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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! 

Sunday

Coffee, Politics, News, and Fine Foods

Romancing the Bean Series
by Caffeine Cowboy

Tales from the Old County

Coffee Cantata by Johan Sebastian Bach


  “No daughter of mine will drink coffee!” declares Schlendrian. (Stuffy in German)  “­­But father, if I don’t have at least three small cups a day, I’ll soon be as dried-out as an un-basted roast!”

  Cleverly, Schlendrian proposes, “Fine, then make your choice, a husband or coffee!”  His willful daughter seemingly demurs to her fathers restriction but with a stage-whisper tells the audience, “Any man who wishes to win my hand must first promise to supply all of the coffee I want!”

  Amused by the Parisian fad for coffee, Bach asked the famed poet and satirist Picador to write a libretto with coffee as its theme.  The story mirrored the attitude of the German elite toward women and the middle-class. Coffee was too special for the commoner and coffeehouses were no place for a lady!


  Before public music halls existed in Germany, caf├ęs attracted music lovers by sponsoring performances by collegia musica (the association of private musicians).

  From 1720 to1740, Bach performed for the public and experimented with new pieces at Zimmerman’s Kaffeehaus in Leipzig.  The Coffee Cantata was first performed there in 1734.  It was a musical and community success.

The most famous coffee snob:


Wednesday

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

Monday

Simply refreshing Gazpacho


Gazpacho
By J.B. Blocker
   When my eat healthy gene kicks in I have a tendency to go on auto-pilot when I grocery shop around the fresh produce section.  
  That is when the spirit of my recently passed chef mentor, the great French Master Chef Jean La Font speaks to me.
  “Gazpacho”, he whispers! 
It has become one of my go to dishes. My really healthy comfort food. It gets even better on day two and three but it rarely last that long. I don't even use a bowl. I fill a mug and add some chilled shrimp if I have it ready.

Learning American

‘The Big Book’  (1893-1993) R.I.P.
Recognizing one of this country’s greatest teachers.   By JB Blocker

The Millennials don’t know about this. Much of the GenX Generation don’t either. As an immigrant from the ‘60’s, the Sears and Roebuck catalogue was one of my best friends. It taught me America!

  The first true Sears catalogue was produced and distributed in 1893. Many others were to follow. It became an iconic life line of what people wanted and needed across America. It you had a mailing address, you could own anything in those pages.
  Clothing, toys, guns, farm tools, kitchen, living room, garage items, even houses and cars stirred the imagination of families from the city streets to farms, fields, and newly discovered parts of this growing country.
  I remember in the early ‘70s listening to some old cowboys at the local pool hall in my panhandle farming community. They got in to a discussion about the new Christmas catalogue at the Montgomery Ward’s one day. 
  The talk started over the price of things. But the discussion moved to how they had been making their wish list from those catalogues most of their lives. Those pictures of what the world looked like outside of their world gave them reasons to save their money.
  Studying catalogues allowed America to become aware of the choices they never had before and how much money they would need to save.
  A few of those senior citizens also talked about the catalogues as a teaching tool. You could learn how to read while you were learning the value of all those items available from the pages of pictures, descriptions, and prices.
My Crash Course


Sunday

The Real Andy of Mayberry, Sheriff Booger Pruitt

 
  I started this 1200 mile plus road trip from Dallas to Amarillo and on to Dalhart in the far northwest corner of Texas. The return trip takes me back down west Texas before cutting east to DFW. I will pass through 37 of the 254 counties along the way and I try to fill my memory banks with identifiers for each of these counties.  
  On the way back from Dalhart and back to Dumas on the way to Amarillo I am seeing my home in a whole new way. I am thinking of bank robbers, cattle rustlers, and the evolution of the sheriffs of Texas all the way to it's modern day technology.
  I have sheriff friends all along the way, but I can't visit them all, I have to be in Garden City by morning for a very important interview.