Monthly Archives: August 2010

Maine Minutiae : My Name is Earl

Have You Seen This Hurricane ?

Yesterday we talked about the eminent approach of autumn in Maine. I had no sooner hit the “publish” button on the blog dashboard, when I checked the weather for our area and found out that Hurricane Earl was going to be moving up the East Coast beginning some time Thursday. On July 16, when I wrote this, I thought, “Yeah, right. It’ll be a cold day in hell when a Hurricane hits Maine again any time soon.” Guess what? Satan is wearing a sweater right now, because there is a decent possibility that Hurricane Earl could brush the southeastern and eastern part of the state Friday night into Saturday morning. That “strike zone” includes Augusta, where I live. Admittedly, if Earl does pay us a visit, we’ll more than likely get the outer bands of the storm. But still, it could impact me, my family and neighbors with heavy rain, tornadoes, flooding, power outages and so on. I am not really worried yet though, today is only Tuesday, so we’ve still got a bit of wiggle room to work with. I’ll keep my eye on the weather over the next couple of days in order to do whatever we need to do to be prepared in case Earl slams us. It’s kind of weird, though, I was talking to a neighbor earlier today about winter and now we (you and I) are considering how we (my family) could be affected by a hurricane this weekend. I suppose I’ll go check the latest storm path info on various weather sites I know to what’s shakin’. And maybe read a do-it-yourself ark-building book, the Bible. Does anyone know how to convert “cubits” to “feet”?


Texas Tidbits : Remember Goliad!

When the subject of  Texas’ war for independence from Mexico is brought up, people reflexively conjure up thoughts of the Alamo, myself included. This is as it should be, for one of the most famous battles in the history of warfare. When an event of the magnitude of the Battle of the Alamo happens, it becomes a hallmark of a larger series of events that define history, in this case the Texas Revolution. My question is : what major event preceded the Battle of the Alamo that made it of such import? Answer : The Goliad Massacre . The skinny : Colonel James Fannin and his force of 350 men had engaged the 900 man army of Mexican General Urrea near Goliad . Fannin lost about 20% of his men in the battle and concluded that surrender  – his men had no water or supplies – was his best option.  He signed a surrender deal with General Urrea and Fannin’s men were marched back to Goliad and held captive, and under Urrea’s orders were to be treated humanely. That was the case until Mexican General Santa Ana heard about it and overrode Urrea’s order and declared that all prisoners would be executed immediately. On Palm Sunday, March 27, 1836, Fannin and his men were divided into groups and marched out of Goliad in different directions and brutally slaughtered.  As the news of this mass murder spread like a Texas wildfire, the citizenry of Texas were enraged that such a horrific thing could happen, especially after Fannin and his men were promised that they would be treated humanely upon surrender. Texians, as the people of Texas were called at the time, were both appalled and inspired at the same time by this turn of events. And the rest, as it said, is history. Santa Ana was victorious at the Alamo, then promptly got his bloodthirsty ass handed to him at San Jacinto.  While Goliad will always take a back seat to the Alamo in terms of history, come next March 27, hold a moment of remembrance for 350 Texians, our forbears, who, like the brave men at the Alamo, gave their lives so that today, Texans can live in free of tyranny. We owe them that much. Remember the Alamo! But also, Remember Goliad!

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Colorado Chronicles : Caught

Damn, that’s a purty picture. I envision the hungry trout in that pond voraciously gorging on as many insects in the wrong place at the wrong time, that is from the insects’ point of view, as they possibly can – instinctively knowing that winter is coming soon to the top of the Rockies. Fall, to me, is the best time of year to trek off into the upper reaches of the mountains and be mesmorized by spell that Mother Nature has cast upon the High Country. The weather, barring any sudden storms barreling over the Continental Divide, is perfect for taking a nice long hike to the tree line (usually about 10,000 feet), locating a creek that began as a small, steady drip from the permafrost above, hugging that creek bank as it meanders down the mountainside,  fishin’ my ass off for several hours and several thousand vertical feet. I tend to go to the remote fishin’ spots where the likelihood of seeing another human is, well, remote. Then God and I have a visit about stuff and the sounds of the alpine wilderness speak to my soul, as if He has commanded them to do so especially for me, a goofy fisherman. As Crocodile Dundee said, “Yep. Me and God, we be mates”. When I am fishin’, I am the hunter, tempting the fish to accept the bounty of my offering, while in my thoughts the words “teach a man to fish…” reverberate, like an echo in the canyon that lays before me. Then it hits me. I ain’t so smart after all, for I am the one who has accepted the bounty of an offering. The offering that is the place where I am. Hooked like a hungry trout who at the moment of capture realizes that he’s been caught. I, too, have been “caught”. Lured by something so tempting that refusal is not an option. I have been “caught” by the Greatest Fisherman of All. God. The Fisher of Man. Yep. Me and God, we be mates -and Fishin’ Buddies.

Maine Minutiae : Fall Approacheth, But the Heat is Hereth

Coming to a New England State Near You*

The family and I ran some errands this past weekend and I observed two things : 1) Some trees are already going from the greens of summer to the red to yellow to dead of the oncoming winter and 2) I can’t take my little girls out in public without the urge to drop them off and leave them with the WalMart greeter. But! The WalMart greeters have done nothing wrong to me and they are, generally speaking, old enough to remember when McDonalds signs said “Over 3 Served”. I would never inflict that kind of misery upon an old person, as I am nearing old personhood myself. I shall suffer in silence. 🙂 Today is Augusta 30 and we are about to experience probably the longest stretch of “summer” that we’ve had this year in Augusta, Maine. Temps are going to “soar” to (Note to Texans: No laughing at what you are about to read) the low 90’s! The average high temperature for this date is 76 degrees, the normal low, 55. As you can guess, many Mainers are torn between packing up their summer wardrobes and cursing this late summer heat wave. The Mainers I have come across lately are leaning towards the use of, as Mr. Spock says, “colorful metaphors”. All I know is that some of the language I’ve heard lately regarding the hot weather would make Gordon Ramsey blush. And that’s just from the women! At any rate, fall is on the way to New England, soon to be followed by you-know-what. I dare not say the word. I guess it’s time to do some serious “quality control” on the local lakes, rivers, creeks and ponds. Fish.%$#@(&^.Fear.Me. Sorry, I picked up that “colorful metaphor” from the little old lady across the way. She is not, however, a WalMart greeter. And I really don’t like her anyway. Hey, lady, want some kids?

*Photo from

Texas Tidbits : Are You Ready? NFL Edition

Here It Comes !*

Are you ready for some footbaaaaaaaaallllllllllllllllll?  (in my best Howard Cosell voice) “There’s only eleven days until the kickoff of the two… thousand ten… season of  the…National….Football….League!” Yup, it’s that time of year when we fondly remember our summer vacations, curse the Dog Days of August, lament the annual rite that is the Texas Rangers as cellar-dwelling has beens in the American League West….Wait!…The Rangers are in first place with a comfortable lead over Oakland? Pardon me a minute while I   have “The Big One” a la Fred G. Sanford. (time passes) The kind folks at the Maine General ER, Red Sox fans all (eat the Rangers’ dust Sawx fans everywhere!), said that I had a case of “What-the-hell-are-the-Rangers-doing in-1st-place-going into-September-itis” and “It’s-football-season-atosis”, a very rare disorder – rare simply because the Rangers are in first place heading into September. They told me to take one season opener and call them next week. Speaking of season openers…(they don’t call me the Swami of Segue for nothing) The season kicks off on Thursday, September 9, with the Super Bowl Champion New Orleans Saints (I already had a Big One for that) hosting (insert more Howard Cosell voice here) “Numba Fo-wa, “The Brilliant One” from Kiln, Mississippi, Brett Fahve and the Vikings of Minnesota at the Supah Dome in the Hurricane Katrina-ravaged Big Easy, New…Or…leans…Louisiana!” The Saints are currently at 10-1 odds to win the Super Bowl again, according to the Las Vegas Hilton. Minnesota, along with Dallas and my team, Green Bay, are listed at 12-1, while Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts sit at 6-1. We’ll see how all that prognostication holds up throughout the season, say late November or so. The Dallas Cowboys open on the road in D.C. against their hated rivals, the Redskins, on the 12th and that game will be in prime time on NBC. Here’s the entire regular season schedule from . The crisp autumn air is slowly but surely making it’s way southward and not soon enough for me because I am ready for some footbaaaaaaaaaaaaalllllllllllllllllllllllll !

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Teach a Man to Fish…

Outdoor Church

If Heaven ain’t a lot like Caddo Lake, I don’t wanna go (paraphrasing Hank Williams, Jr). Although I am half-a-world away from Caddo, here in Maine there’s some good fishin’, too, just a different type of fishin’. Back home in Texas, I’d be slayin’ bass, crappie and catfish. Up  here, it’s mostly trout, but there’s some pretty good panfishin’ and some excellent smallmouth bass opportunities, as well. I didn’t get to go fishin’ yesterday. I am, however, holding out hope for chance to decimate a local river,creek and/or lake today. Fish.Fear.Me. Point is, I am gonna take the day off . I’ll be back Monday. I hope Sunday treats you all well. Stay safe.
Your Sunday “Plus One” Bonus :

Be sure to go through our archives to discover something new about America in every post. Use the “search box” in he upper right hand corner of each page. That’s just the way we roll.

Best of Three States Plus One Weekend!

Here Fishy Fishy!

I am gonna take the weekend off. We have some great end of summer (for Maine) weather in store, so I am thinking about doing some fishing, that is if Arthur Effin Itis will allow me to. I hate that guy. He’s literally a pain. 🙂 I will not, however, leave you without your minimum daily requirement of my brilliant, insightful, award-worthy observations and musings incoherent ramblings. I have selected some of the most-read (I would say most popular, but that would be stretching it) posts from our archives. It’s been a while since each one was posted, so if you’re like me, old,decrepit and memory-challenged, it’ll be like reading it for the very first time! The archives are loaded with other Shakespeare-esque second grade writing level articles that are easily found by using the “search box” in the top right-hand corner of each page. Make it a great weekend, amigos and remember : you can pick your friends and you can pick your nose, but you can’t pick your friends nose. Unless he’s a real close friend

Your Weekend Reading List :

 As always, if you have a suggestion for a post or idea to make this blog better, please let me know in the comment section of each post or email me at threestatesplusone AT gmail DOT com. Vaya con Dios y adios, amigos!