Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Ken "The Dauber" Pridgeon revisited

It was my pleasure to be visiting with Ken at his new studio when Fox News 26 Houston reporter Ned Hibberd and cameraman came by for an interview.  In my book, Ken is as much of a hero as the "boys" he paints.  Ken is bringing healing to thousands upon thousands through this gigantic effort.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Texas Avenue Streetscape Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

I drove down to old Goose Creek today for the Texas Avenue streetscape ribbon cutting ceremony and wow, it really looks nice.  Rather than go into a bunch of rhetoric, I’ll share some photos.  In attendance were Congressman Gene Green, Mayor Don Carlos, all of our city councilmen, city officials, Patti Jett, Craig Muessig, and my favorite artist, Ken “the Dauber” Pridgeon.

Chatting with Chief of Police Dougherty, I jokingly asked him to arrest Larry Houston for aggravated ignorance (Larry and I are geocaching buddies and the Chief’s neighbor).  Representing the National Memorial Ladies, was Cheryl Whitfield who was there to support Ken Pridgeon’s Fallen Heroes studio opening.  You can follow her efforts here.

I also saw a number of business folks namely Linda Stewart of the Red Fox restaurant, Don Coffey and wife, local artists Bobbie Sutphin and Jim McDonnel.  Nick Woolery kicked off the ceremony and I shared greetings with City Manager Bob Leiper and his able and friendly assistant Kevin Troller.  Well, I’m in trouble now for naming names, but suffice it to say there were a lot of concerned Baytown folks helping to move Baytown forward.

The street looks beautiful and it’s a proud moment for all of us who want to see the area rebuild.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Passing of an American Hero - Zeb Wilcox

I hate to hear about the passing of Mr. Wilcox. I am a teacher at Rider High School in Wichita Falls. I was honored by Mr. Wilcox presence at our school to recount his experience on the USS Indianapolis. I can still remember the sense of brotherhood I felt as his buddies Guy Morgan and L.D. Cox spoke to us. I was honored to visit with them privately and they were most gracious to sign a newspaper article that was written about them. I later had the article framed and it hangs in my classroom.
As I teach WWII, I always point to that article and tell their story that they told me. Today as I was packing up my stuff as I do every year, I saw the framed article and again read it. I decided to look up these American heroes as I have annually done to see how they were doing. It was sad to see the passing of Mr. Wilcox. It was because of Mr. Wilcox, Mr. Morgan and Mr. Cox that I decided to ask my own Grandfather about his experience which he had not shared with anybody but my grandmother. It was one of the greatest moments of my life when he shared his experience of WWII with me and one that I will never forget.
He passed away on my Birthday Sept. 29,2010. Taps played which was truly an emotional moment for me. I can only imagine the emotion for Mr. Morgan as he played Taps for his friend.I wish I could have been there for Mr. Wilcox funeral and paid my respects for his service for our country and the education he gave to our students and myself about the war.
I will honor Mr. Wilcox memory all my teaching days by telling his story and the story of his brothers during WWII. Rest in Peace Mr. Wilcox and God Bless!!

Scot Green
US History Teacher
Wichita Falls Rider High School

Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Baytown Little Theater - The Lost Tribe

I am embarrassed to say I have never attended a single play at the Baytown Little Theater …until today and boy howdy, I was impressed! It is truly one of Baytown’s best kept secrets and that is a shame and a sin because it is a first class act – no pun intended.

The production du joir is “The Lost Tribe” written by Jeff Stolzer and expertly directed by Kim Martin. This play has won the author three major awards and after watching it, I can see why. My mother, yours truly, and my bud Jared “Ike” Eikhoff attended, along with my brother TJ Bustem and his bride. After all, my nephew and their son, Ryan was one of the characters in the play.

The story unfolds inside an old barber shop in Los Angeles in 1998 and involves the barber, his wife, son and a cast of interesting characters. It was billed as a drama, but had humorous moments also. Not knowing exactly what to expect, I kept myself open and thoroughly enjoyed the fine acting.

The lead role is the barber Henry Cohen expertly portrayed by Jim Wadzinski. Now, I am not familiar with this man, but every move he made and every expression was first class – and then there was his accomplished delivery. What we witnessed today was nothing short of expert acting. I felt I was watching people live out their lives – not acting.

His wife Ruth Cohen played by Sue Gage was also top notch acting. Her performance brought tears to my eyes, it was so exacting. I have met people like her character and they are a blessing and a curse, but never dull.

Each character brought a piece of the package and each scene flowed like water. I am totally sold on the BLT now. I may even come see this one again; it was that good and I'm sure I didn't get everything the actors offered.

Follow the schedule here for the Baytown Little Theater.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Chopping a Perfectly Good Bumper

I do the chop on the bumper using the VDP Bumper conversion kit from River City off-road in 30 minutes!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Jeep Madness Defined!

Do you know the difference between Jeep madness, Jeep denial, Jeep envy, Jeep lust, and Jeep phobia?

What Is Jeep Madness?
Well...that's a good question. It's a bizarre malady that affects normal individuals, converting them from logical folks to obsessive/compulsives that drive their friends and family crazy. The symptoms vary, but commonly reported items are: extreme nervousness while driving on-road, mindless drivel about 35's and Detroits?!?, uncontrolled spending binges, reduction of vocabulary, a $50.00/month magazine habit, putting a Barbie Doll head on the CB antenna, covering the Jeep with vinyl stickers, parking one tire on the cement parking stop, driving through every mud hole, putting ARB's on the Lawn mower, and refusing to drive the family van.

What Is Jeep Envy?
Jeep Envy is a latent condition that exists, in some form, in everyone. Here's how it surfaces: A guy in a purple Monster Off-road Zephlyer 26 Proto is cruising down a country road and along comes a red 84 CJ Laredo with 35" BFG's. The Zephlyer driver immediately has this nauseous feeling in the pit of his stomach, realizing for the thousanth time that, yes, (sob!) "I shoulda bought a Jeep"! This is repeated constantly by the unjeepicated masses as they watch Jeep after Jeep cruise by. Okay, here's another one: This cool looking, 46 year old, bald, overweight dude with a new TJ is happily enjoying all the Jeep envy that is directed at him, when abruptly a lifted YJ rolls up next to him, shattering his delusions of supremacy. This krunk TJ owner grins, waves, and promptly begins plotting to drain his retirement and put it into his rig! Jeep Envy with a healthy dose of Jeep Madness!

What Is Jeep Denial?
Jeep Denial is rampant! I find it hilarious! Haha! All those folks with little pictures in the back window of their trucks of a little guy peeing on other trucks. Sheesh! When you drive up, they start yelling like Marines! FOOORDs rule, or something stupid, like that. Haha! Deep in their hearts, they know a MacDaddy when they see one. Sometimes I pull up to a redlight next to one of those deny'ers and a big ol' grin sneaks onto my face...allovasudden, I hear those tires start to squeal as that big tire'd rig goes scootin' off tryin' to get away... haha...man, it's the bomb!!!

What Is Jeep Lust?
Jeep Lust!!! Really! This is the affliction that I love to encounter. "Hey! Is that your Jeep? Wow! It's really nice! I'm going to get me one". Oh, yea! Seems like a coupla times a week! Haha! Gotta love those folks that know!

What Is Jeep Phobia?
Jeep phobia! Oh my Gaw! This pitiful condition culminates after a nefarious off-brand driving 4 wheeler, gets stuck AND has been guilty of trash talking Jeeps! Haha! I always warn these critters to watch what they say concerning Jeeps, cause there WILL come a time when they will suffer Jeep Phobia! Waaa! Here comes a Jeep to pull me out...waaa! This is why you never see a little guy peeing on a Jeep in a pickup's rear window. They have the fear, all right!

This article is from my original writings I posted on the now defunct www.JeepMadness.com which Chrysler's lawyers forced me to terminate about 12 years ago.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Jeep Madness continues!

I just made my first payment on my Jeep which I purchased less than one month ago and I'm already modifying it to make it even more capable…not that the 2011 Jeep Wrangler doesn’t already dominate the field, because it does, but because I have, well, Jeep madness, an incurable disease and I need prayer bad..

The only vehicle in its price range that comes close is the FJ Cruiser and it comes in second to be blatantly honest.  Besides, Toyota and Jeep people only tolerate each other unless we are on the trail and then there is a camaraderie and competition.

My first modification was a bolt on receiver hitch, which I added for a total of $77 after market and saved $228 by not getting it from the dealer.

The next modification was the removal of the plastic Air Dam and bolting on the Skid Row front skid plate made of steel and powder coated for off-roading goodness and durability.

Today, the good UPS man delivered my Poison Spyder evaporator skid plate, which like the Skid Row plate, I ordered from Marcus at River City Off-Road in Austin.  Marcus is a friend of mine and hails from Baytown, plus he gives me the best price!

The PS skid plate protects the vulnerable canister which is computer controlled and allows emissions to be recycled back to the intake manifold reducing pollution. It’s a Chrysler misstep and the skid plate remedies this.  Live and learn and I do not fault them, as they have made giant strides in the Jeep capability since I bought my last Wrangler in 1997. 

My 97 “TJ” was the best out of the box Jeep ever made and my 2011 “JKU” beats it by a mile.  The madness continues – more to follow as I follow the rules of the acronym J.E.E.P.  Just empty every pocket and River City Off-Road is going to oblige me on my mission.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

The Red Fox Updater!

It's been a little over a year since our first two chefs quit because they didn't want to open for lunch or brunch . . .

It's been a little over 2 months since I fired my hotshot CIA chef because he couldn't prepare pre-planned meals for a party of 20 in under 3.5 hours, not to mention other fiascoes.  I think he was chef #5.

There's been a lot of history in the meantime.

But for the last two plus months, we've had great food and decent service.  I've been scared to talk about it without doing the proverbial "knock on wood" thing first . . . Chef Leslie Moore took over on or about March 1.  The staff likes her.  Henry likes her (!).  Everybody likes her food - in fact, we all think it's pretty excellent.

Chef Leslie plans to be the only executive chef we need from here on out.  She's hired a baking chef (Chef Jodi), so we now have fresh bread every day, and Leslie's really concentrating on consistency and ticket times.  We still have some service concerns, but we also have a new staff member (Chef Aggie) who's focused on front of the house training and who has already made a difference.

Chef Leslie's experience is extensive.  So is Chef Aggie's, though she's just recently back in the food service industry, which is her first love.  Chef Jodi is younger. She's making sure we actually have all the desserts on our menu, which feels like a major improvement . . . Chef Leslie gets a big kick out of serving bananas foster properly.  We can't do flambe in the dining room without special equipment, but Leslie's figured out a way to serve it flaming, providing your table is fairly close to the kitchen. Pretty special, I think.

Things are good at the Fox right now.  We've brought back the bison burgers, and we're looking for a good source of bison ribeye, though we haven't got that back on the menu yet - we've sometimes got fresh crawfish at a really good price - and we've always got fresh seafood.  If you don't see something you like, Chef will make a special effort to give you what you ask for.  We've changed brunch hours to 9 to 3 to give you more time before and after church.  We're working on restructuring prices a little bit - in your favor, but that's not going to be formal until we print a new menu.  Meantime, we've got weekly specials.

We've brought back our live music and someone's playing most Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, and always on special occasions - like Mother's Day.

Things are good.  Our staff is excellent right now, and we've put some good training measures into place to keep it that way.

Remember - come as you are or come dressed up.  We'll be glad to see you!  If a lot of you are coming all at once, it'd be nice if you called first - and definitely, if you know you're coming late, let us know so that we can stay open for you.

the Red Fox

214 West Texas Avenue

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