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Friday

Juan has been replaced!


The possibly true story of Juan Valdez

Romancing the Bean 
A Series Of Short Stories

By J. B. Blocker
the Caffeine Cowboy
  

 
  In a little over 1000 years, coffee has been elevated to the second most traded commodity after oil and is the most prepared beverage in the world. 
  Kaldi the Ethiopian goat herder is said to have discovered coffees kick and introduced it to monks who were able to chant and pray longer. A French Lieutenant stole a kiss and two coffee plants from Napoleon's garden and  brought it to the New World. Stories abound!
   I’ve got a long list of these stories if you’re interested. Most of them are true! At least parts of them are!
   The story I am about to share may or may not be true. No matter, it is close to my heart and carries a modern day lesson somewhere inside.

   Our story begins on a New Year’s Eve. In a small community hospital in South Texas, two young couples await their firstborns. All the while the hospital staff anxiously anticipate the race for the first birth of the New Year. Two expectant fathers pace into the midnight hour. As the town clocks strokes of midnight end and the New Year begins, simultaneous declarations of triumph announce two births!
   It is a tie! For the hospital and even the state of Texas, the firstborn pair of the new year are named Juan and Josephine. 


I'll Never Forget 9-11


'the Red Zone' click to enlarge
 I took this shot from about the 20th floor of the World Finance Center Building II on November the 1st, 2001. It's 'the Red Zone' inside Ground Zero. Smoke is still seeping out of deep pockets. The air is a fog of dust and will be for a few more weeks before the snow and rain bring the floating debris back to earth.
  Rising 400 feet above stands Big Red, the largest mobile crane in the U.S.A. It was perched on the spot that was once the World Trade Center I footprint.
  The Houston company that owns Big Red flew the American flag at its peak, just above the flag of Texas. Grapplers the size of semi-trailers worked 24/7 in the dust and haze that never goes away. In the background on the left, the skeleton that was World Trade Center 2 leans against the remains of buildings 8 and 9. From the back center to right are the burned shells of buildings 7, 6, and 5.
If you expand the photo and look closely you can see the billowing dust covering both vehicles and their operators as a grappler dumps its load into the waiting semis. 

Tuesday

"HONOR THE FLAG!"


Dad taught me well!
  As a teen, I gained possession of a 48-star American flag that was as big as a wall in my bedroom. My father was at Vietnam so I proudly put it up, saluted it, and said the pledge every day for my dad's sake. It stayed there until.....

  
Hong Kong '47
My father, Master Chief of the United States Navy Charles Abraham Blocker was a 32 year Navy man and lay minister. He finished his career as an E-9, one of the highest ranking enlisted men in the Navy. 

  At age 16 he lied about his age in order to join the Army with his older brother Uncle Jimmy in 1942. They found him out at boot camp but a year later he enlisted again and made the Navy his career.
   I was always fascinated and proud of his chest of medals including the Navy Cross.  After those 32 years of traveling the Seven Seas, WWII, Korea, and many other assignments he came home from Vietnam. I was 15 and spent the entire day in the front yard in order to be the first to welcome him home. Back then, there was little or no fanfare for returning military forces.
  When he saw the flag covering the wall in my bedroom, he immediately stopped in his tracks. Without harsh words but rather with solemnity, he helped me take it down with care. He carried this 12-foot flag reverently to the living room where we respectfully folded it. He then had mom find a clear wrapping for it and placed it on my dresser.
  Looking back, I am sure that the 48-star flag meant much more to him than I will ever know. He had defended and saluted that flag during his prime.

Saturday

Recruiting a Winning Team

The Andrew Principle
Campaigning 101
jb blocker

John 1: 40  One of the two who heard John speak and followed Him, was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother. 41 He found first his own brother Simon and said to him, "We have found the Messiah” (which translated means Christ). 42 He brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, "You are Simon the son of John; you shall be called Cephas" (which is translated Peter)
  
  You don’t hear much about Andrew the apostle. We know he was one of the first to be chosen by Jesus along with James and John. Later in the Bible, he is the one who brings the boy to Jesus with the fish and loaves that feeds thousands. He is also at the resurrection. But Andrew is also mentioned for one other thing that has resonated throughout the ages.
  You see, Andrew met Jesus and went to his brother Simon to tell him he had found the Savior! Simon's named was changed to Peter. "Upon this rock I will build my church."
  That is some really good recruiting! That is like finding Babe Ruth and introducing him to baseball. 

I call it ‘The Andrew Principle’.
  In campaigning for a civic office, you really need a few Peters. He or She are the one who thousands listen to. They have a network, respect, and usually access to donors.
  But Peters are hard to get to.  They are very protective of their resources and are exceptionally aware of how their good name can be used or misused.  You often have to go through others they trust just to get to them.
  Every Peter has their Andrews. They can’t be that successful without dependable trusted people in their lives. Whether those are family or friends, they are the people who can unlock the doors that lead to the Peters.

Looking for Andrew

Wednesday

The Air Force honors Congressman Sam Johnson and Senator John McCain's fellow POW Colonel Bud Day



Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. David L. Goldfein presents Mrs. Doris Day with brigadier general rank insignia after her deceased husband, retired Col. George E. “Bud” Day, was posthumously promoted during the 2018 Heritage to Horizons summer concert in Arlington, Va., June 8, 2018. The stars were originally Goldfein’s when he was a brigadier general. Air Force photo by Wayne A. Clark

Col. Bud Day
BBoBorn in Sioux City, Iowa on February 24, 1925. In 1942, he dropped out of Central High School and enlisted in the United States Marine Corps (USMC).
  After the war, Day attended Morningside College on the G.I. Bill, earning a Bachelor of Science degree, followed by law school at the University of South Dakota, receiving a Juris Doctor. Day passed the bar exam in 1949 and was admitted to the bar in South Dakota.
  In later life, Day was also awarded a Master of Arts degree from Saint Louis University, a Doctor of Humane Letters from Morningside, and a Doctor of Laws from Troy State University. Day was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1977.



Saturday

'jelly beans'



 
from Romancing the Bean by Caffeine Cowboy

'jelly beans'
by jb blocker

                                                          i always wear a hat


                                                                   i often
                                                                have ideas
                                                                  that are
                                                 much bigger than my brain.
                                                                 who knows
                                                                  if my hat
                                                                    keeps
                                                               any of them
                                                             from escaping .
                                             i just know that plenty stay inside.
                                                            i can feel them.
                                                        bouncing around.
                                               multi- colored, multi-flavored
                                                              jelly beans
                                                    want'n out of their box.
                                            look'n for a  doorway to reality.
                                                             if i didn’t
                                                           wear a hat,
                                               i’d be scratching my head
                                                          all the time.
 

 
- J.B. Blocker is a media consultant based in Collin County in North Texas. Advertise with J.B. by calling 469-334-9962. Email: jbnorthtexas@gmail.com 

Tuesday

The Lone Star Sheriff's Image

Sheriff Keith Gary, 2nd from the left

You Can Always Learn


Behind his desk, Sheriff Keith Gary of Grayson County leans toward me and says, “You can quote me on this, I was wrong!”
 

Let me introduce you to my friend Keith Gary.
  Keith was a 5’7” former drum major in college and after graduation, an insurance agent. Somehow by fate, accident, or an act of God he found himself sporting the badge of a U.S. Marshall assigned to East Texas.
  You can call Keith a conservative. He served under Nixon but resigned rather than serve under the Carter administration. With the election of Reagan, he was reappointed. When Clinton was elected, he resigned again and was again reappointed by Bush.
  Now, truth be told, he might have been replaced or not. It doesn’t matter because he didn’t wait around to find out.
  In 1996, he was urged to run for sheriff in a county that had never elected a Republican. He ran against a long seated incumbent and along with two other Republicans began a trend. In 2013, all 23 elected county officials will be GOP!
  To say he is beloved in his county is a statement that I have found can be said for many long serving Texas Sheriffs. Keith is a gentle natured soul who displays courtesy and respect with the ease of a guardian angel.
  As a matter of fact, as I sit across from him in his office, or attend his Rotary luncheon, or wander around with him. I am ever fascinated by his frankness as we get to know each other. I think of a younger George Burns. I want to stick a short, fat cigar in his hands and take a picture, but he is not going for it.
The G-Man Look
 

Unexpected Danger! 2018 Drivers Traffic Stop Protocol




Common Sense and Courtesy
By J.B. Blocker
  With all the furor generated on the social media concerning the shooting of a man during a traffic stop, it occurred to me that many don’t seem to know how to behave if they are stopped! 
  To me it seemed that logic and courtesy were all that was necessary in order to make the stop as safe and painless as it could be considering the circumstances!
  
  I began my research by calling the ‘Best of the Best’ to help me get this right. These friends have served for years in several branches of Texas law enforcement. They include Sheriff Harold Eavenson the VP of the National Sheriffs Association, Carrollton Chief of Police Rex Redden, Director of the Texas Border Sheriffs Association Don Reay, Senate Candidate and past Top Texas Game Warden Peter Flores, Howe Chief of Police and License To Carry instructor Carl Hudman, and former Texas Highway Patrol/Texas Ranger Lee Young and Sheriff David Byrne to help sort out what rules have been approved and practiced by their various departments.
  Of course I might add that when Game Wardens and Texas Rangers make a stop, it is rarely for a traffic or vehicle violation.
  I did a lot of listening as they guided me through not only the regulations but also the reasoning behind the suggested actions for the officer and the driver. With their help I have compiled a 2017 Drivers Traffic Stop Protocol that should be an aid to the well being of the driver and officer alike.
It really boils down to common sense and courtesy. To which I respond, “Common sense seems to be a missing ingredient to a lot of people. Especially when they are being pulled over!”

  Since I took my license exam in the 70’s, I wasn’t really sure what the rules are on a Texas Driver’s License Exam. So let’s start there!