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Wednesday

Juan Valdez was a dope dealer!


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 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 strike midnight, 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. 


Tuesday

RIP Sears! A Big Piece of American Dreams

‘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 lifeline of what people wanted and needed across America. If 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 into a discussion about the new Christmas catalog 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 catalogs most of their lives. Those pictures of what the world looked like outside of their world gave them reasons to save their money.
  Studying catalogs 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 catalogs 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


Thursday

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 feed 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 name 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’.

Friday

Midland County Sheriff Gary Painter

from Lone Star Reporter: 
Gary Painter was a friend to me. Over the past decade, I have visited and called on him often... sometimes for opinion and sometimes for advice. I always felt his John Wayneness. His quiet thoughtfulness, His long tall frame, His long arms that swung like a slow pendulum when he walked like a determined man. He was always determined.
After he walked away from a 50 ft. fall in a gyrocopter, he told me the next day that he would do it again if I supplied a better pilot!
You should know something about him. His is a life worthy of statues, schools, and street signs.  jb
Sheriff Gary Painter’s legacy lives on in Midland 
Midland County Sheriff Gary Painter was photographed for USA Today standing with a portrait of Sgt. Mike Naylor in the William Alders Justice Center that houses the sheriff’s office. Naylor was killed Oct. 9,
... more

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.

Wednesday

Their volunteers are real heros.

You Too Can Bring Change
Ezekiel Elliot didn't seek out that Salvation Army bucket. It was right there in front of him and he didn't run around it nor did he try to avoid it. He jumped in feet first. In that one moment, he changed the perception of thousands of people who also jumped in to motivate hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations.  

By J.B. Blocker
  I used to feel uncomfortable about passing Salvation Amy ‘Bell Ringers’ everywhere I would go during the holidays.     It’s not that I am ambivalent about giving. But I am discerning about who I am giving to and how the money will be used. And one other thing… I feel that giving is not seasonal.
  That all changed when I answered the call and found myself working in the ‘Red Zone’ of Ground Zero on September 24th as a Disaster Recovery Supervisor.

Thursday

Coffee, News, Interesting People, and Tasty Treats

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 father's 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:


Monday

Signs, Signs, let your Signs Shine!


What Is Your Sign?

There are real people behind those signs! Do you get to know them before you vote?  How do you do it?
  In today's electronic era, it is not that hard to study up on candidates and find out when they will be locally available for public viewing.
  Many get started Surfing for Candidates very early in the campaign cycles. They want to be part of the system. They want to project their voice. They want to find someone who hears them.
You can google, yahoo, bing, linked-in, facebook, twitter, etc.etc. 
  

It is an honor, a pleasure, and a challenge for me to help you know that person behind the sign. 
  Your responsibility as a concerned citizen is to take the time to know the candidates and then speak up for the ones you believe can be a dedicated voice you trust.
 

They come in all sizes. They are on hats and shirts and pins. On the highways and byways, private property, personal property, and automobiles.
  Some say that they are distracting, or that they are a nuisance, or even a driving hazard. Are they necessary? I say YES!



And if you don't eventually have any signs in your yard, on your vehicles, or even worn on your shirts, hats, or luggage then I say 'You haven't become passionate about your leadership! And let me add, you have no right to complain!'