Sunday, August 31, 2008

Texas Central Oil Patch Museum

Hey there, all you art lovers, collectors, and people looking for something to do! The Central Texas Oil Patch Museum's 5th annual Art show is almost here! This year's theme, "Reflections of Texas", will be on exhibit from September 7th through the 16th and is supposed to be pretty good. I heard they had over 300 people attending the reception and they expect to have an even bigger crowd this year. The reception will be on Sunday the 7th from 2:00 to 4:00 pm. Two local businesses are donating delicious foods and drinks and their entertainment will be a pianist. The deadline for entering this show was long past when I first heard of this competition, but, they had an entrant back out this week and I was able to take her place. This will be my first time out there. Come on out and join in the fun! See you there!!

BBC Quixote and I disembarking Walnut Branch

The fishermen who came here at the turn of the 20th Century called this locale Sand Point. Its previous inhabitants, I've been told were members of the fierce and reportedly cannibalistic Karankawa tribe.

The area later was known as Star, The Pass, Mustang Island, and Tarpon. According to the Port A South Jetty newspaper, it was finally named Port Aransas by the U.S. Postal Service.

I've been coming down here for years, with my grandparents, later with friends, and more lately with my family. I hitchhiked down here and slept in a tent on the beach for about a week in the early 1970s while I looked for a job on a shrimp boat in a nearby harbor.

I lied about having shrimping experience, and the Norwegian boat captain - Bronko Viducik - threatened to throw me overboard when he found out I had never popped a head off a shrimp to feel its heartbeat.

No matter, I was seasick for three days on that wooden hull boat. It bobbed around in rough seas like a cork.

So I limped back home, and two weeks later, the friend who had convinced me to go down there showed up with a pocket full of cash.

"Get on a steel hull, they don't rock as much," he explained.

So down there I went again, and landed a job as a shrimp header on a 70-ft steel hull shrimp boat, the "Nancy."

The boat was still there last time I checked on it, 30-odd years later.

And now, it looks like I will be "still there" the last time you checked - futuristically speaking.

Come down to Port Aransas, New Philippines (you know where), and you'll find me in my own office just off the ferry, at the Port A South Jetty newspaper, where the dress code is casual Friday every day, and I'll be learning the concepts and consequences of "island time."

Surf's up and the fish are biting. Have a nice day.

Feral Hog Roast, everyone invited to pig out

The Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance cordially invites you to our 3rd Annual Feral Hog Roast featuring San Antonio's finest celebrity chefs competing to serve up the tastiest free-range pork dishes along with swimming, shopping, drinking, dining and dancing!

For your dining pleasure – free range pork dishes from:
Ácenar, by Chef James Sanchez
Azúca, by Chef Rene Fernandez
The Barn Door, by Chef Steve Straus
Biga on the Banks, by Chef Bruce Auden
Las Canarias, by Chef John Brand
The Lodge, by Chef Jason Dady
Bin 555, by Chef Jason Dady
Tre Trattoria, by Chef Jason Dady
Rio Cibolo Ranch, by Craig Christopher
Sho Nakpodia cooking African style
vegetarian dishes, scrumptious deserts, and all the trimmings by
Page Barteau Catering and Chef David Treviño
Fabulous selection of reds and whites /Alamo Golden Ale provided
Alamo Beer / keg beer provided by La Tuna

Silent Auction offering a fantastic array of goods and services from GEAA's friends and supporters throughout the Hill Country!
Preview at

Live music provided by:
Award-Winning Jazz Singer/Songwriter Bett Butler, Victoria's own Jerry James, and Caravan featuring Sharon Garcia

When: Saturday, September 20th from 5-11 p.m.
Where: Red Berry Mansion, 856 Gembler Road, San Antonio, Texas
Dress: Casual – bring your bathing suits

Tickets are $100/adult, $80/GEAA members, $30/children

All proceeds benefit the Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance and our 43 member organizations – allied to protect the Edwards Aquifer, its streams & rivers, wildlife, and the Texas Hill Country. Contributions are tax deductible. For more information and to purchase tickets,
visit us at, or contact Rachel Dealy at (210) 320-1457/(210) 835-7309

Host Committee: Anne Alexander, Appraiser; Tommy Calvert, Jr.; Ed Conroy; Bebe Fenstermaker; Mary Fenstermaker; Steve and Marty Hixon; State Representative David McQuade Leibowitz; Jo Long; Myfe Moore, Sho Nakpodia; Carl Ponebshek; Thom Robey; San Antonio Conservation Society; Senator Carlos Uresti; Senator Leticia Van de Putte; State Representative Mike Villareal;
Liz Ward and
Rob Ziebell

Thanks to our sponsors S/M Hixon Foundation,
Thom Robey Architects, Fugro Consultants, The Mighty Group, and Southwest Airlines

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Does Woodlandpixie live in woods? Yes!

This image is the one described in Woodlandpixie's first blog entry.

Since this blog has been parked for about a year, I have had to go over the procedures for posting photos and adding links.

Since I couldn't sleep last night I figured out how to get my logo, BBC Quixote, into the header of this blog, and now it is there for all the world to see.

Some people who are blogging here have put their photos up for scrutiny, others have just begun writing.

If bloggers here want to reveal the real whereabouts (Winston, yours truly, lives in the New Philippines) of their domicile, ie their home town, they're welcome.

Others choose to remain more of a mystery.

I like the fact that Woodlandpixie wrote about her family, and her life in the woods, without revealing where she is ... it lends an air of mystery.

Of course, if you want to find out who she is, just click on the headline above.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Renewable Energy? Hydrogen and Fuel Cells?? Nuclear Energy????

My former department chair, friend, and mentor, Dr. William C. Davis, and I do not agree on various aspects of "sustainability". Nevertheless, for some time he and I have agreed on the limitations of biofuels--and on the severe detrimental impact (on humans and Natural ecosystems) widespread use of these fuels (for other than in Natural trophic webs) would have. (My position is based on the research of David Pimentel of Cornell and H.T. Odum of the University of Florida--beginning back in the 1970s.)
Dr. William Davis, Director of Renewable Energy, St. Philip's College, has agreed to speak (a conversation with me, ... and the audience) at our next Siempre Sustainable Network meeting (607 Jefferson-Seguin) the evening (6 pm) of September 8th. (Siempre hopes to help people in this region of south central Texas reduce their individual and collective ecological footprints--in the near and more distant future, ... and in a way that is socially just, ecologically sound and humane!)

Dr. Davis has taught chemistry, and was Natural Sciences Department Chair for many years at St. Philip's College, served and was severely wounded in the Korean War, and has received many awards for accomplishments in teaching, research, and community activism.

Because of his Georgia roots, connections with Tuskegee University, his work in the Northwest, and his brother Ossie--Dr. Davis has met, worked with and/or befriended the likes of Martin Luther King, Jr., Garrett Hardin (Tragedy of the Commons), Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Ernest Hemingway, and Paul Newman. Dr. Davis has a rich and very interesting history with south Georgian African-American/ Cherokee/ ... roots, and with Baptist and Lutheran religious influences.

Moreover, he may bring along his colleague, Placido Isaac, who was one of Sam Flores' students at Harlandale High School and was active in the Brown Berets.

There are few who have a better appreciation of the tenets of sustainability than Dr. Davis.

Summer's end

Hello! Thanks for inviting me to join this blog. I've been enjoying reading what's been posted here and getting an idea on what each one is about and hope this will be fun for all of us.
Well, here we are at the end of Summer already! Officially we still have a little time left, but as far as I'm concerned, when school starts Summer is over.
My son and grandkids have consistently desecrated my sacred work space these past 3 months by running through it, interrupting my work with shrieks of laughter, arguments over who has who's stuff, who won't give someone else their stuff, noises from the video games in the next room or complaints because the game time was over with, and declarations of hunger, thirst, or boredom, etc. Then there were the continuous questions - "is it time for the swim lessons yet?", "can we just go swimming?"," biking, or walking with the dog?", and, "will you play with us"? Five days a week, all Summer long, I had them write in their journals, practice on the guitar or piano, and read a book and we all have a bunch of great shared memories to look back on now. But, all that came to a screeching halt by Monday morning. The grandkids are back with their parents and all the kids are back in school. My sacred work space is mine once again and the peaceful quietness has been deafening all week long. Yes! I miss the kids and everything that goes with them! Thank God for my second shadow - my dog- and the radio!
On the up side, I can totally focus on my work again. I'm an artist. I paint paintings and love it! In this world of political chaos and ecological destruction I feel the need to paint things that will stir positive emotions in people. I'm a strong believer in karma as well and feel that the way we treat others and the things we do will all come back to us sooner or later. In other words, think kind thoughts of your brother, even if he is an extreme rightist and positive energy will be what returns to you. I enjoy painting scenes of the West, although some of my works are just slices of life to enjoy "as is". I'd like to think that they also bring some kind of joy to the heavy heart, a bit of peace to the world weary, and a little hope to those who have lost their reason for being. Yeah. Sounds really sappy, but, that's me. Right now, the painting that's bringing joy to my heart is one that was inspired by my son and one of our dogs called, "Roping Practice". Sorry, can't get the picture to post yet. I'm new to blogging.
We moved to Texas about 14 years ago and were introduced to the world of snakes here - which is a little phobia of mine. I went right out and bought cowboy boots for the entire family and insisted that the kids wear them every time they went outside. Before long, my (then very young) son was wearing his shorts with his little cowboy boots and hat. My husband teased him about it, but I thought he was the cutest little cowboy I'd ever seen! I did have a bit of a hang up about him going out in public in shorts and boots but that ended after people started coming up to me telling me stories of how their kids used to do the same thing and then they'd walk away with sweet, nostalgic smiles on their faces. Is that a Texas thing- the boots and shorts? I think it's adorable when kids do it.
Shortly after we moved to Texas came the addition of dogs to our family. Someone dumped them off near our place in the country - obviously intended as a gift to us- which we gratefully accepted. Both of the dogs were really terrific. One completely attached himself to our son (and later our grandson) and they were best of buddies. Several years rolled by and one day I glanced out the back window to check up on things, I saw our son standing on top of the dog house, wearing his shorts, cowboy boots, and hat, trying to rope the dog and, both my son AND our normally brilliant dog, looked like they were having the best of times. I was afraid for our dog's life and confiscated the rope, but, my son proved to be some kind of master magician pulling all kinds of rope out of thin air too many times to count, so I sat down and showed him how to tie the rope so the dog wouldn't be strangled and let him do it only when he asked me first. Who was I to try and thwart the next Lone Ranger? I stood at that window many hours watching him and our dogs playing together. One day long after that phase had passed, I came across the favorite rope that our son had used and all those memories flooded back - so I painted it. The boy in the painting is not my son, although they have the same sandy colored hair, and the landscape I made up, but that awesome dog was ours. That dog also inspired the painting, "Man's best Friend". If you'd like to see some of my work feel free to check it out at:
I grew up watching and helping my artist Mom and loved the creative process. At age 18 I left home and didn't paint again until ... well, 10 years ago when I came across a television show one Saturday morning with Jerry Yarnell doing an entire painting in 1 or 2 shows. I bought some paints and brushes and started painting along with him to see if I could do it and the rest is history. One thing led to another and here I am- joining all of you on this blog - in my childless work space, with my ever faithful 2nd shadow beside me (the son of the dog in the paintings). Maybe we'll pay a visit to the grandkids this weekend! Here's to blogging with you!

Thursday, August 28, 2008


We really do need to work more intelligently and prudently in our long-term efforts toward spiritual and holistic ecological peace for generations to come (including for other species).

I feel strongly that one focal point should be major reform, toward Natural, in our public school systems. We must have a major systemic change toward small neighborhood schools which focus on student and community needs for the long-term (and short-term), and do hands on teaching of ecological literacy and facilitate development of sustainable livelihoods. This should replace our “perpetual” tweaking of a highly artificial, broken system that mostly relies on “big”--& unsustainable growth, technology and industry, and non-participatory centralization.

In taking the opportunity to opportunistically speak out against status quo propping-up of a broken school system, I recently submitted to our local Seguin newspapers the following letter (paraphrased & edited a bit):

“In his wonderfully progressive 1991 essay, What Is Education For, David Orr of Oberlin College makes the case for ecological literacy, caution and humility. In it he emphasizes that ‘no student should graduate from … any … educational institution without a basic comprehension of:’ ecological principles, processes and ethics, carrying capacity, least-cost/end-use analysis, appropriate scale and limits of technology, and how to live well in a place.

With this in mind, our lifestyles are indicative of the fact that we haven’t done very well at educating toward ecological literacy in the U.S., nor in my local community of Seguin. Our biocapacity in this country is about 11.6 acres per capita, yet our ecological footprint is 23.7 ( ). (And this precarious difference is worse for south central Texas.) (Numerous other indicators of sustainability also point to the fact that we are not realizing ecological literacy.)

Moreover, we consume per capita considerably more than 200,000 kilocalories per day, yet over one billion powerless folk consume less than 5,000 per day
( & others.). Our consumption pattern here in Seguin cannot yield quality life for most of the billions of folk in the world—for now and certainly not for future generations.

School planners, educators and school systems are obvious pools to tap for leadership that will move us toward a mindset and toward a Natural and agricultural green space which will facilitate and enable livelihoods of conservation and sustainability. In order to foment these pools of conservation and sustainability, we need more neighborhood and rural schools (including high schools) built in concert with Nature and the Land which have no more than 500 students
( ). The landscapes of our schools should be of mostly native plant communities (possessing placards with species identification/information), some agricultural production, living and rainfall-catchment roofs, and limited parking space (encouraging walking, bicycling, bus transport and car-pooling). Buildings should be sustainably built of as much local material as possible and should be designed and strategically placed for passive cooling and heating, and for comprehensive, holistic education that is lived and breathed on the campus. Food and drink—and fibers and other materials used on campuses-- should be primarily locally produced, processed, and prepared for consumption.
All folk involved the school system—students, staff, faculty, administrators, school board members, the larger community—should be knowledgeable about the energy and material inputs/throughputs and outputs, and ecological footprints of the school and school system, and involved in changing them for the better (effective communication, participatory/hands-on, decentralized/site-based management, lifelong learning/critical thinking). Various “renewable” energy sources, holistic and preventative systems of student health care, composting toilets and simulated-wetlands sewage-treatment systems and LEED certification at the highest level also need to be considered. (And of course we should have additional systemic and holistic “greening of the curriculum.” )

The picture I’ve painted in these previous two paragraphs is part of a dream, … a vision for moving toward a conserving and sustainable Seguin. It most certainly won’t happen over night! … But it will never happen in an effective and efficient manner if we don’t start now!!

No one likes to hear that the schools and other components of our built environment--on which we’ve worked so hard, and sacrificed and struggled to build in an ethical fashion--should have been smaller and developed in concert with Nature and the Land. Established people in a local region don’t want to hear a relative newcomer (our arrival here was 1985) spout off that the high tech, high-energy and -resource input ways of doing things—that we were particularly manipulated toward, taught and lived after WW II--were way off base. And we don’t want to hear and know that we can’t just tear down what we’ve built, and cannot just throw energy and resources and the “American”/can-do attitude at it, … and then magically fix it.

We Texans and Seguinites are a proud people, set in our ways. And all of us, young and old, in the US, Western Europe, Japan and other “developed” nations, and among the elite in the less-developed nations, have really become addicted to ‘big’ and ‘consumption’ and ‘wasteful lifestyles’--conventional air-conditioning and water heating, cars, SUVs, and pickup trucks, eating exotic product from all over the world which costs much in energy-units, etc., etc..

Nevertheless, we need to reach down deep and get some humility, all of us—the ‘wet behind the ears’ and the ‘wise and experienced’—and begin to critically think about how to begin to lead our community into conservation and sustainability. We’ve got to learn to live lightly on the Land and compassionately attempt to provide quality life for all--everywhere and forever.

Therefore, let’s be brave, ethical and critically-thinking as community, and cautiously begin to accept the monumental challenge to develop a long term plan that involves a revamping of the local Seguin school district toward holistic ecological literacy.

Let’s begin to work hard to build small neighborhood schools in concert with Nature and the Land, that teach and promote ecological literacy and that give us hope for providing quality life for all for years to come.”


I am one of five brothers and one sister born in a period from 1946-1957. In considering what science knows about genetic, epigenetic … and environmental influences on our psyche, I’m the oldest and have been influenced by my genes, birth order, my “village”, etc., etc.--and have always been quite liberal politically, and quite left of center in the local and global policies and actions I support.

My youngest brother on the other hand is one of the Chosen People. And this brother is conservative, “Fundamental”, and far right of center.

I truly don’t understand my little brother and most McCain supporters. I do have trouble communicating with those folk who worship the policies promoted by Hoover, Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, Newt Gingrich, Phil Gramm, Tom DeLay , or George W. Bush, … or wantabes like Rick Perry.

On the other hand, “conservatives” don’t understand how I could’ve believed in and supported many of the wonderful policies promoted by John Fitzgerald Kennedy, LBJ, Martin Luther King, Jr., Cesar Chavez, Jimmy Carter, Paul Wellstone, and Nelson Mandela. … They can't understand how I could believe in those progressive policies toward "sustainable livelihoods and communities" currently being developed by Barack Obama.
Given my background--and life and work in the pre-Farmworker-Right-to-Know fields and in a pre-OSHA feed mill, with poor browns and blacks*--I couldn’t be anything other than a left of center Democrat—or Green party member. And I can not help but be terribly confused by folk who preach family and constitutional values and doing what’s right, but yet support a political party that de facto develops policy which violates ethics and basic moral values taught us in our families, “villages”, churches and schools during our very early formative years.

*[And my years in a small rural south Texas town during the active period of the African-American Civil Rights Movement which helped give rise to La Raza Unida.]

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Sea change on the horizon

This blog had quite a few visitors when we first launched it. I'm afraid the traffic has dropped off because of a lack of regular posts. I'm working to change that. So if you like what you see here, please come back often, and tell your friends about it.

And now, introducing, another blogger. Welcome aboard ... you know who you are.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Os Pensamentos no Domingo

The community in which my wife and I have chosen to live and die is continuing to work with consultants with Mesa Design Group-Dallas in “preparing a Comprehensive Plan for future DEVELOPMENT in the city and its ETJ.” … This process shouldn’t be anything like “rocket science” … but should involve ecological science, with real concern for immediacy in moving toward working locally and globally to conserve the natural resource base, and ethically use energy. Someday soon we really do need to get concerned and serious about rampant artificialization of what’s left of Nature in this ecosphere:

[Enrolada (Jan 2007)

Depression and Pinchot-wired parents taught us to conserve.
2007 Chosen People-fundamentalist preachers impel us to grab and rule the all that WE MOST CERTAINLY deserve.

Humility, frugality used to be preached in the churches.
America First!!! War!! Estados Unidos sempre precisa ganhar! … And the ship of state lurches.

Donald Trump, Warren Buffett, Bill Gates. The power reigns.
Others squalid in big city/rural remains.

So green! So green! A new gas-electric hybrid auto and a muito verde LEED home built for only 200, 000 times what half the individuals in the world make in a year.
“Organicissimo!! Organicissimo!!” With this certified pesticide-free apple sent from New Zealand for our fresh fruit Texas party of Christmas cheer.

“Environmentists” answer is “Renewable”. Used only a half million BTUs per capita last year of ethanol and fuel cell energy.
… Did I mention it cost about a million British Thermal Units of oil, gas and coal. Don’t you love the synergy?!?!

Cars cause super-problems; we rush for more.
9-11! W said rush for the store.

Indoor pools, treadmill exercise machines..
Could we become Mexican Raramuri or Kenyan Kalenjins and make the whole earth Nature’s park, and run it in our jeans … and get it back into concert with our genes?

Hot outside? Turn on the arcondicionados! Keep eating more gas, oil, coal fueled potatoes.
Global warming (Climate change)? Highly recommend moving from Barbados.

The Chosen few of the world possess Capital and are Landed,
While the Third World is kwashiorkor- stranded.

7 billion Homo sapiens—Number ONE!!!
Other top trophic species? You’re certainly done!

Top soil? Watersheds? Diverse biotic communities? Passive solar energy? Who the hell has heard of “it”??
Big screens, NFL, NBA, empty calories—chips and beer. All of this is what keeps the U.S. lit.

Farm subsidies, conservation easements, cheap energy and basic resources from abroad. For the Lorded Landed this spells more cash!
Certainly can’t cap excessive income and capital gains, strive for real equity and equality and produce less trash!

Trans Texas Corridors! Loops around Interstate jams. Muckity, muckity, muck, muck, muck.
I’ll solve it by traversing overLand with my on-steroids Hummer, ATV, SUV, Suburban, and Big diesel truck.

Frequent flyer miles, ecotourism, luxury ‘beachcombing”, Carnival Cruise.
Explain for me again now those South American favela blues!?!

Come to our High Schools and Universities and learn to change the world faster.
No matter this “serves” to make the Natural ecosphere much less of a laster.

Mold those young uns into businessmen, corporate lawyers, sports physicians, oil field geologists.
But “Heaven forbid” an environmentalist or world renowned ecologist!

It’s the parents’ fault, the teacher’s culpa, the administrators get in the way; a federal problem, a local one. The village! The family! The individual student! … Let’s get more realistic!!!
It’s all of these. Just start somewhere and stay focused on it with lots of will and energy. Get off your butt and think holistic!

Radios, TVs, cell phones, iPods, video games, plastics, petroleum perfumes,Taco bell food, this dam computer screen. Peggy Lee cries out, “Is That All There Is?” … VIRTUAL reality?
Think this is really messing with my Natural innate personality!

Go out into the country, inner city or even suburban streets.
In this wealthiest of nations you’ll find unattended-to obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, asthma, cancer, malnutrition-- it's because of bad (or lack of) local doctors, politics and economics, chambers of commerce, ecological ignorance and apathy, and high fructose corn-based sweets.

Arteriosclerosis, arthrosclerosis, hypertension, embolism, angina, arrhythmia, heart attack, stroke. Could it be our way of life??
Perhaps we could just slow down and do it the natural way and give (human) Nature less strife??

Small is beautiful! Don’t let them tease you!!
Big is passé … pasado. Communidades que pensa grandao are screwed.

War. Basic/Airborne Ranger/Green Beret Special Forces training--into fit muscled/artificial “Army of One”- MEN (and woMEN). Uniforms, weapons, order, brass gives us meaning.
Could we all do a chaotic Peace Corps thing --and rather than destroy do just cleaning?

Haifa, Chechnya, Darfur, Cuba, South Ossetia, the deep dark Congo.
Their notoriety? “ Isn’t one of those where they invented the bongo?”
I’m confused!!!!
Or too much BS infused?

Got to act local.
I’m not just a Seguin yokel.]

Blog reactivation alert

This blog was created to keep a hand in producing prose.
The limited access to a computer was an issue for the past year.
Also, a new job was all too time consuming.
It still is.
But things change, and with recent developments, this blog could have some new input.
It doesn't mean I'm standing in the unemployment line.
Just that more time for blogging is a possibility.
Thanks for your patience.