21 April 2011

April 21 -- San Jacinto Day

"On this field on April 21, 1836 the Army of Texas commanded by General Sam Houston, and accompanied by the Secretary of War, Thomas J. Rusk, attacked the larger invading army of Mexicans under General Santa Anna. The battle line from left to right was formed by Sidney Sherman's regiment, Edward Burleson's regiment, the artillery commanded by George W. Hockley, Henry Millard's infantry and the cavalry under Mirabeau B. Lamar. Sam Houston led the infantry charge.

With the battle cry, "Remember the Alamo! Remember Goliad!" the Texans charged. The enemy taken by surprise, rallied for a few minutes then fled in disorder. The Texans had asked no quarter and gave none. The slaughter was appalling, victory complete, and Texas free! On the following day General Antonio Lopez De Santa Anna, self-styled "Napoleon of the West," received from a generous foe the mercy he had denied Travis at the Alamo and Fannin at Goliad.

Citizens of Texas and immigrant soldiers in the Army of Texas at San Jacinto were natives of Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Austria, Canada, England, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Poland, Portugal and Scotland.

Measured by its results, San Jacinto was one of the decisive battles of the world. The freedom of Texas from Mexico won here led to annexation and to the Mexican-American War, resulting in the acquisition by the United States of the states of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, California, Utah and parts of Colorado, Wyoming, Kansas and Oklahoma. Almost one-third of the present area of the American Nation, nearly a million square miles of territory, changed sovereignty."


Happy San Jacinto Day, y'all.
under the "A" in "TEXAS" B

14 April 2011

a jug of advil, a bag of crap, and thou

Just another typical Thursday morning.

The kids had already left for school, The Wife had just pulled in from another night shift, and I was standing in the yard in gym shorts and a ratty T, coffeecup in one hand, hose in the other, as I soak the flowerbeds and the poison just applied to the newest fire ant beds that have sprung up, while mentally sorting through the Top 31 Things I Most Hate at the moment.

The Wife is telling me... something (I find my day goes better when I pay as little mind as possible to the thoughts, comments, requests and concerns of other people...), and she's walking to the curb to put something into the trashcans there waiting for the truck. But as she replaces the lid and steps back, she yelps, throws her purse and cellphone in one direction and her body another, executing what starts as something like a graceful pirouette maneuver but which quickly degrades into full-on pratfall.

I hear a loud "OOOF!", and there's a small poof of leaves puffed away from the impact.

I sip my coffee and shake my head, then sigh.

"Well, that looked painful. Are you OK?"

"errrg... no..." answers a small face-down voice.

"You need to move," I offer as assistance.

"i can't..." the face-down whimper explains.

I sip some more coffee.

"Well, you're laying on a fire ant mound."

At which point we discover that she was mistaken: she can, in fact, move, and does so, though none too gracefully. She log-rolls along the curb and now lies facedown with most of her body in the street. Our housecat strolls over and sits near her prone form, using her body as cover from a mockingbird shrieking and dive-bombing from the oak tree above.

A neighbor drives by, sees the scene, slows and gawks.

I smile and wave the hose in greeting. They drive on.

"I think I broke my ankle."

"Oh, I doubt that. It takes some effort to do that. You probably just rolled it."

I help her up, and she limps into the house and collapses onto the sofa.

"You need to get me some ibuprofen."

"Where is it -- in your bathroom cabinet, or in the kitchen?"

"The store. We're out."

"I think you mean you're out. I have all the ibuprofen I need right now."

"Will you go buy some ibuprofen? I can't move."

So I drive to the local quicky stop and buy some overpriced ibuprofen and an Antone's Super Po Boy (mmmmm... chow chow...) and return to find a small plastic bag of cat poo on the front stoop. I pick it up, glance at it, then drop it back to the stoop and head in to find The Wife on the back porch.

"Somebody left a bag of cat crap on the stoop."

"That was me," she answers from the back yard through the open door in the kitchen. "Pick up the ice -- my ice pack slipped and made a mess."

I notice three dozen ice cubes scattered all over the kitchen table and floor.

"If you were a car, Federal Law says I could return you as defective."

"What?" she asks, re-entering from the back porch.

"I invoke my Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination."

"Good. Did you get the ibuprofen?" she asks as she limps past.

"On the counter."

"The window casing looks good. You going to paint it today?"

"Window casing? Oh, you mean, 'the window casing in the upstairs bathroom'? I thought you couldn't move?"

"You need to pick up those tools up there."

"Ah, so apparently you can move only well enough to criticize. Good to see the injury is not slowing you."

"I'm going to bed now."

"Try not to burst into flames between here and there."

"Good night. Don't forget the cat poo on the porch."

I nod "OK" through a mouthful of Super Po-Boy.

"Mmmmm... chow chow....

And so it goes.