not thoroughly understand, my bride found the apparatus as unnecessary and “taking up too much space.” It started in subtle “suggestions” to remove it, to a rock in my shoe. After about 50 times, I dropped…

Baytown, my home of choice

I moved to Baytown straight out of the Air Force in 1974.I had never even heard of Baytown when I came here, but my parents were living in the new apartments on Ward Road along with one of my 3 brothers. The whole family with the exception of my mother was working for Brown & Root at Mobay.Mobay became Bayer and is now Covestro.
Brown & Root was THE construction company and the job here was going to be at least another year long. In retrospect, I should have used my G.I. bill benefits and went to Lee College, but youth has a way of justifying procrastination. Instead, I became a Pipe Fitters helper earning an amazing $4.25 per hour – which coming straight out of the military, was a lot of money.
A couple years passed and I still hadn’t enrolled in college when I was hired on at Atlantic Richfield (ARCO) on Sheldon Road as a process operator. I worked in that hell hole of personnel abuse for 5 years before Reaganomics caused a lay-off and I transferred to ARCO Polymers on Bat…

What is Caching Mojo?

What is Caching Mojo?
By Bert Marshall (BaytownBert)
Southeast Texas Representative Texas Geocaching Association
Caching mojo, to put it simply is how well-rounded you are as a geocacher concerning finding versus hiding geocaches.For instance, say you have found 2243 caches and have hidden 115.Simple math concludes that for every 20 caches you’ve found, you’ve hidden 1 for other people to find.You have a lot of mojo!A well-rounded geocacher has more than just a large amount of finds.
Note:This may not be the most pleasant of primers concerning geocaching, but I think if you keep an open mind, you will see the logic here.
Sure, I know everyone who looks for geocaches doesn’t have time to hide them and keep them maintained – or is this simply an excuse? You look at your numbers, crunch them to heck and back in GSAK, endlessly running filters and macros until your digits are numb and then look at your finds and grin like a possum eating persimmons.
You are a rock star!Right?
Recently, s…