Texas Liberal

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Automated Teller Machine


A few days ago I was at the automated teller machine.

A man was standing about 5 feet behind me waiting to use the machine.

While I was getting my money, I thought about a one-liner I could use to get a laugh from the guy behind me.

When I was done, I turned around and said–“Hey man, this machine just gives you money!”

My timing in delivering the line was not perfect—But it was okay enough. 

He looked at me in surprise for a moment, and then, to his credit, seemed to get that I was joking around.

He said, with a laugh that suggested only a bit of fear about this strange person talking to him –“Yeah, right.”

I thought the exchange went basically well. 

April 3, 2008 Posted by | Houston, Uncategorized | , | 3 Comments

Picture Of Sign Equating Ron Paul With Martin Luther King

I’ve been meaning to run this photo for some time. I took it at the 2008 Houston Martin Luther King Parade.

The sign, as you can see, equates Martin Luther King with Ron Paul. 

Sometimes you just wonder what is wrong with people.

Please click here for my Martin Luther King Reading and Reference List.

April 3, 2008 Posted by | Houston, Martin & Malcolm | , , | Leave a comment

Ways The Past Can Be Experienced


(Blogger’s note–This is a post I first made last August when the blog had a much smaller readership. I had planned a post on Zimbabwe for today, but I’ve encountered a technical  glitch in the post that I just can’t work out in the time I have. Thanks for reading this blog)      

I own a series of books of old photographs coupled with paragraph-sized captions that describe Cincinnati, Ohio. I lived in Cincinnati for 18 years. The books are printed by Arcadia Publishing. Arcadia has a line of these titles with old pictures of cities across the nation. 

I enjoy these books. I enjoy thinking about the history of familiar places. It’s helpful to have my own experiences placed between the context of a past I did not see and the inevitability of a future I won’t be part of.

I can think of four ways I interact with the past in Cincinnati. I think these examples can be carried over to many other places and experiences in life.

Here are my four ways—I’m sure there are more—to interact with the past—   

1. With books, I can go back before I was born in 1967, or before I arrived in Cincinnati in 1980. This is impersonal, but it can be done at my leisure and allows for reflection.   

2. Returning to Cincinnati once or twice a year, I always drive around many neighborhoods. Doing so, I experience both a personal past and the broader history of the city and the communities that make up the city.

A downside is that this requires the cost of an airplane ticket and a rental car. 

3. By communicating with family and old friends in person, on the phone, or by e-mail, I get updates about people and places.

Talking to family and friends is always a winner. They often know more than I do. And the mix of personal history played out in the larger framework a familiar city is an instructive combination. Life is a mix of the public and the private.     

4. Through my own memories, which have the advantage of being available anytime and on my own schedule, I can recall what has taken place and try to understand what it means. This works well in tandem with looking at the books.

A downside might be the reliability of the memories. But what can one do about that?    

The above picture is of the Tall Stacks Festival in Cincinnati. As you can tell, Tall Stacks is an effort at mixing the past with the present.

April 3, 2008 Posted by | Books, Cincinnati, History, Relationships | , , , | 3 Comments