Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Guitarist, Singer 'Mean' Gene Kelton Killed in School Bus Crash

HOUSTON - FOX 26 News has learned the person killed in a wreck involving a Crosby ISD school bus was Houston-based singer-songwriter "Mean" Gene Kelton.

The wreck happened on FM 2100 around 8:45 p.m. Tuesday.

Kelton was the only fatality in the crash, but 11 people on the school bus were transported to the hospital as a precaution.

Friends and fans paid their respects on Kelton's Facebook page after a 'status update' announced his death.

"To my friends and fans of Mean Gene Kelton: Gene was involved in an accident in Crosby late Tuesday evening, and did not survive. Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers, especially his children and his mother, Helen."

According to Kelton's website, he was one of the top blues guitarists in Texas. Along with his regular performances across Texas, Kelton also spent time as an actor and author. Kelton was scheduled to perform a New Year's Eve show at the Rowdy Bucks Saloon in Crosby. In early December, he opened for ZZ Top in Odessa.

The Harris County Sheriff's Office says Kelton was driving a 2002 Ford Explorer northbound on FM 2100 when he hit the Crosby school bus head-on. While the crash remains under investigation, witnesses told deputies Kelton swerved into oncoming traffic to avoid hitting another vehicle that had stopped to turn.

The school bus Kelton hit was carrying the 9th grade basketball team from Crosby High School.

Kelton was pronounced dead at the scene.

The Keltons are friends of mine and this hurts me to my very core.  Please keep his wife and family in your prayers.  BB

Photos by Bert Marshall
Doug Delony - Senior Web Producer

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The 33 Rules of Geocachingland by Baytown Bert

1. Cardio (you will need it)

2. The Double Tap (bring redundant data)

3. Beware of Bathrooms (don't use PI for TP)

4. Wear Seat Belts (it's the law)

5. No Attachments (check for ticks)

6. The “Skillet” (remember granola bars)

7. Travel Light (you may be out late)

8. Get a Trusted Partner (self-explanitory)

9. With your Bare Hands (bring band-aids)

10. Don’t Swing Low (barbwire in the back)

11. Use Your Foot (see number 10)

12. Bounty Paper Towels (see number 3)

13. Shake it Off (ladies, see number 12)

14. Bring Change of underwear (in case you forget number 12)

15. Bowling Ball (if all else fails, crawl under it)

16. Opportunity Knocks (FTF!)

17. Don’t be a hero (occasionally let someone else be FTF)

18. Limber Up (3 push-ups will usually qualify)

19. Break it Up (be the first to say "break is over")

20. It’s a marathon, not a sprint, unless it’s a sprint, then sprint (see number 16)

21. Avoid Strip Clubs (avoid skirt-lifting as often as possible)

22. When in doubt know your way out (dehydration kills)

23. Ziplock (bring extra baggies)

24. Use your thumbs (on a heavy caching day, use both hands on the GPSr)

25. Shoot First (Stop looking at your GPSr and follow your gut)

26. A little sun screen never hurt anybody (self-explanitory)

27. Incoming! (Watch for swinging limbs)

28. Double-Knot your Shoes (*GBP = 3X knots)

29. The Buddy System (No cacher left behind)

30. Pack your stain stick (better your stick than your hand)

31. Check the back seat (Don't leave without your kit)

32. Enjoy the little things (That's why you geocache)

33. Swiss army Knife (GSAK)

Monday, December 27, 2010

Hazelwood Benefits extended to Vets Kids!

Many times veterans from all era's never hear of earned benefits they have in Texas. Many of our Baytown Veterans of Veterans Of Foreign Wars Post 912 and Vietnam Veterans of Foreign Wars Chapter 922 mission is to make sure we educate our area Veterans about earned benefits. Many web sites have been set up to help all veterans and families look up or apply for State and Federal benefits. Today I want Veterans to know that many State Representatives and many Veterans in Texas have made it possible now for Texas

Veterans to have their Hazelwood Act for educational funds go to their children under 25 as per procedures set up by State of Texas.

This is a awesome benefit for a Veteran's children and here is where to get information

Also I hope all eligible Veterans join us and become members at VFW or VVA in Baytown,TX. Our mission is to help other Veterans and families and our community. If you need any veteran type information we maybe able to help direct you to organizations that will help direct Veterans or Veteran Families.

Thank you Baytown Sun newspaper, ExxonMobil, Chevron Phillips, and Bert Marshall (Baytown Bert) for sharing Veteran information..when I put it out.

Proud Veteran and Life member in Baytown TX. VFW / Vietnam Veterans of America

WG Fitts

My Observations Entering the New Year 2011

- The BP oil spill was over-blown by the media creating a giant panic and millions of wasted tax dollars. The reason I say this is based on observation of the multitude of news programs, news articles, an extensive understanding of the industry and two eye witnesses who covered the spill from Texas to Florida. The first was my Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response Standard (HAZWOPER) instructor this year. This fellow spent 3 months working the coast line and never saw oil other than one time when he saw a light sheen in one small area. No oily birds, no blobs of oil – nada. The second is an independent film maker friend of mine who, on the government dime, documented…nothing and this for 2 months.

- Garry Brumback leaving Baytown may be very bad for Baytown. Mr. Brumback has been very good for Baytown and I am basing this on my personal observation and personal communication between him and myself. Whenever I brought up a concern, he was quick to address it and as just one individual in a large city, this impressed me very much. I vote to offer Bob Leiper the job.

- The Red light camera removal will prove to be a step backward. Before the cameras, people in this town drove akin to 19 year old soldiers driving a HUMVEE on the crowded streets of Baghdad and with the removal of the cameras, things will return to that sad state of driving. I am already witnessing a return to reckless red light running. I pray the fellow who stirred up the whole city against them continues to compile data to expose his error in getting them removed.

- The Bark Park in Jenkins park is one the best things to happen to our city. It is my desire that continued effort is put into keeping it in tip top shape. The few trail system in the adjoining field will make this park a real draw for walkers and runners. I’ve expressed hope they will certify a 5K trail in this park.

- Geocaches in Baytown are drawing out-of-towners to our city. Larry Houston, Aaron Barbee, Brian Hillier, myself, and others have placed a large number of geocaches around the city to invite geocachers to hunt for them. People are driving in from as far as Huntsville, Louisiana, San Antonio, and folks traveling on I-10 to find them. Many of them eat in our restaurants and stay in our motels. It’s a win-win for Baytown.

- Los Torito’s on N. Main is the best place to buy tamales. They are friendly, locally owned, big fat tamales, which taste delicious. My favorite is the bean, cheese, & jalapeno.

- I’m not sure my councilman is listening. Lynn Caskey is the councilman over my district (5) and I’ve never had a conversation or an email response from him over a single issue, but I do hear from the others often enough to know they are listening. I don’t see evidence he has helped improve my area one iota. We need sidewalks in the most desperate way and shoulders on our side roads for starters. Riding a bicycle in our town is suicide. Walking is not much safer. McKinney road connecting Massey Tompkins and SH-146 is a good example of a dangerous road, which is shoulder and sidewalkless.

- Power lines should be installed or reran underground. Why oh why does the power company continue putting power lines on ugly poles? I lived in north Georgia 50 years ago and they put their power lines underground. Can you imagine N. Main with the ugly power lines, or Garth Road?

- Goose Creek should be dredged. Considering the barge/container expansion on Cedar Bayou is most likely inevitable, we need to develop Goose Creek pronto. Dredging should begin with added boat ramps and tie it into the Goose Creek Trail with expanded parking and pavilions.

- Bayland park needs trees planted. The tall pines are thinning out and soon there will be nothing there, but dirt. The marina island is barren and why that is, is a mystery. I’ve raised this concern to the city numerous times, but no change has taken place that I can see.

- The Eagles have landed. The observation area on Tri City Beach road where people stand and park to observe our bald eagles needs to be improved and maintained by the city before it turns into a giant headache and trash strewn area. It’s called being proactive folks and should be on the short list of our council.

- La Porte and Pasadena have new bike trails. Whatever those city council members are doing over there, we need to do over here. I’d like Mayor DonCarlos needs to get on the horn and see if we can secure some of that state and federal money.

- The TV series “The Closer” is canceled. Kyra Sedgwick has the worst Southern accent I’ve ever heard on a series. I couldn’t get past it.


Thursday, December 23, 2010

Take THAT Comcast!

If you were affected by this outage, by all means call your Comcast rep and get a credit.  They don't mind hammering you for every little cent, so make that call.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Eleven Intrepid Geocachers Take on TEXAS Series

Yesterday, 11 intrepid geocachers tackled the 47-cache series dubbed TEXAS in George Bush park.  We logged 11.5 foot miles in 82 degree heat, briars galore, and no trail to speak of.  Texas Dreamcacher wrote a poem to commemorate the effort:

'Twas the Winter Solstice

with our apologies to

Clement Clarke Moore or Henry Livingston

By Texas DreamCacher

'Twas the Winter Solstice in George Bush Park

And cachers began to gather - even though it was dark;

Packs were loaded and batteries checked

While GPSR's were hung 'round their necks;

The gate was still chained and padlocked,

But Baytown Bert said, “It's time... says my clock.”

“On geogeex, Team Trogladyte and AaronBarbee,

Z_Malloc, ggmorton and Nebulous703....

Move Nov64, agtitan, GreatBirds... ya hear?

We'll let slo-poke, TDW bring up the rear!”
And so it began long before daylight,

11 brave cachers sallied forth, unaware of their plight;

The morning sky was cloudy and gray,

Looked it 'twould be a perfect caching day;

Down the path they all trod as they all tried to be first,

Little did they know that this would bring on a big thirst.

But more on that later, we've only begun,

The litter of cachers started having great fun;

For efficiency, simplicity and speed,

we would sign as a group, it was agreed;

Solstice Swarm, said someone we could sign as SS,

But after a discussion we decided that wasn't the best;

Approaching the first cache, we needed a name,

“Sign it SOL!” someone said, “even though it is lame”.

SOL is for Solstice which really doesn't suck,

But we know that you'll refer to us a S*** Out of Luck.
We found the first cache and were proud of ourselves,

So we hiked on some more, like good little elves;

At the second cache as a group we struggled,

Later found out that it had been muggled;

The DNF did not dampen our mood,

As the third cache showed up right where it should;

Through briar, bramble and thorn we did travel,

As the “T.E.X.A.S.” series we began to unravel;
The leader would switch off and on during the day,

And most everyone could show us the way;

Except for one cacher who showed up in short pants,

He led us through barbwire, thorns and fireants;

He would find the cache, 'though we had to donate,

Pints of blood for the survival of this asylum inmate;

All went well until we finished “S.A.X.E”,

It was at that time that we lost the first three;
“Hey, where ya going, just what is the matter?”

“We're hot and we're tired and we've run out of water”;

So they left without shame and vanished behind a tree,

As the rest of us started to complete the “T”;

We had only seven more caches to log;

At one of them we saw a whole herd of hog;

When the series was finally done,

At least 50 smilies we each had won;

So as we parted ways and BaytownBert we did hear,

We had a great time caching on the shortest day of the year!


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Eagles Have Landed…Again!

In the slim chance that you haven’t heard, the eagles are back on Tri City Beach Road adjacent to Evergreen Golf Course. American bald eagles, that is and our country’s symbol of freedom. From morning to dark, observers line the road to watch, learn and photograph this great raptor.

A couple of evenings ago, I was on Evergreen road and cruised over in my snazzy KIA Rio 5 to have a gander for myself. Already assembled were a dozen or so folks, most of which were sporting expensive cameras with giant lenses and sturdy tri-pods. Everyone was bundled up against the wind and 40 degree weather – and there were no eagles present.

Passing amongst them, I asked if anyone was a member of the Baytown Photo Club only to learn none were from here. Two were from San Antonio, one from Beaumont, three from College Station and on and on. All were standing in the hard-packed dirt along the no-shoulder road waiting a chance to see the birds.

Since it was near dusk, it was a logical conclusion that all of these out-of-towners would be spending the night in a Baytown motel and eating food in our restaurants. Well known businessman and avid eagle photographer Chris Navarre joined me about this time and we stood close to the road and chatted about the possibilities and both of us agreed the area could be a boon for Baytown.

Hey! The birds are a big draw for our town, even though while we were there, a fellow who lives further down the road pulled up and asked “Hey, why are you guys here every day?”. “We are watching for the eagles” was the reply. “Eagles?” he asked.

I say it’s time the city capitalized on our small, but growing eagle population and bring in crushed rock to expand parking. A roofed structure with slab could be poured on the golf course side of the road to retreat to when it rained briefly and benches installed so photographers and observers could rest in between sightings. Add large garbage containers also and maybe a dog poo station for good measure.

Regardless if this happens or not, the area will inevitably become a giant mess from all the tourists visiting the area, pulling off the road and grinding up the soil. We will then be known for another eyesore and that is hardly what we want.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

A Date Which SHOULD Live in Infamy

After polling a number of my younger coworkers yesterday about the American significance of December 7th and finding they had no reference point, I brought out breakfast, cooked it, and presented it to them, to call to remembrance a "date which will live in infamy".

The day we forget our own history, is the day we are doomed to repeat it.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt: Yesterday, December 7, 1941—a date which will live in infamy—the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.

"The United States was at peace with that nation, and, at the solicitation of Japan, was still in conversation with its government and its emperor looking toward the maintenance of peace in the Pacific. Indeed, one hour after Japanese air squadrons had commenced bombing in the American island of Oahu, the Japanese ambassador to the United States and his colleague delivered to our secretary of state a formal reply to a recent American message. While this reply stated that it seemed useless to continue the existing diplomatic negotiations, it contained no threat or hint of war or armed attack.

It will be recorded that the distance of Hawaii from Japan makes it obvious that the attack was deliberately planned many days or even weeks ago. During the intervening time the Japanese government has deliberately sought to deceive the United States by false statements and expressions of hope for continued peace.

The attack yesterday on the Hawaiian Islands has caused severe damage to American naval and military forces. I regret to tell you that very many American lives have been lost. In addition, American ships have been reported torpedoed on the high seas between San Francisco and Honolulu.

Yesterday the Japanese government also launched as attack against Malaya.

Last night Japanese forces attacked Hong Kong.

Last night Japanese forces attacked Guam.

Last night Japanese forces attacked the Philippine Islands.

Last night Japanese forces attacked Wake Island.

And this morning the Japanese attacked Midway Island.

Japan has, therefore, undertaken a surprise offensive extending throughout the Pacific area. The facts of yesterday and today speak for themselves. The people of the United States have already formed their opinions and well understand the implications to the very life and safety of our nation.

As commander in chief of the Army and Navy I have directed that all measures be taken for our defense. But always will our whole nation remember the character of the onslaught against us".
Source: Courtesy of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library, Hyde Park, New York.

Elvis has left the room

I want to set something on the table and anyone who bothers to read anything I write, please take a good hard look. We are living in a...