- Royal wedding costs $48 million: How much for a royal divorce?
Friday, April 29th, 2011
I read where the cost of the royal wedding is estimated at around $48 million.
You can buy a couple of small countries or maybe even a couple of starting pitchers for that kind of money.
I sat down and estimated the cost of my four weddings.
The first one was five bucks.
The second one was 25 dollars.
The third was a couple hundred.
The fourth was 70 bucks.
The only wedding that counts — the last one — was at The Little Chapel by the Courthouse — just across the street from the Golden Nugget in Vegas. The bride and groom both wore shorts.
The wedding cost $60.
I tipped the preacher 10 bucks even though he was 30 minutes late getting to the chapel.
So I got married four times for around $300.
My three divorces cost about a thousand dollars more than the four weddings.
Wonder what a royal divorce is going for these days?
- Brian Urlacher was a No. 9 pick
Thursday, April 28th, 2011
I will watch the NFL Draft tonight.
I have no choice. I am addicted to this stuff.
Who’s moving up? Who’s moving down?
Who’s on the clock?
Knowing “Mel’s best available” player on the board is important to me.
I know I am not alone.
There are many other draftaholics out there.
Has to be — the draft has moved to prime time this year.
But Thursday night or Saturday afternoon, my focus is still the same.
What will the Cowboys do?
By sucking for much of last season, Dallas earned itself a No. 9 pick.
That’s no sure thing.
Since 2004, the No. 9 pick in the draft has been Reggie Williams; Carlos Rogers; Ernie Sims, Ted Ginn Jr., Keith Rivers, B.J. Raji and C.J. Spiller.
Raji leaped into the NFL spotlight a year ago when the Packers’ 6-2, 337-pound nose tackle returned an interception for a playoff touchdown, helping Green Bay get to the Super Bowl.
The rest of this group is average at best.
C.J. Spiller, a running back from Clemson, went to the Bills with the ninth pick last year.
David Nelson was a free agent, but the free agent wide receiver and former Rider star scored three touchdowns — two more than the much higher paid Spiller.
The two best 9 picks of this century came in 2003 when Minnesota took Kevin Williams and in 2000 when the Bears snatched up Brian Urlacher.
The Vikings had the seventh pick in the 2003 draft but let the clock run down on them. While they snoozed, the Jaguars and Panthers jumped up and made their picks.
Minnesota still got the best or the deal by taking a six-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle.
Urlacher, however, was the cream of the No. 9 crop.
The Bears’ middle linebacker hasn’t made the people in Chicago forget Dick Butkas, but he sure has made a Butkus-type reputation in the Windy City.
Although most people believe Jerry Jones will take USC offensive tackle Tyron Smith, I still think he will trade down and get some extra picks.
It is just his style.
But if they do use that No. 9 pick, keep your fingers crossed that they get an Urlacher.
- To tip or not to tip? That is the question
Wednesday, April 27th, 2011
I consider myself a pretty good tipper.
Maybe that’s because my mama was a waitress. She kept her tip jar on top of the fridge and dumped her change in it every day when she got home from work.
A lot of that money eventually ended up in little Nicky’s pocket.
So I always tip my waitress and refuse to eat out with any of my cheapskate friends who don’t. (Please insert photo of Lee Anderson)
I always tip the usual suspects — waiters and waitresses; bartenders; barmaids; car hops; pizza delivery guys; my barber; baggage handlers; cab drivers; etc. etc. etc.
But I never drop a penny into one of those tip jars at Starbucks.
Nor do I tip when I have to go to a counter and place my food order.
Most of the time I know when and whom to tip and the right amount.
But I am still a bit fuzzy on what to do at the dry cleaners.
You drive up and drop off a few shirts on Tuesday morning, then come back to pick them up on Wednesday evening.
So who gets the tip — the girl who you gave them to on Tuesday or the girl who gave them back to you the next day?
Right now my answer is neither.
If I’m wrong, please let me know.Share
- Got a toothache? Call Glenn Beck
Tuesday, April 26th, 2011
I switched dentists last week.
The main reason is because my favorite hygienist changed jobs.
The second reason is because every time I went to my old dentist’s office, I felt like I was in one of those timeshare circuses, being high-pressured to buy stuff I didn’t really want and couldn’t really afford.
I didn’t even know my new dentist.
When I heard his name, I almost ran back to the timeshare pressure.
My new dentist is Glenn Beck.
“Does that mean he only works on the RIGHT side of our mouths?” I joked when I heard the name.
“He probably wouldn’t touch anything on the LEFT.”
No, this Glenn Beck is not the outgoing Fox News nut who thinks everyone who doesn’t believe his idiocy is a Hitler-loving Nazi.
No, my Glenn Beck is a good Hooterville Falls home boy.
I don’t know his political beliefs and don’t care.
Just keep Louise around to clean my teeth and don’t try to sell me a new mouth.Share
- Why isn’t Easter as big as Christmas?
Monday, April 25th, 2011
During a grandpa-to-grandson conversation this past weekend, I asked 7-year-old Nicholas why we make such a big deal out of Christmas but don’t really do much to celebrate Easter.
“At Christmas, we celebrate the birthday of Jesus,” I told him. “At Easter, we celebrate Jesus’ resurrection from the grave.
“I was born. You were born. Your mom and dad were born. Everybody was born. That’s no big deal. But Jesus is the only person to ever rise from the grave.”
Shouldn’t that at least be worth a decorated tree and some lights?
Why doesn’t Santa Claus deliver toys for Easter?
“And what do eggs have to do with Easter?” Nicholas asked.
I tried to explain “new birth” to a 7-year-old.
Then he told me how stupid it is for our mall to dress up somebody in a rabbit suit and put them in the same place that Santa Claus sits every December.
His reasoning was that Santa Claus is there to find out what toys that kids want him to deliver to their houses on Christmas.
A bunny rabbit can’t even drive a sleigh.Share
- Carter: Behind the Kick Pedal
Sunday, April 24th, 2011
Behind the Kick Pedal
Earlier this week, I found myself hanging out at an area band practice and there was an extra drum set. There’s something inviting about seeing a drum set with sticks and no one playing.
The strange thing is that after sitting down, I became really engrossed with what the other drummer was playing–switching up the beats on the bass drum and on the snare as well as his main crash cymbal. The tune the band was playing was a basic 4/4 jam and could have been boring, but what he was playing was not.
Anywho, you really hear music differently when you’re on stage, especially as a drummer, and it’s something that I wished more people got to experience. It’s not just the drums either. You are more part of the musical process, and you hear things as they come together. The cool thing is that you take that experience with you when you hear that band again, as well as others.
Speaking of being closer to the band experience, I got an e-mail from Tim McMillan the other day about his new band Tantrum. On April 29, there will be a screening of a film made by an MSU film team that’s been following the members of Tantrum for the last two months.
The student team made a documentary about Tantrum from its formation to first practices to first show, and the documentary will show on April 29 at MSU. I need to get more info on this event, but I think it’s interesting to watch a band develop from the get go. The dynamics can be pretty interesting, and it gives you a better sense of what it’s like from the other side of the stage.
Speaking of practices, I got a chance to watch Disco Rico at their cool practice place the other day. It’s a real shotgun type building, which I am not going to give away the location just yet. The story will run next Friday in the Next and you should check it out. The band is very Doors-ish with some Beatles and ‘40s and ‘50s stuff thrown in. Quite interesting and they have some real musical firepower.
On Thursday October 28, the guys from Broadcasting on All Frequencies (who recently secured a date to play the Backdoor Theater band night) will be playing at the Iron Horse Pub behind Jonathan Tyler and the Northern Lights. It should be a pretty good show. Tyler is pretty much always awesome and the young Broadcasting band can bring it.
I am amazed how many outdoors shows there have been locally over the last couple of weeks. It’s like if you turn your head, there’s going to be something at Toby’s or P2 or somewhere else that you’re going to miss. The porch at Toby’s is really a lot of fun if you haven’t been.
Drowning Pool plays next week, and the members of Minor Prophets will be one of the opening acts. If you have a chance, the admission fee is really affordable. $15 in advance or $20 at the door, and that’s not bad at all. The Neon Spur is a great outdoor venue, the stage is cool and I suspect the sound will be solid. Check it out.Share
- Carter: “1968″
Saturday, April 16th, 2011
Several days ago, I found myself listening to a recently released Soundgarden live album called “Live On I-5,” which fans should listen to if they have an opportunity. I promptly made the comment that the Seattle band was the best American band ever, which I quickly qualified to either them or the Beach Boys of Brian Wilson’s brilliant “Pet Sounds” era.
Well, this morning something of that conversation returned to me after I cancelled a trip to Dallas to the guitar show in order to stay in bed and recuperate from the flu, allergies and whatever else was bad in the air.
I had put on a France Gall CD called “1968” from the late ‘60s with all of its subtle psychedelic pop that was influenced obviously by The Beatles “Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” an album most people generally consider the best rock album of all time.
If Galls’ album is not up to the Beatles album, it certainly is very good and most listenable. And on days when you’re not feeling well, laying down and closing your eyes you can hear things in songs that you haven’t heard before. Try it sometime. I love live music, but sometimes being under the weather gives us opportunities we normally aren’t in the position to take advantage of.
Anywho, a lot of people consider “Pet Sounds” to be the second best album of all time, and the album according to Beach Boys writer Brian Wilson was his response to the American release of the Beatles “Rubber Soul” LP.
In a short battle of one-upmanship, the Beatles made “Sgt. Peppers” in response to “Pet Sounds.” Trying to answer “Sgt. Peppers,” Wilson wrote a CD called “Smile” that pretty much hung around a long time before it was actually recorded. Wilson was trying by himself to one-up the greatest band of all time with its three great writers (two of whom were quite prolific). It almost did him in.
Needless to say, the France Gall Cd and obviously lots of other albums benefitted from the Beatles because they didn’t try to outdo a band that wasn’t going to be outdone. I mean, seriously, have you heard The Beatles “A Day in the Life” recently? Wow.
I enjoyed Wednesday’s Avalanche tour—especially Halestorm and Skillet. Both bands showed energy and musicality, and they were also pretty nice when I had the opportunity to chat with members.
I interviewed C.J. Pierce of Drowning Pool Friday and they are excited to play Wichita Falls at Neon Spur on April 29 with two touring bands—one from Alaska—as well as a band from the area, The Minor Prophets. Let’s hope that locals are attending shows so that the city will see more touring bands. I understand there will be some more shows coming through the city, but they have yet to be formally announced.
There will be an open mic this Thursday April 21 at The Spot and also one on Saturday at the Alley Cat Collective on April 29. They should be worth checking out. All you need to play is yourself, your voice and that’s it. A guitar is always nice but there are people who will loan singers one. Also, David Thompson–who runs the open mics–is very good about backing people up on guitar of they need an accompanist.Share
- Pat’s my pick for a last supper
Friday, April 15th, 2011
If you were going to eat your last meal in Wichita Falls, where would you pick?
I tossed up that question in the newsroom this week and go several different responses.
My answer would be at home because my wife is a great cook.
But in all fairness, the question is asking what restaurant you would pick for that final meal.
My friend Matt Ledesma put the question on his Facebook page and got several different responses.
Branding Iron was the most popular, but there were also votes for the Pelican, Parkway, Samurai, McBride’s Land and Cattle, Sevi’s, a Stanley beanie burger and Bar L.
Then some picked franchise chains like Olive Garden and Chili’s.
I would never pick a franchise chain.
I’m from Hooterville Falls.
I want to go out eating Hootervillian.
I love Bar L chicken livers and red draws.
Ditto for Casa Manana’s “Senorita Special” with an extra red taco and some queso.
That combo plate at Branding Iron is also pretty darn good.
Pioneer’s “Famous Enchiladas” are always great. Whoever came up with the idea of serving French fries with Mexican food is a genius.
And I still love that steak and garlic over at P-2.
All would be worthy of my last supper.
But I still think there is nothing better than a really good burger.
And Hooterville is a burger lover’s dream.
Gene’s, Scott’s, Pat’s, Ronnie’s, Stanley’s beanie burger — all are quality.
Tough choice, but I would pick Pat’s Drive In for my last supper.
Give me the large cheeseburger with an order of onion rings, an order of French fries and a big glass of iced tea.Share
- Carter: Summertime
Thursday, April 14th, 2011
I recently heard that Mike Hardison, drummer for Minor Prophets, has organized a bus to go from Wichita Falls to Dallas to see his band play on April 15. They are taking a charter bus from Wichita Falls on Friday at 6 p.m. to Deep Ellum in time to see the Minor Prophets and the Chris Osbourne Band play at the Curtain Club.
it’s a great idea, because tThere’s no concern about having to fill up the gas tank to drive to Dallas with all the directions and parking issues, and there’s no likelihood of getting a DUI or other bad stuff like that. The bus is also really inexpensive (like $25 or something) and a cool idea. I know that places like the Kemp Center for the Arts do things to take people to the Metroplex to see art, so hopefully this idea catches on. Good work, Mike!
Last night, I happened to wander by a meeting of (wait for it, wait for it…) Slabrat where the band members were actually talking about their set list for a forthcoming show at Backdoor Theatre and I guess a upcoming tour where they play all over the region or something. Don’t count on a whole lot of shows, but the good thing is they they’ve scheduled practices and stuff. How long has it been since these guys actually played?
I think anyone who has seen Slabrat play will pretty much recognize most of the songs on the group’s set list, but there will be some special guests and stuff like that, and there will be a few new tunes. Needless to say, I hope we have a few shows coming from up from them including perhaps a Neon Spur show. That would be cool.
The members of Dr. Philgood and the Let’s Get It On’s will be playing a show Saturday April 16th at the Iron Horse Pub with Tantrum, which is Tim McMillan’s new band. It should be a pretty fun show because Philgood has a ton of new things, plus it will be a full-band show and that means Marcus spinning and doing some seriously cool rap stuff. Also the band members told me they have been invited to play the upcoming Rider Battle of the Bands, which is a lot of fun because you get to hear some up and coming young high school bands playing on a cool stage. Look out for s story about Philgood next Friday. The last time I interviewed those guys was in the old Vincent’s building, and most people can tell you how long ago that was.
I still have not heard anything about the MSU Museum doing their Thursday night outdoor shows, and that’s a shame because those shows really served to introduce an awful lot of area people to the museum and the grounds. I know that places like the Dallas Museum of Art and other significant art institutions have music shows to take advantage of their grounds and bring the arts to the masses, visual as well as musical.
I missed getting to see Hellen Bach Friday night at the Office. They have a new guitarist and bass player, and I suspect they should be fun.
The Spot had their open mic on Thursday and because the weather is so nice, there were a lot of people outside hanging out. The good thing is that a lot of those people will remember to bring their instruments next time and there will be the equivalent of two stages there. One outside with people playing cool laid back stuff, and one inside with people doing pretty much the same thing.Share
Thursday, April 14th, 2011
The Blazers got lucky, at least according to most NBA talking heads, by drawing the Dallas Mavericks.
No one wanted to draw the Lakers, which the Blazers were one Kobe Bryant missed 3 from doing on Wednesday night, and it seemed all the lower seeds wanted to play Dallas.
I still think the 57-win Mavs are a better bet than the 48-win Blazers.
I expect Dallas to win in five or six.Share
- WFISD, do the math: 2 minus 1 equals 1
Wednesday, April 13th, 2011
I read in the paper this morning where the WFISD is talking out loud about possibly closing Hirschi High School to cut a big chunk out of the budget.
It’s an interesting idea that has been discussed hush-hush for years, but there is something about this story that keeps me from taking it seriously.
The story mentioned two school administrators — Superintendent George Kazanas and Assistant Superintendent Tim Powers.
How can we seriously discuss getting rid of teachers and closing down schools when we are still paying big bucks to have both a superintendent and an assistant superintendent.
I am a product of the WFISD, so I can do the math.
2 minus 1 equals 1.
Once they figure that out up at the top, then I might start buying some of the other stuff they are trying to sell me.Share
- Hopefully, Hooterville won’t lose hockey
Tuesday, April 12th, 2011
The seven-month junior hockey season is finally over.
I saw only one game.
I hate to admit that because I like hockey and really want this Wildcats franchise to succeed.
It’s just that the Kay Yeager Coliseum is not sports writer friendly.
No press box. No Nick.
The short-sighted people who built the KYC didn’t bother to put in a press box.
Then they tried to cover up their mistake by hammering together some kind of tree house/kitty litter box that ranks right up there with our famous crepe myrtle in the park and the Attebury grain elevator as Hooterville Falls’ most embarrassing eyesores.
Every year I hear rumors that Wichita Falls is losing its hockey team.
Guess that just comes natural around here.
Teams do come and go.
But even though hockey interest in this town has seemed to decrease over the past nine years, the Wildcats still have decent attendance figures.
According to league’s Web site, Wichita Falls was No. 5 in NAHL attendance this season, averaging 1,894 per game.
And that was for a sub-.500 team.
But that attendance figure still means that the KYC is still about three-quarters empty when the Wildcats play.
That takes a lot of the excitement away from the games.
Or I guess I should say it seems like it would.
I haven’t been there to see for myself.Share
- U.S. golf following footsteps of U.S. tennis
Monday, April 11th, 2011
The four reigning major golf champions are:
Charl Schwartzel (Masters)
Martin Kaymer (PGA)
Louis Oosthuizen (British Open)
Graeme McDowell (U.S. Open)
Schwartzel and Oosthuizen are from South Africa.
Kaymer is a German. McDowell is from Northern Ireland.
It’s the first time ever than no American golfer is in this exclusive quartet.
No Phil. No Tiger. No red, white and blue.
Only two Americans finished in the top 9 at Augusta.
Professional golf now seems to be going where professional tennis already is.
It has now been 10 years since an American man won Wimbledon and eight since the U.S. Open had has a U.S. winner.
Bad news for TV ratings.
If Americans aren’t winning, Americans won’t be watching.Share
- Carter: April downtown
Saturday, April 9th, 2011
A poet named T.S. Eliot once wrote in a famous poem called “Waste Land” the immortal words “April is the cruelest month.” What he’s really talking about is Spring and the promise of rebirth and stuff like that, and that it’s not likely going to happen in the barren world of the 1920’s or something. Those Modernists. Were they ever happy about anything?
The strange thing about April is that it’s also poetry month, so for those of us who have always a little leery of poetry, April is a bit scary. But there actually is some good poetry out there, and that gets me to the third part of my April thing for this blog.
March 31, or the Thursday that was the eve of April 1, 2011, also happened to be the day of this year’s first downtown culture crawl. And this year, the culture crawl had grown a little from the first one. There was more shops involved, more bands and more people coming downtown to check out a place that they might have previously a little leery of.
This year, for the second (annual) Culture Crawl, the powers that be put together the first of two events for bands, customers and shops. And I think that more businesses got involved on their own, as I heard from bands that they got last minute calls to come and play in places that were a little off the beaten path from last October.
Let me say that I think that David Thompson should get all sorts of kudos for his work in arranging so many bands in so many different places. A lot of the people came downtown for the music and for the hanging out, and there was plenty of both. Thompson did everything on a voluntary basis and really stood nothing to gain from his efforts. I certainly hope that he gets considered for all that work he next time around.
I got to listen for some length of time to James Cook and Kory Rogers (not together) as well as David Thompson in front of Red Threads and B & B, and that was a pretty avid crowd. Bridget Briles, the fiddle player for Brazos Stone, was also hanging out there but was not playing anything. Shame too, cause the girl can play. Maybe next year they can get Brady Ash to sing, Colby Schwartz to play acoustic and Briles to play fiddle in that place. They all play in the same band, Briles sometimes works at Red Threads and Schwartz is the son of the owner of the establishment.
Since Jimmy Cooper is the new manager for Brazos Stone, anyone reading this that might see him some day should put in a word for that to happen. I would so be there to check that out.
I also got to listen to my favorite band locally, Dr. Philgood and the Let’s Get It On’s and they did a four-piece show with some hand percussion, electric guitars and a bass, and it was pretty amazing. The band has a huge crowd in front of Alley Cat Collective and it was a good time. There were people of all ages coming and going with a guy selling pizza from the Spot and people at tables giving away literature for what I do not know.
The other band I got to hear was Shantell and they were on 9th and Indiana right next to El Norteno’s. Now that’s a good combination—excellent Mexican food, with the McDonalds who can both sing.
So the next time you’re looking for something fun to do, go to a Culture Crawl.
Pic above is of Roselawn at Toby’s last Saturday.Share
- Bristol Palin gets pregnant, gets rich
Thursday, April 7th, 2011
Just read where Bristol Palin was paid $322, 500 to be an ambassador for a foundation trying to prevent teen pregnancies.
So let me get this right — the girl gets knocked up while she’s in high school, becomes an unwed mother when he is 17 and then gets paid one third of a million dollars to go around telling other young girls not to do what she did.
I can hear her now — “Do you want to end up like me?”
And every teen-age girl in the room shouts back — “DAMN RIGHT.”
Famous, rich and dumb.
Hey, two out of three is pretty good, especially when the first two guarantee your 20-year-old dumb ass will probably never have to work another day in your life.
(Unless anyone out there considers moose hunting or a gig on Dancing with the Stars a real job.)
What a great country this is!
But wasn’t it much better before any of us had ever heard of Bristol Palin or her goofy mama?Share
- Thomas No. 1; Haggerty No. 2.5
Wednesday, April 6th, 2011
In a newspaper column last week, I incorrectly wrote that if Nelson Haggerty was hired to be the Midwestern State men’s head basketball coach, he would be the first black head coach in school history.
Then I get a note from MSU sports information director Trey Reed informing me that the school’s first African-American head coach was Eunice Thomas, who headed up the volleyball team for one season back in 1998.
Then current head volleyball coach Venera Flores-Stafford sent me an e-mail saying that she was half African-American. Her mom is black and her dad is “German/Philipino.”
Well, Haggerty was promoted to the head coaching position on Tuesday.
Guess that officially makes him number 2.5 in the line of black head coaches at MSU.
Whatever, I am proud of my alma mater for making this hire.Share
- ‘X Factor’ the answer to WFISD budget woes
Tuesday, April 5th, 2011
Before our school board starts getting rid of good teachers in an attempt to cut another $1.5 million from the budget, it should consider another option that I proposed a long time ago.
Take a bucket of black paint to the administration building some evening, and — beginning with the superintendent’s office — paint a big black “X” on every other door.
The next morning everyone with an “X” on their door will be out the door.
Do we really need a superintendent and an assistant superintendent?
The only people who will answer “yes” to that question are probably the superintendent and his assistant.
The same is true with coaches.
Joe Golding won four state championships at Wichita Falls High School with two assistant coaches. One coached the back. The other coached the line.
I saw a team from another town come to Memorial Stadium one night with 18 players, 14 coaches and 24 cheerleaders.
I wonder how many assistant superintendents and unnecessary administrators that school had.
Save the teachers.
Cut the fat.Share
- Aggie girls peaked my hoops interest again
Monday, April 4th, 2011
I woke up Sunday morning sick and tired of basketball.
I have watched way too much thump-thump this past month.
I am tired of hearing about dribble penetration.
Please, no more mention of ball screens.
Give me those red-hot Rangers, the Masters and maybe a little bit of NASCAR.
Hey, the NFL Draft is just around the corner.
But because I had nothing better to do on Sunday evening, I turned on ESPN and watched the women’s final four.
It only took a couple of hours for me to fall in love with hoops again.
Texas A&M’s rally to beat Stanford was as good as any TV game I have seen this year.
And then Notre Dame pulls off a real shocker, knocking off UConn.
So I will be watching tonight and pulling for Butler to win the men’s title.
But the game I really want to see is the irish vs. the Aggies on Tuesday night.
Notre Dame vs. Texas A&M playing for a national championship in women’s basketball.
Do you think Knute Rockne and Bear Bryant have rolled over in their graves yet?Share