An American Chimera

Author Archive

Rob Ryan “I’m a damn good football coach!”

Rob Ryan "Anybody can talk the talk, but I can walk it!"

I like the way this guy sounds, he has the swagger that America’s Team is lacking. We have the talent but our execution sucks and our mojo needs to be jump started. This maybe the guy that gets us to kick it into high gear and win some games. So far I am impressed and training camp has not even started. I am hoping for the best. Go Cowboys!


Giant

James Dean as Jett Rink in Giant - 1956

An amazing film about mid 20th century Texas. This is the Texas my parents were born into. For better or worse this is where we were as a culture. It is not always nice or kind but it is always honest. I have to say that things are better now then they were then. It is a story about the transformation of a man and his family, his state and state of mind. It is the story of my home state of Texas as it was in the 1950’s. In 2005 this film was selected for preservation by the Library of Congress.


Super Bowl XLV

Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers

From a Fan of America’s Team – The Dallas Cowboys, I would like to say Congratulations to the Green Bay Packers.


2011 – Year Of The Rabbit

US Postage Stamp - 2011 Year Of The Rabbit

 The year 2010 is over, it was inevitable. I have always been a fan of New Years, it’s not so much the partying that excites me. Those days are long gone. I do however like the idea of having a clean slate. Another chance to make it count. 2011 – I welcome you and hope for the best. This year I thought perhaps I would acknowledge the Chinese New Year. We are now living in the Year Of The Rabbit. Jackalope Blues does have a certain fondness for rabbits as the mythical Jackalope is part rabbit. Although I am not a big believer in the idea of predeterminism, here are the characteristics of those born during the year of the rabbit: Gracious, good friend, kind, sensitive, soft-spoken, amiable, elegant, reserved, cautious, artistic, thorough, tender, self-assured, shy, astute, compassionate, lucky, flexible. Can be moody, detached, superficial, self-indulgent, opportunistic, stubborn. According to this belief system these traits can also be applied the chain of events that will make up the year ahead of us. As always I’ll take the good with the bad but given the choice, the good looks pretty good. Let’s see what happens.


Merry Christmas

I always liked this one….


The Black Angels – Live at the Kessler Theater – Dallas Tx

The Black Angels

The Black Angels wear their influences on their sleeve.  There is no denying that, but I have to say – that they have a swagger and ambiance that is native to our part of the world. It’s like the weather high above us or the earth beneath our feet. The sounds and rhythms they emit feel as though they have been conjured up from the native Texas soil and channeled out from the amps and souls of this great band to that of the greater beyond. Thanks to the Black Angels for  playing one hell of a show….


Dallas Cowboys Win 33 – 20 over New York – It's About Time!

Dallas Cowboys Head Coach Jason Garrett

 This has been one depressing season. No one likes to see their team lose, but whats worse is to be embarrassed. Besides our losing streak, our Quarterback is injured, Head Coach fired, and our Fan base demoralized. Up until todays win over the New York Giants, our record was 1-7. I am hoping that this is a come back. Dallas Cowboy fans are known for being fair-weather fans. When they win we love the Cowboys but when they lose its not uncommon to hear someone yell Dallas Sucks! I don’t think that even a miracle will land us a Superbowl this year, it’s damn near impossible. At least we may be able to end the season with dignity. Better yet perhaps Jason Garrett will set us up for a winning season next year. Go Cowboys!


Veterans Day

 

US Flag - U.S.S. LCI 541

To all of our Vets – I am grateful. You make me proud of this country. This flag was flown on D-Day, June 6th, 1944 during the Invasion of Omaha Beach, Normandy, France. My wife and I took this photo at the Commemorative Air Force Museum in Midland Texas.


Hello world!

Welcome to WordPress.com. This is your first post. Edit or delete it and start blogging!


Ray Wylie Hubbard – Texas Troubadour

Ray Wylie Hubbard

My wife and I had the pleasure of seeing Ray Wylie Hubbard perform at the Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts in Arlington Texas. It was an amazingly intimate show. Ray joked around a bit with the  audience as he spoke about his life. For those that don’t know about the Great Ray Wylie Hubbard. I have to say that as a Texas Songwriter he is among the company of our greatest troubadours, Willie Nelson, Townes Van Zandt, and Waylon Jennings. He may be a little more on the blues and rock side of the spectrum but the twang and chime of his country and folk influences shine brightly. He is the kind of songwriter that mentions William Blake, Howling Wolf, and St John the Revelator all in one set. He finds the sacred in the least of us and the abyss in the those of us that are held in the highest esteem. All while pelting stones at his own human existence. Thanks to you Ray Wylie Hubbard for all the great songs and one hell of a show.


COWTOWN to JET-TOWN

Most people know of Fort Worth as Cowtown. This is the city that touts the slogan “Where The West Begins!” While it is true that the cattle drives of yesterday helped put Fort Worth on the map. The airplane took Fort Worth higher, further, and faster. The city built the B-24 Bomber that helped win WWII. The F-16 Fighter is also built here, and has become one of the greatest combat aircraft ever built. Besides manufacturing there has always been a large military aviation presence. Many aircraft and airman from the area have been deployed across the globe. While Fort Worth is a world leader in aviation the entire North Texas region has also contributed. The Fort Worth Memorial Air Park showcases this regional effort with Aircraft displays and Aviation Artifacts. The Air Park is actually a cooperative effort between the Forward Air Controller’s Museum, B-36 Peacemaker Museum and the Fort Worth Air & Space Museum Foundation. I met with a Museum Guide named Buster that had been a C-5 Galaxy Pilot and also worked at the Lockheed Factory. He was passionate and knowledgable about every aircraft on display. It was contagious as I would catch myself gazing at the angled lines of tapered wings and streamlined fuselages of Cold War Aircraft. All of these planes served us well and continue to do so as they inspire future generations of Airman and Aviation Enthusiasts. Please visit http://facmuseum.org/

A-4 Sky Hawk

O-2 Sky Master Rockets

F-5 Aggresor

F-4 Phantom

A-7 Corsair

OV-10 Bronco

F-4 Phantom


Ted The Gnome

Ted The Gnome

The Garden Gnome has been around for a long time. They have visited more destinations throughout the globe than I will ever have the privilege of doing. This has been proven and is extensivley documented. That’s ok I don’t mind so much, we have Ted. He is now a part of our family. I named him as my wife and I browsed the shelves at our local Target. He was conceived in Germany, made in China and purchased in the Great State of Texas. So I guess he has already existed in one form or another on three continents. I have a feeling that Gnomes are loosing their appeal. They have peaked in popularity. That’s ok though I may be a late adopter but I was brought up to “dance the with the one that brought you.” So Ted has a home in front of our large oak tree. The only competition that Ted may have one day is the Pink Flamingo. I doubt that a saintly St. Francis or a serene Buddha would pose any threat to our chubby friend. So Ted, with all that you have been through. I have to say, Welcome To The Family.


July 4th

This is so beautiful….


American Muscle – Mustang Mach 1 – The End Of An Era

1973 Mustang Mach 1 - The End Of An Era

Ford 351 Cleveland

Simulated Wood Grain and Vinyl Interior

Mach 1 Badge

Pony Gas Cap

Rear Spoiler

I came across this magnificent machine at the car show that I wrote about in my previous blog entry. What makes this vehicle so significant to me is that it marks the end of an era. The Ford Mustang Mach 1 as shown was manufactured from 1970 -1973. This is when the muscle car era started to come to an end. The War in Vietnam was coming to a close, the economy was not so great, and the price of gas was rising. One side effect of the changing world was the idea of planned obsolescence. Granted nothing lasts forever but this car and those before it were made to last. I am inclined to believe that as this era ended designers and bookkeepers realized there was more profit to be made in cars that would need to be replaced rather than repaired. If I were to guess the early 1970’s was the time that the WWII generation began to retire. Twenty-five years or so earlier the Auto factories in Michigan had manufactured the jeeps, aircraft, and tanks that won the campaigns in Europe and the Pacific. These machines were rugged and were easily maintained. They were not only pretty to look at but also utilitarian in nature. These ideals carried over into the Great American Cars of the 1950’s, 1960’s, and early 70’s. After the mid 1970’s everything changed, as that was the time that disposable culture came into total fruition. In short the era of “Built to Last” had ended.


Working Class Steel – Car Show Pantego TX

This past weekend as I drove by a local burger joint called the Fabulous 50’s, I noticed a car show was taking place. I had to stop and admire the sculpted metal before me. For most of my driving life I drove an American classic. As those classics became antiques their age caught up to them. It was no longer feasible to have one as a daily driver. I reluctantly updated to a new vehicle that has the solid reliability and empty soul of an appliance. Even though I drive a plastic foreign car my heart still belongs to the Detroit of yester year. What was so cool about this car show is that all of the vehicles that were present were like the people who owned them, they were real. These were cars that were considered plain jane in their time. The Mustangs were not Shelbys and the Camaros not Yenkos. Not all of their numbers matched but they ran strong and were maintained solid. There was not a museum piece in sight and not one auto collector, only cars and drivers.

Chrome and Fenders

SS Camaro

Mid 60's Ford Pickup

Vintage Ford Mustang

Mid 50's Buick


Clarks Desert Boot

The Clarks Desert Boot is a brown suede, crepe sole, loose-fitting shoe. It has a laissez-faire vibe stitched in the fabric. This is the shoe that the British Army wore in North Africa during WWII. When worn it is not a shoe or a boot, but somewhere in between. As is with most things derived from military gear it is truly functional. I would have to say that the simplicity of the Desert Boot is what makes it worth owning. This beautiful simplicity is also shared in the design of the Field Jacket, Ruck Sack, Cargo Pant, and countless other things born in Olive drab and Desert Brown.

Trash Cans

Bench

Gravel Drive Way


Thanks to Mike Modano – The Original Dallas Star

Mike Modano

To Mike Modano, thanks for bringing Hockey to Texas. You made me proud to be a Star. I would have liked to have seen you retire in Dallas. Unfortunately Seven Division Championships, Three Western Conference Crowns, Two Presidents Trophies, and a Stanley Cup don’t mean much to the powers that be.Yeah, Tom Hicks that’s you! You are a terrible owner that has no passion for Hockey, Baseball, or English Football. Apparently your word means nothing as you have done everything to hold our teams back. Like him or not if you had half the heart of Mark Cuban imagine what we could do. If anything you would not be one of the most hated owners ever. Best of luck to you Modano, whatever team you go to I am sure you will get the respect you deserve. No matter how you look at this, this is ugly. Win or lose I will always be a Star, but wherever Modano goes so will I. Give’em hell Mike!


USA Vs England World Cup

US Soccer - Don't Tread On Me

Today was a good day for US Soccer. I know it’s not a win, but a draw is also something to be proud of. I have to admit that I am not an avid follower of the sport. When I was young my brother and I played for a league in Dallas. Later as a teenager I also played pickup games that took place behind my high school. Most of the players were from Mexico or Central and South America. Their English was not the greatest and my Spanish was among the worst. That did not matter on the field as that was some of the most intense Soccer I ever played. Other than those unofficial games my sporting life has been occupied by watching American Football on television, notably my favorite team of all time The Dallas Cowboys. Which brings me to where I am today. I have made it no secret I love America. So naturally there was no question that I would be watching our USA Soccer Team take on The Three Lions, The Saint Georges Cross, and Our Closest Friends across the pond, England. A draw for England against The United States might as well have been a loss. For us it was as close to a win as we could have had. I am proud of our team and look forward to seeing us advance from here to the future. Well done USA!

UPDATE – 06/18/2010 Team USA ties Slovenia, 06/23/2010 Team USA defeats Algeria, 06/26/2010 Ghana defeats Team USA. We showed up and we came up short. I ask myself what does all this mean? It means that there is always next time. Win or lose we will always be Americans.


Mercedes-Benz Relic

While driving on East Lancaster in my hometown of Fort Worth Texas, I came across this beautiful piece of sculpted metal. It lay displayed high above the other wrecks that occupied the parking lot of an auto body shop. It stood out like a Thoroughbred among a field of mules. Most likely this car will never be restored to its former glory but I am grateful that its owner thought enough to showcase its regal beauty.

Chrome Grill

Starboard Side

Port Side


Memorial Day 2010

Old Glory Flies in Our Front Yard - Fort Worth TX

Old Glory Flies in Our Front Yard - Fort Worth TX

It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived. — General George S. Patton


Pen and Paper

For a while now, I have been using pen and paper to record contacts, phone numbers, email addresses, and random thoughts. While smart phones are replaced by even smarter phones, my analog writing implement will never face obsolescence.

It’s a simple and low tech method that has been around since the ancient Egyptians first recorded their ideas to papyrus. I do feel a sense of pride as I put ink to paper. There is something permanent about the act that I do enjoy as I engage in a ritual of permanence in a world of the disposable.


Record Store Day

Today is Record Store Day – I read it was started by an independent  record store clerk somewhere in the Northeast. It makes me happy to know that this is one day that the corporate music distribution system cannot claim as their own.


The TOLLWAY vs The AMERICAN FREE-WAY

Is this the future? It sure as hell looks like it. Imagine if Jack Kerouac had to pay a toll while On The Road. What if the Dust bowl Okies had to pay a toll on the way to have a shot at a better life? The Grapes of Wrath, never would have made it to paper. To me America is all about open spaces, rugged individualism, and self determination. Although the American People are of many faces and ideas. We are people who like to be on the move. There are no boundaries to stop us from heading out west or to the moon. That is the essence of who we are. I hope to hell the America of endless highways and open roads does not become a myth in the American Psyche. Tolls are what Kings charge their subjects for traveling on their private roads. I’ll pay my taxes like any good Citizen to maintain the American Highway System but it pisses me of to pay a private toll for a road that is on public land. Heres to you my beloved America as I proudly drive the long way Free!

Welcome to the Toll Road

Toll Entrance

Another Toll Entrance

Heading West on the Service Road

Free Service Road

 

 


Edelweiss-Prost!

Recently we went to a local German Restaurant that has been around Fort Worth for so long that it is now an institution. Edelweiss on Camp Bowie Blvd. I had been wanting to go for sometime. For one reason or another I just never followed through. I am glad I did as I enjoyed as authentic a German meal that one could have in the Metroplex. I was deployed to Germany several times during the 1990’s while serving in the military. Most of what I experienced could be classified as European as opposed to German. There  were Discotechs,Raves, Cafes, Posh Clubs and Swanky Bars. More Techno than Polka if you know what I mean.The Beer Halls of yore were no more unless it was a holiday or you traveled outside the city. However there were several times that I would dine at the traditional German Restaurants that always seemed to be located like Cold War relics outside the gates of the American Airbases. I was never disappointed with the food or the beer. Back to Texas now, Edelweiss hits the nail on the head. It’s as good as I remember the food, beer, and campy Bavarian atmosphere. Prost!

Edelweiss German Restaurant - Fort Worth Tx

Jager Schnitzel and Pomme Frites with Cold Spaten

Black Forest Cake - Schwarzwalder Kirschtorte