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Showing posts from 2009

I'll Be With My Family This Christmas

I went to my dentist's office, because something is wrong with my mouth. After a brief examination, the dentist exclaims, "Holy Smoke! That plate I installed in your mouth about six months ago has nearly completely corroded! What on earth have you been eating?"

"Well, my Bride made some asparagus about a week ago with Hollandaise sauce and doc, I'm talkin' DELICIOUS! I've never tasted anything like it, and ever since then I've been putting it on everything... meat, cereal, sausage, boudain... you name it!"

"That's probably it. Hollandaise sauce is made with lemon juice, which is acidic and highly corrosive. It seems as thought I'll have to install a new upper plate, but made out of chrome this time." "Why chrome?" I asked.

"Well, everyone knows that there's no plate like chrome for the Hollandaise!"
While Christmas shopping at the Mall, I came across a long line of people waiting for a pro…

The Greatest Gift - reposted from December 17, 2006

Every day at work, I wash down the bird droppings from the pigeons and dove that nest in my area. I’ve thought about ways to keep them out of the covered areas and really want to do it in a way that isn’t harmful to them. Their droppings are surely a health hazard and I get aggravated when each day, I drag out the water hose to flush it into the Plant sump.

Yesterday, I saw a pigeon all fluffed up, sitting on the ground and I instinctively knew it was sick. Instead of feeling justified, I felt nothing but pity. Under my breath I whispered a short prayer for its recovery. I guess I’m getting old, or mellow, or something. In my earlier days, I wouldn’t have given the poor bird much thought, as sad as that sounds.

Each day in the media and the online forums, the war in Iraq and Afghanistan is tossed back and forth with a detachment that is as bad as my former aloofness concerning sick birds. We complain about the war and the way it’s being handled and all the while "our boys" ar…

Do I Need My Head Examined – Beans Again?

I am back in the kitchen cooking beans.  Shocker, right?  And stuffed cornbread.  With jalapenos.

Look, it’s raining and fairly nasty out there and I needed comfort food stat and something that would stick to my colon - I mean ribs.

I used both of these recipes roughly, as I can’t even bring myself to follow my own directions.  I bring the beans to a boil and then drain and reboil in the large pot (it's 3 pounds for gawd sake), then in the 24 quart pot, I put everything else and get it cooking.  When the beans are 50% soft, I add them to the big pot.

The reason I make so much is to share with friends and family and freeze a bunch of it to take to work.

Baytown Bert’s Delicious Texas Great Northern Bean Soup and

BB’s Jalapeno and Sausage Cornbread.

Okay, let’s go over what I did different this time around and if all gets too confusing, just use your best judgment on quantities and ingredients.


2 lb Great Northern beans
1 lb Navy beans
1 lb bacon
5 lb ham and bones from two lef…

The Silent Side of Christmas

This Christmas Eve, many thousands of workers will stay up all night manning police, hospitals, chemical plants, security, fire stations and EMS across the Texas Gulf Coast. They are supporting the American way of life. Unfortunately, this is every holiday season for them. My hat is off.

While we enjoy opening presents, or a football game and drinks with our friends and family, a single Mom with tired feet is working a checkout stand, as Wal-Mart accommodates last minute shoppers, wishing for once she could be home with her kids. A city utility employee is shutting off a leaking water or sewer line on a wet dark road. His family wishes this didn't happen every Christmas, but it does. I am grateful.

Somewhere a tow truck driver is changing a flat tire in the bitter cold and a taxi is carrying a passenger to a destination so they can be with their family. The tow-truck driver doesn't make it home before they are called to another emergency and the taxi rolls on to find another pa…

My First Encounter with a Black Widow Spider By Shady Henry

It was a day full of frustrations. My high speed internet stopped working. This is close to the end of the world for me, as I am a student and my home phone works on the internet. I called the cable company and to make a long story shorter, it took them a long time and a lot of confusion to get the Tech at my house.

So we finally get started on troubleshooting the internet and there is a bit of a hostility in the air and he says that I have a weak signal. We go to the yard where the cable box is and proceed to test the signal coming in the box. He opens the box, fiddles around the wires a little, locates mine and disconnects it and connects his meter. He cut the end connection of the cable and threw it on the ground but it got caught in a spider web. Wait a minute; a spider web would catch a metal wire connection?! Are spider webs that strong?!

All of a sudden, he puts his hands up and says "Back up, Back up". I thought that I was stepping on some part of the wire and short…

Baytown still on edge, Sterling Library back to work

In the wake of convicted child molester Arcade Joseph Comeaux Jr.'s Nov. 30 escape in Baytown, many folks there are still a bit jittery.

"Nobody knows anything and everybody's speculating," Chronicle reader blogger Bert Marshall, aka Baytown Bert told me this afternoon. "People are looking over their shoulders but going about their business."  As he was out and about today, Marshall said he heard a lot of talk about the 49-year-old escapee who remains free.

Comeaux, who was being transported from the Estelle prison unit in Huntsville to the Stiles Unit in Beaumont, forced the two guards escorting him to drive him to Baytown.  "That tells me he has connections here," Marshall said.  Late this afternoon, investigators said there was no reason to believe Comeaux had left the Baytown area.

At one Baytown business, the clerk had Comeaux's photo on her cell phone and was keeping an eye out for him as customers came in the store, Marshall said.  Whe…

BB’s Delicious 3 Onion Pinto Beans and Cornbread

I’m making a great big pot of beans because it’s a cold rainy day in Texas and I’m listing the ingredients, but not the quantities, for the most part (I don’t roll like that and can’t follow the rules). Adjust the quantities of each to suit your tastes. No one said it was going to be easy, but you will figure it out.


3 lbs pinto beans
3 lbs Ground chuck
1 lb bacon
Hatch’s Diced Tomatoes
Slap Ya Mama™ Cajun seasoning
Yellow onion
Purple onion
Green onion
Glory™ seasoned beef cooking base
1 container Pico de gallo pre-mixed (fresh)
1 container 3 chilies mixed (fresh)
3 cans chicken broth
Whole pickled jalapenos
2 heaping tablespoons of minced garlic


4 boxes Jiffy corn muffin (mix according to directions)
1 can creamed corn
2 extra eggs
1 can sliced-up small pitted black olives
Shredded cheese
Sliced pickled jalapenos
Butter slices on top of finished bread and melt
Sprinkle top with Slap Ya Mama™ Cajun seasoning before cooking

I boil the beans and then pour them int…

The Chinese Make a Lousy Gas Can

Yup, I said it – the Commies do not know how to make a gas can with a vent or a bendable spout which does not spill or burp gasoline every time you try to fill your lawn mower’s gas tank, or your weed trimmer’s fuel reservoir.  It’s pathetic and it’s environmentally disgraceful!

There I am, in my own backyard trying to pour a copious amount of petrol (time is money and I don’t have the time or patience to trickle it in) into my grass-cutting machine and gabloop chug – a gurgling squirt of precious and potentially grass-killing fossil fuel regurgitates onto the mower engine and deck. The gas can-designing genius who ignorantly designed this can, left off the vent.

It’s a travesty.  Just try to find a fuel container designed by the Japanese.  Good luck – as if luck has anything to do with it.  The industrious Japanese (thank you Dr. W. Edwards Deming) raised their standard of living to the point that they cannot compete with the Commies in the gas can arena anymore.  Of course, all red-b…

Baytown Bert’s Delicious Texas Great Northern Bean Soup

I’m making a great big pot of beans because there’s a Norther blowing in and I’m listing the ingredients, but not the quantities, for the most part (I don’t roll like that and can’t follow the rules). Adjust the quantities of each to suit your tastes. No one said it was going to be easy, but you will figure it out.

Big Pot – Everything goes in it.

2 lbs. Great Northern Beans - soak em or not (I boiled, then rinsed, then boiled again).
Yellow onion - diced
Green onion - diced
Celery - diced
Garlic, salt, pepper
Tony Chachere’s™ or Zatarain’s™ Creole seasoning
Hatch™ green chilies tomatoes
3# Ham

Boil all this until tender. Use a potato masher and mash the beans to the bottom of the pot until you make a nice gruel-like consistency. Serve with sweet cornbread.

What This Town Needs is a Good Cheap Donut!

This town needs a good dozen donuts that don’t cost an arm and a leg.

On a spur of the moment decision, I decided to whip into Shipley Donut Shop on Garth Road and West Baker for some plain cake donuts. I hadn’t had one in, like, forever (stupid Valley girl talk that’s ruining people’s vocabularies) and the time and traffic were right.

The lady behind the counter disconnected whoever she was communicating with on her personal talking device and lethargically asked what I wanted. I cheerfully replied I wanted a half dozen plain cake donuts.

Ka-ching! $3.99 please…

Four dollars, for six two and one half inch non-descript plain cake donuts? I mean, there’s no filling, sprinkles, or glaze on them, I thought, but handed over a fiver.

When I got home, I looked in the box and pulling one of these diamond encrusted and precious lumps of deep-friend dough out of the box, I measured the pastry to see how much acreage was going for these days…not much for my money.

The unadorned donut in my …

Red lights, Cameras and Stops Signs

I have no problem with the red light cameras, because I made up my mind a long time ago to come to a complete stop before turning right or gauge the distance to the light to give myself time to stop before the yellow light changes.

Without the red light cameras it goes back to the free-for-all attitude we’ve witnessed for years and that is one thing I do not want to see return.

In 1981 a red-light runner slammed into my 1979 Pontiac Bonneville at Decker Drive and Bayway. He hit me broadside doing 60 mph as he flew through. He was in a smaller Pontiac station wagon and it totaled his car. My family was slammed sideways inside the much larger car, but basically okay. We never saw him coming due to a larger truck next to us.

This town has been subject to poor driving habits for years and when the Baytown Concerned Citizens first met at El Toro’s on Garth road, we asked the city to crack down on crime and do whatever it takes to bring law and order back. I stood before a very hostile crowd…

Hawks, Owls, Dogs and Cats

W took our three-pound Pomchi puppy, Bella to Dr. Cynthia Lipps office the other day for its parvovirus shot and observed an adult cat sleeping in the office. I commented that it probably slept all day after prowling all night and the Vet assistant informed me the cat was basically permanently helpless due to a near fatal hawk attack. All it did was eat and sleep and was actually content.

Now I’m not totally ignorant about predacious hawks and small animals and based on the large number of cats in my neighborhood, I never really worried too much about the flying predators. All that has changed in the last year. We own an eight-pound Shih Tzu and a three-pound Pomeranian/Chihuahua mix, called a Pomchi, plus we regularly are watching my daughter and son-in-law’s two dogs - a Yorkie (seven-pounds) and a rat terrier (twelve-pounds).

Behind our house is seventy acres of woods and swamp. Coyotes, feral hogs and even bobcats roam these woods, which tells me there is plenty of food for these pr…

The Uniform Code of Military Justice - Malik Nadal Hasan

When a young man or woman raises their hand and are sworn into the US Military, they effectively and voluntarily surrender their Constitutional rights. They now belong to the US government, which has its own military constitution. This is known as the UCMJ or Uniform Code of Military Justice.

I was sworn into the United States Air Force November 23, 1970 and verbatim, my oath was this: "I, Gilbert S. Marshall Jr., do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God." (Title 10, US Code; Act of 5 May 1960 replacing the wording first adopted in 1789, with amendment effective 5 October 1962).

As an 18 year old native son, I took this …

The Baytown Dog Park, Mosquitoes and Fleas

View Cary Bayou Trail in a larger map

I communicated with Scott Johnson this morning.  He’s the head honcho over Baytown’s Parks Department and a good one, I might add.  A short note here on Baytown and it’s parks – they are managed very well and it’s obvious a high priority is placed on their maintenance.

The conversation went something like this: 

BB: “Mosquitoes and fleas Sir.  Help!  What exactly is being done to ensure the dog park doesn't become a breeding ground for fleas”?

Scott: “The Health Department sprays for mosquitoes on a regular schedule.  (The mosquitoes are winning)  As for the fleas, this is the first we have heard of a problem.  We will look into options and see what other cities are doing”.

At this point Mike Lister joined the conversation and added:

Mike: “The recent rains and moderate weather has ‘hatched’ a large crop of mosquitoes across the entire area.  We are larviciding and adulticiding (spraying) as best we can with weather permitting.  I will insure…

Baytown Photo Club Meets Again!

This past Monday the Baytown Photo Club met for the second time since its inception in October. Everyone brought a buck for the Art League and a photo to display (and possibly sell) at the Art League during the month of November. The theme was “Multiples” and it was obvious from the many variations that photographers view that term in many different ways.

My entry was a photograph I took on the Fred Hartman Bridge last year and it features a silhouette of the two uprights and the many cables. As far as I know, the angle of this photograph would be impossible to take from a car, regardless of how you hung out the window or how slow you were moving, as I was physically walking over the bridge and was up close to the guardrail.

I’ve yet to learn everyone’s name, so I will refrain from mentioning anyone’s. One lady brought an interesting photo of an ashtray overflowing with ash and cigarette butts. I really liked it. Another photo was water reflecting the sky taken inside the rundown Brun…

BB’s Delicious Frickin Chickin Tortilla Soup

BB’s Delicious Frickin Chickin Tortilla Soup

I’m making a great big pot and I’m listing the ingredients, but not the quantities, for the most part (I don’t roll like that and can’t follow the rules). Adjust the quantities of each to suit your tastes. No one said it was going to be easy, but you will figure it out.

Small pot
Chicken breast – deboned

Big pot
Rotel™ tomatoes
Real limes or juice
Chopped green chilies
Chicken stock or broth
Green onions
Cilantro – fresh
Corn Oil – use more than you think you should
Garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
Golden hominy
Black olives - small and pitted

Tony Chachere’s™ or Zatarain’s™ Creole seasoning
Black pepper
Salt – Coarse if you have it
Sriracha sauce - to taste

Tortilla chips
Shredded cheese

Get a monster pot if you are going to make a lot and believe me, you should. People will want seconds and A few will want thirds, plus it freezes well. Finely chop the green onions and the cilantro and throw it in the pot.

Big pot…

Weighing-In on legalizing Pot

The unwinnable war on marijuana usage may finally be coming to an end. As it stands, smoking, growing or possessing marijuana in any quantity is a federal crime and has imprisoned millions of people, whose only crime is smoking the weed; unless you add growing, transporting or buying the stuff to the list of crimes.

In my younger years I smoked a lot of pot - a lot. I’m not proud of that fact, but I chalk it up as a learning experience. I haven’t had a joint since 1975 and even if it is legalized, I will not smoke it again. It made me lazy and fuzzy-headed, not to mention I lost all motivation and was hungry all the time. 

Now, with that out of the way, I want to make a few points and those who have used Mary Jane can attest my points are valid. If you have never smoked “dope”, as it was at one time commonly referred to, then get a paper and pencil, as I am going to enlighten you.

Dope of any kind comes into our country by invitation. Invitation, not by invasion. Back when I was act…

Juvenile Cottonmouth in Baytown Texas

Juvenile Cottonmouth in Baytown Texas
Originally uploaded by BaytownBert
Our homestead in Baytown, Texas was pummeled with seven inches of rain the other day and as soon as it was over, we let our two doggies out to use the, well to relieve themselves.
I was picking up sticks on the ground and tossing them onto the compost pile when I heard my Bride shrieking. Running to her, she exclaimed that our 7-week-old Pom-Chi had walked very close to a coiled Cottonmouth.
Pointing it out, I, who will not tolerate or relocate a venomous snake, stabbed it once with a shovel, mortally wounding it. I almost always have one of my cameras handy, so I took this macro photograph to share.
As a note, any non-venomous snake is tolerated at my homestead albeit, I usually shoo them away. In the wild, I avoid all snakes and let them go about their business.

Jumping spider photo in Baytown Texas

Jumping spider photo in Baytown Texas
Originally uploaded by BaytownBert
I saw this litty-bitty jumping spider on the wall at work just above a fire extinguisher and thought I would grab it's portrait and share.

I've noticed that even though there are an abundance of small jumping spiders, many of them are unique in the coloring, body build, size and appearance.

Macro photography is very facinating and enlightening and opens up a new world of observation.

BB’s Super-Delicious Taco Soup

BB’s Super-Delicious Taco Soup

I’m going to list the ingredients only, because how much of each you decide to use is up to you, sorry.

In a large skillet, combine and cook until done:
Ground chuck
Taco Seasoning (only)
Diced garlic
Fresh yellow onion

In a large kettle, combine and cook until hot, then add ingredients above:
Pinto beans w/jalapeno
Kidney beans
Diced green chilis
Chicken broth
Rotel™ tomatoes
Canned golden hominy
Canned corn
Hunt’s fire roasted tomatoes
Black olives
Fresh zucchini
Fresh cilantro
Ranch Salad mix

-------------Top with:
Shredded cheese
Tortilla chips
Sour cream

You just served up a steaming hot bowl of BB’s Super-Delicious Taco Soup!

Doctors report 400-pound boy to Nanny state workers

"An Orlando mother fears the state will take custody of her 13-year-old, 400-pound son after doctors called authorities about his condition. Doctors contacted the Department of Children and Families after Josiah Lewis missed a few appointments, saying his condition is life threatening. DCF officials said the agency has begun an investigation. The boy's mother, Brenda Lewis, said she's trying to help her son lose weight, but he refuses to take medicine and will not stop overeating" as reported by the Orland Sentinel.

I guess it's a crime now to over feed your kid in what’s left of this here free country. Of course the mother could beat the kid with a belt or cherry paddle like we were as kids and make him take his medicine and stop over-eating, but then the doctors would recommend the state take the kid from her.

I remember steering a tractor in Utah as a nine year old while my Dad and his friends threw hay bales onto the trailer I was dragging. I was pretty scare…

BB’s Jalapeno & Sausage Cornbread

BB’s Jalapeno & Sausage Cornbread

4 - 8.5 oz boxes Jiffy corn muffin mix
4 – Large eggs
1 1/3 cups sweet milk (your choice)
½ chopped yellow onion
1 – Large can of drained and chopped black olives
1 – Large can cream corn (yes, cream corn)
5 – Large chopped pickled jalapenos, seeds and all
1 pound maple flavored pan sausage of your choice
Liberal sprinkling of *Tony Chachere’s or Zatarain’s Creole seasoning (to taste)
1 – Good-sized package of your favorite shredded cheese (I use 4 cheese mix)

10X15X2 oven safe cooking dish
Large mixing bowl – you will need it.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cook the sausage in a skillet with the onions until they are close to being done.  Mix all other ingredients together and add the cooked sausage and onions.  Stir it all up, but don’t get carried away.  Use Crisco to grease your pan so the cornbread doesn’t stick when you slice it.  Bake without covering at 400 degrees F. for 25 minutes and then start watching the top to make sure it doesn’t …

Baytown Bert's Beans!

2-lbs pinto beans, 2 yellow onions, 2 cans stewed tomaters, 1 can Rotel, 1 cup jalapeno juice from a large can of pickled jalapenos, 1-lb bacon, 2-lbs cooked brisket and 1-lb hickory smoked link sausage. BB's Beans! Makin' cornbread and rice next and just thought I would take time to share the photo.