Texas Liberal

All People Matter

Staying The Course In Cincinnati

I’ll be blogging from Cincinnati, Ohio for the next few days.

Here is a picture of a coal barge staying the course this afternoon on the Ohio River.

I was standing on the Cincinnati side when I took this picture. Across the river is Northern Kentucky.

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August 30, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

I’ll Be On Cincinnati’s WAIF 88.3 FM On Saturday, September 1—Trash Flow Radio

I’ll be  on the radio on Cincinnati’s community radio station WAIF-FM 88.3 on Saturday, September 1.

( Above—A radio. Photo by Gregory Maxwell.  Here is some history of radio.) 

I’ll be on Trash Flow Radio with my friend Ken Katkin from 3-5 PM Eastern Time on that date.

You can hear the show on the WAIF livestream. 

Here is the Facebook page for Trash Flow radio.  

I was a weekly host on WAIF for a few years in the 1980’s. I co-hosted the punk rock show Search & Destroy with Handsome Clem Carpenter.

It was fun.

Here is a description of Trash Flow Radio from the host–

“Avant-garde punk, pop avant-garde, sad songs with loud guitars, loud songs with sad guitars, anti-Beatle exuberance,  pro-drug psychedelia, bargain-bin outsider music, revisionist rock history, music made by teenagers with “sXe” tattoos, and timeless DIY. Absolutely no major label recording artists (except the Ramones). Music from the catholic school, not the parochial.Gushes and rants, stark realism and surrealism, dangerous audio stunts, irritainment, and bad puns. Faint echoes of H.L. Mencken, Coyle & Sharpe, Jorge Luis Borges, Thurgood Marshall, Ron Rosenbaum, Jean Shepard, Lester Bangs, Kim Philby, J.D. Salinger, Bob Lassiter, Carl Reiner, and Eugene V. Debs. Hopefully, some guests. It’s always something. If it’s not one thing, it’s another.”

I’m looking forward to be being on the air with Ken.

August 29, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | 4 Comments

First Marker At San Jacinto Battlefield Park Marks Gift Of Cannons From People Of Cincinnati—Self-Reliance Is A Myth

For all the talk of self-reliance in Texas, the very first marker at the San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Park just outside of Houston—where Texas independence was won—notes the fact that the people of Cincinnati contributed two cannons to the cause in 1836.

These are the famous Twin Sisters. Here is an account of the Twin Sisters from the excellent Handbook of Texas online.

Above you see a picture I took of this marker back in June.

Replicas of these cannons are at Cincinnati’s Burnet Woods park.

Of course we all count on each other to accomplish things in life.

What could be more obvious as we move ahead in life each day?

While we must work hard for ourselves, we rely in so many ways on the labors and kindness of others. There is no such things as complete self-reliance

This is so in Texas and throughout the world.

August 2, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Six Years Of Texas Liberal—A Conservative Such As Myself Focuses On Simple Things

(Blogger’s Note—July 25th marks the 6th anniversary of regular posting on Texas Liberal. I’m glad to say I’m nearing 2 million page views. That is pretty good for one yahoo sitting at home. I was thinking today of what I wanted to say for my blog anniversary. I came to the view that the post below that I wrote earlier this year would well-convey the spirit of the blog. Thanks to everybody who has read Texas Liberal. Please know that in addition to the blog, I have an artsy creative project I hope to have online later this year.  A conservative like myself focuses first on friendship and simple virtues such as sticking to something–such as a blog–one day after the other.)

On my recent visit home to Cincinnati, I met up with a number of friends.

In some cases I took their pictures. These are the pictures you see above.

I met some of these folks in the 1980’s. Two I have met since I left Cincinnati in 1998.

Strong and long-lasting relationships make us better able to deal with the hardships of life.

Also–if we pay attention– these relationships provide us with context to understand the lives that all sorts of people lead in our difficult world.

Everybody I met up with for lunch, dinner, coffee, or a drink had a story to tell.

This is no different from any person you know.

The lives my friends lead have great worth.

I like the people my friends have become over the years.

I work hard to keep up with my friends. I suggest you do the same. Don’t wait for others to act.

Every person has value. Every place has value. Every day has value.

July 25, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | 3 Comments

Summer Vacation 2012 Best Picks—As Always It Is Buffalo, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Detroit & Galveston

(Blogger’s Note—This is a post I run each year. It merits another go-round for 2012 because the places I list here are good places to visit.)

Where should you and your family take a summer vacation this year? Where should you go by yourself or with that someone special for an excellent summer trip?

The answer is clear enough.

Buffalo, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Detroit, and Galveston, Texas are the places to go.

I have visited all these cities in the summer and I can say they are good places to visit and see.

These cities have long-established museums and interesting neighborhoods to explore. They have good restaurants. They have grand old buildings. Each of these cities has a river, a lake, or an ocean to enjoy.

The wife and I—though she was not the wife yet at the time—spent a summer week in Buffalo and Niagara Falls in 1998. It was fun.

(Below–Buffalo)

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Here is information about visiting Buffalo and the Niagara region.

I took a family vacation to Cleveland in the early 1980’s. Nothing is nicer than the Great Lakes in the summer.

(Below—Cleveland)

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Here is information about visiting Cleveland.

I lived in Cincinnati for 18 years. It is a pretty city in the Summer. There is more than enough for you and your family—unless maybe you would like to enjoy some time by yourself— to do for a few days.

(Below–Cincinnati)

Here is information about visiting Cincinnati.

The (future) wife and I  once spent a weekend in Pittsburgh. The weekend was not enough to see and do all that Pittsburgh offers.

(Below–Pittsburgh.)

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Here is information about visiting Pittsburgh.

There is plenty to do in Detroit. There is an excellent  lake, a Greek quarter, the Tigers baseball team and many museums. It has been many years since I have been in Detroit, but I was there for a couple of weekends in the summer and there was more than enough to do.

(Below–Detroit.)

Here is information about visiting Detroit.

Galveston, Texas is my home away from home. I’ve lived in Houston for 14 years and I go to Galveston every six weeks or so to take a walk on the sunny shores of the Gulf of Mexico. At the least it is worth a day trip if life takes you to the Houston area.

(Below–Galveston)

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Here is information about visiting Galveston.

Maybe you live near one of these cities. Maybe you’d like go somewhere where there is some history and some character.

Give one of these cities a try. Disney does not need your money. Some big dumb theme park where they abuse killer whales by keeping them in tanks is no fun at all.

Go to places where your visit will be appreciated.

You’ll be glad you did!

June 4, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Life Is Many Things At Once—Creation May Or May Not Be Worth The Violence And Disruption It Involves

Above is a picture I took in January of 2011 of Pioneer Cemetery in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Cincinnati is one of my home towns.

One thing I like about this cemetery is that it contains the remains of the Revolutionary War soldiers who were among the first wave of white settlers in Cincinnati.

Also here are the remains of the women who made everyday life work.

When we expand our view of history, we are most likely to get the all the facts right. We are most likely to include all that merit inclusion.

In this cemetery, I like the juxtaposition of the settlement of a newer America beyond the Appalachians with the men and women of an older time.

Yesterday I ran on the blog a picture of the big industrial Houston Ship Channel which had in it a number of nice colorful flowers.

Everything is more than one thing at once.

These multiple qualities can be living things, industry, conceptions of the past, conceptions about places, confluences of time, the living and the dead themselves, and whatever else that sails your ship.

I’m very mindful that a Native American population was present in Southwestern Ohio before the white man arrived.

There is violence and disruption with every act of creation.

It is not clear to me that every act of creation is worth the violence and disruption that helps make it possible.

May 2, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

To The Extent You Are Able, Avoid Drifting—Seaweed, Driftwood & A Sea Tumbleweed

Above is a picture I took last year in Galveston, Texas  You see that seagull is eating some creature unlucky enough to be caught in a clump of seaweed and washed up on the beach.

This is what happens if you drift through life. You get washed up on the beach and maybe eaten.

Here is a definition of seaweed-

Any of various red, green, or brown algae that live in ocean waters. Some species of seaweed are free-floating, while others are attached to the ocean bottom. Seaweed range from the size of a pinhead to having large fronds (such as those of many kelps) that can be as much as 30.5 m (100 ft) in length. Certain species are used for food (such as nori) and fertilizer, and others are harvested for carrageenan and other substances used as thickening, stabilizing, emulsifying, or suspending agents in industrial, pharmaceutical, and food products. Seaweed is also a natural source of the element iodine, which is otherwise found only in very small amounts.

Here is a link to the well-done Seaweed Site. It will teach you a lot about seaweed.

Here is information from NOAA about deep water seaweed in the Gulf of Mexico.

Below is a picture I took last year of some driftwood that got stuck on shore on the Kentucky side of the Ohio River across from Cincinnati.

I don’t want to be driftwood. That log is marooned.

At the end of this post is a photo I took few years ago of seaweed and what is, as far as I can tell, a sea tumbleweed.

A tumbleweed just blows around.

This picture was taken on the Gulf of Mexico side of North Padre Island National Seashore just outside of Corpus Christi.

Circumstance plays a great part in life. Sometimes you are just out of luck. But to the extent possible, try to take command of your fate. Be more than seaweed, driftwood, or a tumbleweed.

Here is the definition of a tumbleweed—-

“Any of various densely branched annual plants, such as amaranth and Russian thistle, that break off from the roots at the end of the growing season and are rolled about by the wind. 

All photos in this post copyright Neil Aquino

April 30, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Chrome Cranks Looking To Produce A New Album—Find The Time To Create Something Before The Hour Has Passed

My longtime friend Peter Aaron, who lives in the New York City area, is a member of the band The Chrome Cranks.

This band began in Cincinnati in 1988.

(Above you see the Chrome Cranks. Peter is the one smoking the cigarette.) 

The Chrome Cranks are trying to get the money they need to make a new album.

Below is what Peter has written for Texas Liberal regarding this effort—

“The Chrome Cranks are launching a Kickstarter campaign to support the publicizing of Ain’t No Lies in Blood, our first album of all-new material in 15 years. To do this requires a minimum of $4,000, the goal of this effort (any funds accumulated above this range will go toward further publicity for the album). And in addition to copies of the album itself, as rewards for the assistance of our fans in this undertaking we’re offering a wide range of rare and tasty treats: mp3s, album downloads, and signed CDs and LPs, posters, campaign-only CDs of UNHEARD tracks, even ORIGINAL REHEARSAL CASSETTES!”

Here is the link to support this project.

Needing $4,000, the Chrome Cranks are almost 90% to this goal. I have contributed a small amount. The band has to raise the needed money by April 29.

Here is a link to hear the Chrome Cranks.

If you like the music and would like to help these folks out, please offer up a few bucks.

Here is the Facebook page for the Chrome Cranks. 

Consistent with the ethic of this blog, the Chrome Cranks are getting it done for themselves.

They are coming up with new material and making use of new forms of communication and fundraising to help produce the album.

Peter and I both lived in Cincinnati back in the day.

I was slow to learn to drive back in th day. There were a number of times when Peter gave me a ride to the punk rock show.

Peter is a good guy and the Chrome Cranks merit a listen.

Beyond all that, if there are people from your past that you can help out, then you should consider doing so.

If you have a creative project or a personal project in your life that you would like to work on and make progress on, then find the time and make the effort before the hour has passed.

Our friendships and our most hopeful efforts are essential to having a good life in the brief time that we have.

April 21, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Diverging

Above is photo I took in Cincinnati in March of 2011. I took this picture a few days before my dad died in Cincinnati.

I made a post about the picture at the time, and noted that my father would soon be leaving the main track or be taking a diverging course.

I think about this picture often.

There are things I’d like to do differently in life, and ways I wish things were different in our society.

I now often envision these changes or transitions that I’d like to see as a switch from the main track to another route.

It seems like a gentle enough switch in this image. Just a slight altering of your course.

Yet in the end you’ll end up far away from where you started.

April 19, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Wanting A Quiet Place To Think, I Went To The Houston Astros Game—The Right Mix Of Factors To Get Some Thinking Done In A Public Place

Wanting a quiet place to think where I could have some space, I attended the Houston Astros game this past Monday evening.

Above you see a picture I took in the second inning.

With the roof open on a warm spring evening, the game was a nice and relaxing spot for contemplation.

There was just the right mix of people around to look at and ponder, while at the same time enough room to have your distance from others. The game and the stadium offered all sorts of things to look at while not breaking your train of thought.

The Astros have in 2012 already had the smallest crowd ever recorded at Minute Maid Park for a game. With this being just April, there is plenty of time for that record to be broken again.

It is great to have a public place where you can think.

When I lived in Cincinnati, I enjoyed going to the River Downs horse track with my father.  There were always some people around, but the track was built for the larger crowds that attended horse racing years ago.

You’d sit off by yourself and look at the people. Across the way there were some hills. This was just as how you can see tall Downtown Houston buildings with the roof open at Minute Maid.

At the race track you would sit there and be peaceful, and every so often some horses would run past.

Below you see a picture I took at River Downs in 2011. There was no racing that day. You could go to clubhouse and place bets on races at other tracks.

That was a fine quiet snowy day.

What I look for in a public place  where I want to get some thinking done is the right combination of action, apathy, things to see such as trees or buildings or horses or a baseball game, and personal space.

I don’t want to be a hermit, but there is only a certain extent to which I want others around.

One to be fully engaged in the world is to make sure that you have some space.

April 12, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Flowers And A Bird—Please Have A Great Spring Weekend

It is Easter weekend and Passover and whatever else it is that you would like it to be.

I hope you are getting some time with family and friends. Or time alone if that is what sails your ship.

I thought a good post for such a hopeful spring weekend would involve flowers and a bird.

Below are some flowers from the nice Bayou Bend Gardens in Houston.

Here are facts about flowers. 

I don’t know what kind of flowers they are, but they are quite colorful.

Below is a picture of a cardinal that I took in Cincinnati last month.

I was sitting in a city park eating a White Castle cheeseburger when I saw that bird. Cities are great for having nature and cheeseburgers all in proximity to one another.

Here are facts about birds.  Here are facts about cardinals. 

Have a great weekend and please drive safely.

April 7, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This Scene Inside A Cincinnati White Castle Reminded Me Of An Edward Hopper Painting

Here is a picture that I took last week inside a Cincinnati White Castle.

The scene reminded me of an Edward Hopper painting.

There is stark overhead lighting.

While the setting is public, the place is nearly empty.

A small number of diners are present but we do not know their story.

The diners have no communication with each other.

Below is the famous Hopper painting Nighthawks.

Here are some facts and a number of paintings about Edward Hopper.

March 13, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

I Like The People My Friends Have Become—Every Day Has Value

On my recent visit home to Cincinnati, I met up with a number of friends.

In some cases I took their pictures. These are the pictures you see above.

I met some of these folks in the 1980’s. Two I have met since I left Cincinnati in 1998.

Strong and long-lasting relationships make us better able to deal with the hardships of life.

Also–if we pay attention– these relationships provide us with context to understand the lives that all sorts of people lead in our difficult world.

Everybody I met up with for lunch, dinner, coffee, or a drink had a story to tell.

This is no different from any person you know.

The lives my friends lead have great worth.

I like the people my friends have become over the years.

I work hard to keep up with my friends. I’d suggest you do the same. Don’t wait for others to act.

Every person has value. Every place has value. Every day has value.

March 10, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | 1 Comment

Time To Catch The Flying Flat Boat Back To Texas

It is time to catch the flying flat boat for the return trip from Cincinnati to Houston.

Often this flight traces the route of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers

Picture is of Ohio River from Cincinnati’s Eden Park this afternoon.

Peace and blessings to all.

March 6, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | 2 Comments

It Is Up To Us To Act—The Extreme Right Will Always Be With Us

Here is a Rick Santorum sign and a Tea Party sign that I saw in Cincinnati today.

No matter if it is the 40% that voted for Barry Goldwater in 1964, or right-wing extremists today, these folks are always with us. They steal our time and resources with ceaseless efforts to move the nation backwards.

We can’t deny that these folks are here, and that they have the right to proceed as they will. Yet the bottom line is our own actions as liberals and progressives.

The evidence is all around us as to the presence and actions of the crazed right. It is incumbent upon us to equal and to exceed the efforts of these dangerous zealots.

March 6, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment