Thursday, March 31

Change of plans, again 

Seems like whenever I make plans lately, something's always happening to make me alter my original plans.

For instance, there are some rough spots in the backyard of the Casa de Coob. Since Lowe's has St. Augustine sod at a nice price right now, I was planning on laying some sod tomorrow afternoon (after Torts, of course).

Turns out that instead of laying sod, I'll be participating in the 2005 Hutcheson Moot Court Competition Tournament. At least for one round. Thass right, I made the tourney.

Am super jazzed about making the field. I better go watch A Few Good Men and find my courtroom voice...


New Addition 

There's a new addition to the Coob family.

I pulled the trigger last weekend and bought an iPod. So far, I LOVE IT!!

I also bought an iTrip so that I can use Blanquito while driving to and from campus. And as soon as I get an antenna for the home's receiver, I'll be able to use him at home and channel him through the home audio system, which includes the outdoor patio speakers.

This is gonna be great. Oh boy is this gonna be good!!



Our IM softball team opened a can whoop-ass last night. We crushed the other team, 17-2. I won't get too detailed in stats, but someone had a decent performance on the mound. Even struck out a batter.

We're now 2-1. We lost last week, 10-9. I'd like to say we should have won that game, but I wasn't there (writing a brief instead) and don't have any first-person information.

We have a bye next week and then we have our last game. Rumor has it that if we win that game then we're in the playoffs.


Storm II 

Here's a quick update from my earlier storm post:

roof- totaled
carport- totaled
patio roof/covering- totaled
windows broken- 2 (including a single pane in a yardlamp)
storage shed- severely damaged
window screens that need to be replaced- 2

Turns out that an F1 tornado hit the eastern part of Travis County. Our damage is minimal compared to those who lost homes. We were lucky.

If anybody knows of a quality, reputable roofer in the Austin, I'd appreciate a name and number.


Wednesday, March 30

Fall classes 

Well, I submitted my Wish List for Fall classes. Many thanks to those who supplied valuable advice (no, not you Wordsure). I'll let y'all know what my lucky draw got me in a couple of weeks.


Monday, March 28

Oral Skillz 

I argued my case this morning for my Brief Writing & Oral Advocacy class. Twice.

With the brief turned in last week and this oral argument this morning, I am now officially finished with that class. IF I make the moot court tourney this weekend, well, that'll be gravy. But for now I'm happy to be done. One down and four more classes to go.

About this oral argument...

This oral argument is the required argument for the class (10% of the overall grade) and also the 'audition' for the Moot Court tourney that will take place this weekend. It's just the student and the prof, who plays the part of a judge (justice). Oh, and a bailiff to keep track of time. Astrosfan was kind enough to sit through my argument as bailiff. Twice.

I was the first in my class to argue. Seems like everyone else signed up to argue on Weds and Thurs. I was more than happy to set the tone, er, bar for everyone else.

The instructions said we were to argue the position for which we wrote. However, there was a slight snag when I approached the bench-I was instructed to argue for the Appellant. Not that big a deal, really, except that my brief was written and I had prepared to argue for the Appellee.
I did the best I could, but during the evaluation afterwards, the prof and I realized I was given the wrong side to argue. So she let me argue again, this time for the Appellee.

I'd like to say I did ten times better the second time, but who would I be trying to kid?

Anyhow, the time flew by (both times) and it was a lot of fun. I'd like to make the cut for the tourney, but I know my brief leaves a lot to be desired and based on my do-over, I'd be surprised if I'm selected. I'm not pessimistic, just realistic.

I'll let y'all know how things shake out later this week.


Sunday, March 27

Your input is requested 

Attention current and former law students:

Early registration for the Fall semester begins tomorrow morning at 8 a.m. Actually, we can submit our Wish List starting at 8 tomorrow morning, but we won't know into which classes the sorting hat places us until a couple of weeks from now.

What I'm lookin' fer from y'all is advice on how to select classes (Bar classes vs. Those-classes-that-interest-me classes), classes themselves, professors themselves. Any particular subject(s) you found interesting or hated?

Also, I've been told the Fall semester of 2L is pretty hectic and stressful because of OCI and all the interviewing. Is this true? Should I consider taking a lighter load? Should I not worry about it?

Any and all words of wisdom will be appreciated.



A freakishly fast moving storm tore through Austin Friday night. Wind gusts up to 50 mph, marble to golf ball sized hail. And lots of rain. It hit and was over in less than 30-45 mins.

The sound of hail hitting the roof (and damaging it I'm sure- we have a call into our insurance guy; neighbors tell me they've been here ~30 years and they've never bought a new roof because a hail storm comes through about every 12 years or so and the insurance company pays for a new roof) scared the hell outta Perro de Coob. She was shaking and her heart was racing. It took a while for her to calm down after the storm passed.

Many trees in the 'hood have been damaged. Even our huge Magnolia tree in my front yard. Poor thing. I'll be surprised if it blooms at all this year after that storm. It lost so many leaves...many blown off, many more ripped off by hail. The whole front yard was covered with leaves, couldn't even see ANY grass. I spent a good part of Sat moring raking up wet leaves, ultimately filling seven bags.


You say it's your Birthday... 

My 'lil sis turned 21 this past Friday.

Not sure how much I've written about Sista Coob. She's already a senior at Texas majoring in Psychology. She's ten times smarter than I and will be graduating a semester early next year. She could have finsihed even earlier, but it seems she has that lazy Coob gene that prevents her from excelling too much. She hated living in the dorms her freshman year and didn't want to continue living with her roommate in an apartment the next year. Mrs. Coob and I had bought our house and had plenty of space including two extra rooms. We suggested she live with us and she accepted. She and I were not close when I was growing up. We're separated by about ten years. When I was in high school, she was elementary school. I was active in many groups in high school, plus I worked, and it seems like I always had a steady girlfriend, so I was never around the house much. Plus, we were just too far apart in years back then to be close (same for my gansta bro).

Anyhow, since she moved in with us, we've become much closer- more like how a brother and sister should be. The age difference isn't a big deal anymore. It's be nuthin' but fun to have her around.

Anyhow, Mama Coob drove up to spend the day with her (us), which was nice. Seems like the only time Mama Coob comes to Austin is for Sista Coob's birthday, which as you can imagine isn't all that often...but can you tell that Sista Coob is the favorite? Must be because she's the only girl AND the youngest.

Anyhow, now Sista Coob can drink legally with us. Once- a couple of months ago- Mrs. Coob, Sista Coob and some of Mrs. Coob's friends were at a local restaurant- drinking. Since Sista Coob lives with us, our address is on her drivers license. And since Mrs. Coob took my last name, they both have the same last name on their drivers license. When the waitress took the first drink order, Mrs. Coob informed her that Sista Coob was her STEP-DAUGHTER (thus that whole parent/guardian thing consenting to give alcohol to a minor). Evidently the restaurant didn't have its own policy on the issue. The waitress was not convinced and asked for some ID (from both), which showed the same last name and the same address. Mrs. Coob told her that I, Mr. Coob, was her (Sista Coob's) father and away on business, but that I had left my wife, Sista Coob's mother in this hypo, and married her (the real Mrs. Coob). Not all too uncommon I suppose. The point is: no more crazy lies to enjoy the nector of the gods.


Friday, March 25

Friday Spies © 

While I didn't get the memo, er, email, here it is...courtesy of BTQ:

1. What blog, other than your own, do you read the most?
Probably The Corner

2. Are you a gadget person? Do you have the latest thingamajigs and whoozits and geegaws? What sort of gadgets do you own?
Nope. I still can’t pull the trigger and buy an iPod, and I’ve been thinking about buying one for months now. In fact, I was in the local Apple Store yesterday looking at them. I just feel like I don’t deserve one.

3. If I gave you $1000 on the condition that you couldn't spend it on something responsible (e.g., bills), or save it, what would you do with the money? (Can you tell that a Democrat is asking that question?)
If I can’t be responsible, then I’d blow it on stuff for me, family and friends. Things like: food, drinks, movies (theater, rentals and dvds), music (cds), etc.

4. What are your five favorite sitcoms of all time, other than "Seinfeld" and "The Simpsons"?
Cheers. Three's Company. Everybody Loves Raymond (my mother in law really is just like Marie, Raymond’s mother. I have her number programmed into my cell under ‘Marie’). Scrubs is funny. Sports Night (when it was on).

5. Organize a film festival based on a theme. Choose a theme and a handful of movies with that theme, and tell us what you've chosen.

Theme: The Boys of Summer

The Movies:
Bang the Drum Slowly- personal reasons- he had the same cancer I did.
Bull Durham
Field of Dreams
- that whole father-son thing.
The Rookie- who wouldn't want to play in the Big Leagues?
The Sandlot- kids playing ball, isn't this what it's all about?
Bad News Bears in Breaking Training- they in the Astrodome!!!
Eight Men Out
For Love of the Game


Thursday, March 24

Live from The Backyard 

No, not that Backyard. MY backyard.

I finally put together my hammock stand and hooked up the hammock. I blog to you live from the backyard of the Casa de Coob.

This could be dangerous. I may never go to class again.

Perro de Coob is chasing squirrels. There's a slight breeze. The sun's setting. 8 1/2 Souvenirs is playing on the patio speakers. Cold beer nearby. Life is good.


Wednesday, March 23

The End 

No, it's not the end of this blog, although I bet some of you wish it were so.

I finally finished The Brief. With 12 words to spare no less.

Time for a glass of chilled Belvedere.

Good night, folks. See y'all in the a.m.


Tuesday, March 22

Still here... 

Just busy as heck working on The Brief That Sucks. I wasn't able to get down to work on it until yesterday. Seems like my mind's still on Hawaiian Time and doesn't want to even think about legal stuff, much less write an appellate brief.

I'm getting close to the finish line...closer today than yesterday anyhow. I'm hoping/planning/praying to be finished with the rough draft by this evening (would say I'm about 60.378% complete right now). It'll leave only one day for edits and clean up, but I guess that's better than zero days for that stuff.

Anyhow, I'll catch up with y'all after I turn in this bad boy (on Thursday).


Saturday, March 19

Aloha!! Part II 

Aloha, y'all.

Mrs. Coob and I are back in Austin. Safe and somewhat sound.

We had a great trip.

The weather cleared up for us during the second half of the trip.

Our boat dive at Molokini crater went on as planned. This was my first true open water dive. A.W.E.S.O.M.E. First, just being in clear water was so cool. I told y'all earlier that it's whale season in Hawaii, right? Well, we were able to listen them communicate during our dive. It was incredible. During the second dive we saw a shark. Mrs. Coob keeps telling people it was the biggest shark she's ever seen. What she fails to tell people is that it's also the only shark she's ever seen. Still, it was pretty effing cool to see it.

Later that night we went to a luau, which was pretty cool. The next day we watched the sun rise from the top of Haleakala, a volcano on the island (and highest point on the island- over 10,000 feet), and then rode a bicycle from the top of the mountain to the beach- from summit to sea. A friend had told us to do this and we're lucky we listened to him. It was quite an experience. On Friday, our last day, we took a helicoptor tour of the island. Over 70% of the island can only been seen by air. Waterfalls, deep valleys, lush forests, etc. It was way cool.

Anyhow, that about sums up the trip.

Any questions?


Friday Spies © 

Better late than never I suppose...here's the latest installment of Friday Spies.

1. Who is an author whose work you've never read, but want to?
Am drawing a blank right now. Usually if I hear or read about an author that sounds interesting, then I'll just go out and get a copy of something.

2. Can men and women be friends?
Sure. Friends with or without benefits.

3. If you could choose to live in a different time period, would you? If so, when would live and why?
Dunno. Good question. Need more info, like: would I get to keep my current smarts? could I take Mrs. Coob with me? To which station in society would I belong? To which race would I belong? What would be my ethnicity? Would I be rich or poor? Royal or piss boy? Healthy or sick? Could I come back once I had my fill of whichever time period I choose?
If I go back as I am now, then no. I would not. Although I love history (twas my major), I just couldn't do it...especially if I go as is, for a number of reasons. Now, if I could change some factors, then maybe I'd do it.
But here are some eras I think would be fun to observe and participate in:
Medieval Europe
Texas, 1880s
Texas, 1730s
Texas, 1836
17th and 18th Caribbean, as a pirate
Rome, the Republic not the Empire

4. Have you ever sold anything, bought anything, or processed anything as a career? Have you ever sold anything bought or processed, orbought anything sold or processed, or repaired anything sold, bought,or processed, as a career?
Does working in fast food restaurants count as a 'career', maybe a shortened career? If so, then yes. I mean, it's all processed- cheese, meat, bread, etc. If not, then no.
But lately I've been looking in Kickboxing. Ever heard of it? Sport of the future...

5. They're going to make a movie about your life. What's the theme song?
Easy: Life's Been Good by Joe Walsh

I like this last question. A few years back, a friend circulated an email that was similar to this last question. Basically it said you had to pick 15 songs as a soundtrack to your life up to that point in time. It was fun to see which songs others picked. Come Christmas time that year, we each got a cd in the mail. On this cd were the songs we picked. It was a pretty awesome (and thoughtful) gift. For giggles here's the songs on my cd:

Scar Tissue- RHChili Peppers
Changes in Lattitude, Changes in Attitude- Jimmy Buffett
Southern Cross- CS&N
Suspicious Minds- Elvis
Peace of Mind- Boston
New World Symphony- Dvorak
Amazing Grace
The Cowboy Rides Away- George Strait
Redemption Song- Bob Marley
Satisfied- Ian Moore
Do You Right- 311
Know What You Mean- Sister 7
One Particular Harbor- Jimmy Buffett
D'yer Mak'er- Led Zeppelin
Life's Been Good- Joe Walsh


Tuesday, March 15


Aloha, amigos.

Just checking in...

Maui's great. We're having a great time, despite some weather issues. Seems like an unseasonal low pressure is hanging around bringing down cold WIND from the north, making for choppy, rough surf. It's been so bad, our check out dive yesterday was canceled. And today's boat dive was canceled as well. We were, however, able to get our certification dives in this morning. But, I'll be honest- it sucked ass. The instructor said it was The Worst check out dive he's ever done and commended Mrs. Coob and I for hanging in there. It was pretty bad...very low visibility, STRONG currents.

Lucky for us though, that low pressure is moving out rapidly (like, the sun's out and it's awesome right now, as opposed to the monsoon that swept through as we were getting dressed and equipped (sp?) this morning) which means that we'll at least be able to do our dive out on Molokini tomorrow (Weds).

Mrs. Coob and I have taken advantage of the crummy dive situations by exploring the island. We toured a winery yesterday that makes a pineapple sparkling wine. Pretty freaking good stuff. We bought a few bottles and are shipping them home.

Turns out it's whale watching season on Maui. From our balcony we can see some blowing their...blowholes? Is that right?

Food's been fantastic. I think I've gained about 10 lbs a day so far.

And for those wondering about that brief...well, I got VERY little work done on it during the flight over. And I seriously doubt I'll even think about it again until we land back in Houston on Sat. And that's the way it should be.

Gotta jet. Mrs. Coob and I are headed out to do some more shopping.


Saturday, March 12

Spring Break 

Remember when MTV used to have its week long broadcast from Ft. Lauderdale, FL? Like in the mid to late 80's? And they'd take their shows, like Remote Control, on the road? And Metal music blared from each passing car? And all those B movies about Spring Break were made. Good times.

Anyhow, Spring Break is officially here. I guess this means I've completed about 3/4 th of 1L. I remember a year ago while at work I 'discovered' that one of the perks of going back to school would be getting Spring Break again. Well, it's here, baby!!

Mrs. Coob and I are headed to Hawaii tomorrow. We'll be on Maui for the week. We'll spend three days diving (of which the first day will be for our open water certification dives). The remaining days will be spent sightseeing.

Anyhow, I'll have the Trusty Laptop with me, and I've found some Wi-Fi hotspots on Maui, so I'll try and get a post or two in while I'm there. And if I can figure out how to post pics, I'll do that too.


Friday, March 11

Friday Spies 

Per Milbarge's request, heeeeeeeeere's your Friday Five:

1. Tell me what's in your desk drawers right now.
As a lowly 1L I have no job. No job equals no desk. No desk equals no desk drawers. My desk here at home doesn't have drawers. I am desk drawerless.

2. How many states have you visited or lived in, and which of the
others do you most want to visit?

create your own personalized map of the USA

(Thanks, Soupie)

I'll be adding Hawaii on Sunday. Of the other states, the one I'd like to visit most is New York. I've never been to The Big Apple and would like to visit it at least once. Plus, Mrs. Coob is originally from Buffalo and I'd like to go there with her dad and get the grand tour. And also place all the locations from Russert's book.

3. What was the last cd you purchased, and what was the last movie you
rented/bought a ticket to?
Last cd purchased was the soundtrack for the movie Ray. That was for Mrs. Coob.
I think the last one I bought for me was Stryper's greatest hits or something like that.
Forgot about the movie part. The last movie we saw at a theater was Britney's Crossroads at Alamo Drafthouse. It was a Mr. Sinus 3000 show (like Mystery Science). I think I blogged about it...not sure. Too lazy to check.

4. Have you ever sung karaoke? If not, what song would you be willing
to sing in front of people?
Yes...many times. George Strait, Jimmy Buffett, and Tammy Wynette once (Stand By Your Man, just like Jake and Elwood).

5. What was the best concert you've ever attended, either because of
the performance or because it was otherwise memorable?
This one's tough. Living in the "Live Music Capital of the World" I've seen lots of great shows. I'll cheat. I think the top five, in no particular order, would be:
Willie Nelson at The Backyard (they've all been great)
311 at Liberty Lunch ('94 or '95)
Charlie Robison at Stubbs ('00)
Jimmy Buffett at Southpark Meadows ('96, by far my fav Buffett show)
Robert Plant at the Woodlands ('93)

Question: anyone else having issues with Blogger? I can't link, use italics, spell check, preview, etc.



How do I get myself into these messes?

Spring Break officially begins after Torts today. And y'all know Mrs. Coob and I are headed away for a dive trip. We leave on Sunday and come back next Saturday. But before we leave, Mrs. Coob is hosting a baby shower for one of her best good friends. After this shower tomorrow (Sat), we drive to Houston so that we can easily catch our flight Sun morning.

Anyhow, I was kinda counting on this trip to forget about law school for a while. The original plan was to not take any legal books. Just kick back and relax. I'm up to speed in all my classes, so why ruin a perfectly good vacation, right?

What's that old saying about the best laid plans of mice and men?

Well, turns out the appellate brief I need to write is due the week after we return from Spring Break and not the following week, as I had original thought. What does this mean for Coob, who has yet to even begin his research for said brief? That's right...law books are a'comin' on the trip (at least one). And I'll spend practically all of today and a huge chunk of tomorrow researching and saving cases to the Trusty Laptop. And the 8 hour flights I was counting on to catch up on non-legal reading? Gone. Instead I'll be working on the brief. Hopefully if I work on the plane then I can avoid working when we're at our destination. That's the new plan anyhow.

Why stress about this brief? Well, for starters it accounts for 80% of the grade in the class (the oral argument is 10% and class participation is the other 10%). Second, this is the brief that's used to determine who can compete in the Moot Court competition the first weekend in April. And this is something I really want to do. For a number of reasons.

Wonder twin powers, activate. Form of a legal pad, shape of a 1L.
Thunder, thunder, thundercats! Ho!!!!!!

(insert your own 'toon rally cry here or in the comments)


Wednesday, March 9

A new season begins 

The IM Softball season kicked off for our team today. We won our first game 5-4.

I shoulda known things were going to go our way when one of my teammates/classmates pulls into the parking with a keg in his truck. It was on.

Seems like we're quite the athletic group, despite our piss poor flag football record, for which I accept full blame since I was the coach and all. But since the end of flag football, our basketball team is undefeated and has a first round bye in the playoffs. Our group won the first annual Student-Faculty Dodgeball Tournament. And now we've started off softball with a 'W' and we weren't even full strength. Don't even get me started on the Beer Pong skills or Putt Putt skills of our group.

If only we'd put as much effort into school...


Tuesday, March 8

Four eyes no mo' 

Most of y'all don't know this, but I have vision issues. I need corrective lenses or else I can't drive. Or see clearly.

Until last week I wore glasses. And then I got with the 20th century and got contact lenses (it's nice not wearing glasses anymore).

Today, however, made me want my glasses back. So I'm sitting in Brief Writing & Oral Advocacy...my right eye's giving me fits. Can't quite figure out what's going on, I only know that it's starting to hurt...badly. It gets to the point where I can't stand the pain anymore and I leap from my seat and make a bee line towards to the door. Out the door and to the little boy's room. It takes me a few minutes, but I finally figure out that my contact had moved into a different position (that explains why I can't see). And then I fixed it.

Moral of the story: I can't stand pain. Especially pain in my eye.

Maybe in the near future I'll join the 21st century and get that lasik thingymajig.


Monday, March 7


Done. Finally.

So much time and effort spent on a legal memo for LRW and the damned thing isn't even for a grade. Someone shoot me. Please.


Friday, March 4


Wow, I wonder what this guy is doing now...

Here is a link to another blog that has an audio clip of an appellate argument (~3 mins). I think my favorite part is where he just walks out...an instant classic!!!

Hat tip: Adam


Baseball: Cubs, Horns, and others 

The Cubs won their spring training opening game yesterday, 2-1.

The Horns are in Arizona this weekend.

And in Round Round, the College Classic is taking place. Rice, Nebraska, Texas A&M, Texas St., USC, and Notre Dame will all be in town. I wish I didn't have so much work to do this weekend. I'd love to spend ALL DAY Sat and Sun out there. We'll see if I can get out there for at least a game or two.


It's like they're talking directly to me 

I think the library staff is trying to tell me something. Seems like the past couple of weeks there’s been a small sign in the carrel at which I normally sit and read. The sign reads:
Please refrain from eating in the Library.
Enjoy beverages in spill-proof containers.

It’s that last line that I think is targeted towards me. How do they know my coffee cup is not in a spill-proof container? Do they have a spy in here? Do they watch me buy the coffee from the coffee stand in the atrium?

The Man must be trying to keep 1Ls down. Big Brother is indeed watching.


Thursday, March 3

Class of '08 

No, I'm not sticking around another year. I'm still in the Class of '07, as far as I know.

A good friend of mine received his acceptance letter from Texas Law School yesterday. Which is way cool, because now I'll have someone to carry my books for me the next couple of years.


Wednesday, March 2

God Bless Texas! 

Today is Texas Independence Day. If you need a primer on Texas history, then click here. And then enjoy a cold Shiner or Lone Star.

Below is text from an email I received a couple years back. Thought I'd share it with y'all today.

by Bum Phillips

Dear Friends,

Last year, I wrote a small piece about what it means to me to be aTexan. My friends know it means about damned near everything. Anyway, this fella asked me to reprint what I'd wrote and I didn't have it. So I set out to think about rewriting something. I considered writing about all the great things I love about Texas. There are way too many things to list. I can't even begin to do it justice.

Lemme let you in on my short list.

It starts with The Window at Big Bend, which in and of itself is proof of God. It goes to Lake Sam Rayburn where my Grandad taught me more about life than fishin, and enough about fishin to last a lifetime. I can talk about Tyler, andLongview, and Odessa and Cisco, and Abilene and Poteet and every place in between.

Every little part of Texas feels special. Every person who ever flew the Lone Star thinks of Bandera or Victoria or Manor or wherever they call "home" as the best little part of the best state.

So I got to thinkin about it, and here's what I really want to say.

Last year, I talked about all the great places and great heroes who make Texas what it is. I talked about Willie and Waylon and Michael Dell and Michael DeBakey and my Dad andLBJ and Denton Cooley. I talked about everybody that came to mind. It took me sitting here tonight reading this stack of emails and thinkin about whereI've been and what I've done since the last time I wrote on this occasion to remind me what it is about Texas that is really great.

You see, this last month or so I finally went to Europe for the first time. I hadn't ever been, and didn't too much want to. But you know all my damned friends are always talking about "the time they went to Europe." So, I finally went. It was a hell of a trip to be sure. All they did when they saw me was say the same thing, before they'd ever met me. "Hey cowboy, we love Texas." I guess the hat tipped em off.

But let me tell you what, they all came up with a smile on their faces. You know why? They knew for damned sure that I was gonna be nice to em.They knew it cause they knew I was from Texas. They knew something that hadn't even hit me. They knew Texans, even though they'd never met one.

That's when it occurred to me. Do you know what is great about Texas? Do you know why when my friend Beverly and I were trekking across country to see 15 baseball games we got sick and had to come home after 8? Do you know whyevery time I cross the border I say, "Lord, please don't let me die in_____"? Do you know why children in Japan can look at a picture of the great State and know exactly what it is about the same time they can tell a rhombus from a trapezoid?

I can tell you that right quick. You.

The samespirit that made 186 men cross that line in the sand in San Antonio damned near 165 years ago is still in you today. Why else would my friend send me William Barrett Travis' plea for help in an email just a week ago, or why would Charles Stanfield ask me to reprint a Texas Independence column from a year ago? What would make my friend Elizabeth say, "I don't know if I can marry a man who doesn't love Texas like I do?" Why in the hell are 1,000 people coming to my house this weekend to celebrate a holiday for what usedto be a nation that is now a state?

Because the spirit that made that nation is the spirit that burned in every person who founded this great place we call Texas, and they passed it on through blood or sweat to everyone of us.

You see, that spirit that made Texas what it is is alive in all of us, even if we can't stand next to a cannon to prove it, and it's our responsibility to keep that fire burning. Every person who ever put a"Native Texan" or an "I wasn't born in Texas but I got here as fast as Icould" sticker on his car understands.

Anyone who ever hung a map of Texas on their wall or flew a Lone Star flag on their porch knows what I mean. My Dad's buddy Bill has an old saying. He says that some people were forged of a hotter fire. Well, that's what it is to be Texan. To be forged of a hotter fire. To know that part of Colorado was Texas. That part of New Mexico was Texas. That part of Oklahoma was Texas. Yep. Talk all you want. Part of what you got was what we gave you. To look at a picture of Idaho or Istanbul and say, "what the Hell is that?" when you know that anyone in Idaho or Istanbul who sees a picture of Texas knows damned good and well what it is. It isn't the shape, it isn't the state, it's the state of mind.

You're what makes Texas. The fact that you would take 15 minutes out of your day to read this, because that's what Texas means to you, that's what makes Texas what it is. The fact that when you see the guy in front of you litter you honk and think, "Sonofabitch. Littering on MY highway."

When was the last time you went to a person's house in New York and you saw a big map of New York on their wall? That was never. When did you ever drive through Oklahoma and see their flag waving on four businesses in a row? Can you even tell me what the flag in Louisiana looks like? I damned sure can't. But I bet my ass you can't drive 20 minutes from your house and not see a business that has a big Texas flag as part of its logo. If you haven't done business with someone called AllTex something or Lone Star somebody or other, or Texas such and such, you hadn't lived here for too long.

When you ask a man from New York what he is, he'll say a stockbroker, or an accountant, or an ad exec. When you ask a woman from California what she is, she'll tell you her last name or her major. Hell either of em might say"I'm a republican," or they might be a democrat. When you ask a Texan what they are, before they say, "I'm a Methodist," or "I'm a lawyer," or "I'm a Smith," they tell you they're a Texan.

I got nothin against all those other places, and Lord knows they've probably got some fine folks, but in your gut you know it just like I do, Texas is just a little different.

So tomorrow when you drive down the road and you see a person broken down on the side of the road, stop and help. When you are in a bar in California, buy a Californian a drink and tell him it's for Texas Independence Day. Remind the person in the cube next to you that he wouldn't be here enjoying this if it weren't for Sam Houston, and if he or she doesn't know the story, tell them.

When William Barrettt Travis wrote in 1836 that he would never surrender and he would have Victory or Death, what he was really saying was that he and his men were forged of a hotter fire. They weren't your average everyday men. Well, that is what it means to be a Texan. It meant it then, and that's why it means it today. It means just what all those people North of the Red River accuse us of thinking it means. It means there's no mountain that we can't climb. It means that we can swim the Gulf in the winter. It means that Earl Campbell ran harder and Houston is bigger and Dallas is richer and Alpine is hotter and Stevie Ray was smoother and God vacations inTexas. It means that come Hell or high water, when the chips are down and the Good Lord is watching, we're Texans by damned, and just like in 1836, that counts for something.

So for today at least, when your chance comes around, go out and prove it. It's true because we believe it's true. If you are sitting wondering what the Hell I'm talking about, this ain't for you. But if the first thing you are going to do when the Good Lord calls your number is find the men who sat in that tiny mission in San Antonio and shake their hands, then you're the reason I wrote this night, and this is for you.

So until next time you hear from me, God Bless and Happy Texas Independence Day.


Tuesday, March 1


Calm down, I'm still here.

I told y'all last week I was sick. And this past weekend was the SCUBA training that Mrs. Coob and I had to do. 8 hours of classroom and 10 hours of pool work. All that's left now is for us to do our check-out dives at our destination and we'll be officially certified.

School's fine...trying to play catch up from being out of commission a couple of days last week.

Anyhow, not much new is going on.

See you cats later.


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