According to news reports, the FutureGen project is on the cusp of being placed in the Jewett area. Click for article. There will be $1,000,000.00 invested in this joint venture of the Department of Energy and private enterprise, with the result being an emissions-free coal-fired power plant. The three counties expected to be most impacted are Leon, Freestone, and Limestone. These counties (of which Kosse is a part) have a total population of 57,466 people according to a 2004 census estimate. If a billion dollars is indeed invested, this will represent an investment of $17,401.00 per resident. The per capita personal income in Limestone County is $21,045.00, so this represents a huge amount. I do not know what the impact on Kosse itself will be as Jewett is 34 miles from here.
I heard a gentleman offer a counter-opinion about the projected growth of Kosse. He is fearful the small-town flavor of Kosse will be forever changed. Personally I feel as if the growth will be a positive.
Reading the news tonight I came across the story about Mel Gibson's arrest Friday for driving while intoxicated. Sounds like he is not a big supporter of the Jews. Click for article.
I saw where the recent drought in large portions of the United States will be causing a dramatic rise in the cost of certain types of produce. I remember a couple of years ago when tomatoes rose to a wholesale cost of over $2.00 per pound. Many restaurants, including the Kosse Cafe, chose to temporarily remove them versus raising prices. I don't remember the cause for that increase (probably another drought). The prices came back down in a few weeks as imported produce begin arriving in larger numbers to America, and tomatoes returned to the Kosse Cafe salad bar.
I got my hair cut yesterday at the newly-opened Bushwhackers Family Hair Salon in Kosse. Karen and Tim Partin did a great job on the building and inside decor. It has a rustic motif and is a perfect fit for Kosse. It even has a bovine skull to enjoy as you are being shorn. Plus the quality of the haircut by Gayle Pennington was good and the price was reasonable. I gave up long ago thinking anything beyond a bag over my head would dramatically improve my appearance, but I do appreciate a skilled stylist versus someone who has the skills of a Comanche warrior/scalper. Anyway, the Kosse Blog gives Bushwhackers a five-star rating and I have found my new cosmetologist.
I can now stop complaining about my lack of high-speed internet service in Kosse. Last week I had Hughes Net install the professional business version of their satellite internet service. While it wasn't cheap, the productivity gain will pay for it very quickly. It consistently has an internet connection speed of between 800-1100 k.p.s. (16-22 times as fast as dial-up) and downloads at a rate 35-40 times as fast as dial-up.
I saw where Cindy Sheehan is planning to move to Crawford. She wants a permanent place where she and fellow protestors can go to demonstrate against President Bush, so they bought five acres. The headline states the locals are not amused. Click for article. I once checked into Crawford as a possible location for a Pizza Pro. The real estate market had a major Bush Premium. The prices were triple the usual value for a town of 700 so I passed.
There is an article on the front page of this week's Groesbeck Journal in which Sheriff Dennis Wilson is asking not to call 911 to report loose livestock on the roads. Sounds like an appropriate request. What is disturbing however was the final sentence of the article: "...doing so on the regular land line of the Sheriff's office might save someone's life by keeping the 911 line open." The implication is that only one 911 call can be taken at any particular moment. Since this is a county-wide situation, does that mean if someone is having an emergency in Coolidge at the same time someone from Kosse is trying to call 911 that they will receive a busy signal or no assistance? Are there not at least two phone lines and someone at the Sheriff's office who could answer a simultaneous emergency call? What would happen if a catastrophe such as a tornado in one of the larger towns was to happen and there were twenty 911 calls coming in at once?
The Groesbeck schools begin classes on Wednesday, August 16. They are advertising for bus drivers. When I was in college I drove a school bus for a couple of years. I was driving for Huntsville I.S.D. and a stop on one of my bus routes was at the Ellis Unit of the prison system. This was the unit which housed Death Row and each day the bus was given a quick look-through to make sure no one was trying to escape via the Huntsville school bus. Another year I was in charge of transporting elementary school children from a particular area of Huntsville. The kids were from kindergarten to fourth grade, so I assume they ranged in age from 5-10. The area of town was the lower-income, high-crime section and these were children who had obviously been exposed to the seamier side of life. Some of them would fight with little or no provocation, and the fights would be ferocious. They would immediately start hitting each other in the face with closed fists, and the pummelling would continue until they were physically separated. I found it all quite strange although it did prepare me for what lay in store at Houston I.S.D.
Looks like Kosse missed the rain. Not good. 100-degree temperatures return as we head into August. I remember during the hot, dry months my grandmother saying it would take a hurricane to break the drought. While there is logic in the statement I doubt the Gulf Coast Texans would be hoping for such a remedy. My mother was caught in last year's twenty-seven hour exodus from Hurricane Rita and her health never has recovered.
I read that Saddam Hussein has been on a hunger strike and had to be hospitalized. Click here for article. Events are so hot at the moment in the middle east that Saddam has become almost irrelevant. Certainly a change from three years ago. Another forgotten former dictator removed by American forces was Manuel Noriega of Panama in 1989. He now sits in a Florida prison on drug charges. Click for further information.
A new section being added to this website is entitled Americana. It deals with American cultural history. I just started working on it last night so there is not a lot on it yet. I hope to expand it dramatically over the next week. Click here for Americana section.
I found a website which gives all kinds of demographic information on Kosse. Click for website. The population of Kosse has gone from 497 in the year 2000 to an estimated 517 in 2005 for a 4% net increase. The median age in Kosse is 36.4 years and there are more females than males. It's an interesting and informative site.
Only five months until Christmas. I read that Death Valley, California has had highs of 120 degrees or higher for the past four days. I looked their forecast up and over the next ten days their predicted high temperatures are between 111-121 degrees. Click to read Death Valley, California forecast. No wonder California is suffering power outages due to excessive demand.
According to government reports, gasoline consumption has not decreased despite record pump prices. I can attest that the number of out-of-towners stopping at the Kosse Cafe has not been noticeably affected. I heard a pundit tonight suggesting we ride bicycles if feasible. This is a good idea but it is not feasible for most of us in this area. At the very least I go from Bremond to Kosse each day and can only imagine trying to pedal those twenty miles with my expanse on a bicycle seat. Talk about needing Deep Heat.
Kosse has a lot of good kids. I saw Stephanie Lockhart, Tobie Taylor, and Brittany Sellers at the cafe the other day and told Stacy we had found our next generation of waitresses. Tobie is already the official photographer of the Kosse Courier. She told me she has a new batch of photos for the Kosse Courier photo gallery. I'll post them within the next few days. Click here for gallery.
I ran across a website about the WWII German POW camp near Hearne. I knew of its existence but had never researched it. The place was appropriately called Camp Hearne. Click here for website. Here is the information written on the historical marker of Camp Hearne. It is quite interesting.
" During the Second World War, allied troops captured large numbers of Axis soldiers and transported them to prisoner of war camps established throughout the United States. More than 70 camps in Texas housed some 50,000 prisoners. In March 1942, Hearne Chamber of Commerce President Roy Henry contacted Congressman Luther Johnson to request that a camp be located here. Within a month, U.S. Army staff had inspected the area and selected 720 acres as a prison site. Construction of the camp began in September 1942 and was completed in six months. It was laid out in three sections, each of which included a mess hall, lavatory, company office and eight barracks. The first of almost 5,000 prisoners of war (POWs) arrived in June 1943. Most of the POWs housed here were non-commissioned officers (NCOs) of the famed German Afrika Korps captured in Tunisia. Because NCOs were not required to work in prison camps according to the Geneva Convention, they spent most of their time in recreational and educational activities while the bulk of the work in the camp fell to enlisted men who comprised about twenty percent of the prison population. In 1944, Camp Hearne became the central mail distribution point for all German POWs in the U.S., but poor supervision allowed a small group of Nazi sympathizers to infiltrate the system and intimidate and terrorize both prisoners and their families back in Germany until the scheme was discovered and the operation shut down in July 1945. A few hundred Japanese prisoners were brought here in the summer of 1945 shortly before the end of the War. All POWs were gone and the camp closed by January 1946."
It's nice to see so many new business ventures arrive in Kosse lately. I've always enjoyed the world of business, beginning with my first yard-mowing business at the age of eleven. My brother John and I had about ten yards we kept up. This was before weedeaters and $3.00 a gallon gasoline and we would charge $3.00-$4.00 per yard. A most happy moment for our landscaping business came when our father bought a self-propelled mower. It made it much easier to traverse the hills of the Lake Jackson estates than with the push mower.
Another happy moment for the Rasco household was when my father finally decided to buy a color television in the early 70's. We were among the last in our neighborhood to experience the excitement of seeing Gomer Pyle in color in our own living room. The reason we were the last to have a color television is that a few years earlier my father got a great deal on a closeout black-and-white 22" console television/stereo at Jack Reid's Appliance. The reason he got such a great deal was because everyone else was buying color televisions and Jack Reid was stuck with the one my father purchased. I will have to say I enjoyed the stereo portion of the console. There was nothing better than stacking six 33 1/3 r.p.m. records on the automatic changer and enjoying two hours of Woodstock-era rock and roll. Of course my father would inevitably come in the room within five minutes to tell me to "turn that racket down."
Talked to a gentleman who is in the area working for Schlumberger, a huge international oilfield services company. He told me he and his wife are going to be moving permanently to Kosse. He said his wife is currently managing a restaurant where they now reside. I was hoping she would talk to Stacy about working at the cafe but he said she is retiring. It is a good reflection on Kosse when people come here to work and decide to stay.
I saw a commercial while ago advertising a product called Singing Coach. It is a software program guaranteed to improve your singing ability for the low price of $99.99. They show three before and after examples of singers who have used the program. One example is a man singing "America the Beautiful". The before version would make a deaf dog start howling. The after version would make Luciano Pavarotti proud. In my opinion, the most grating commercial currently running is "Head On: Apply Directly to the Forehead". Of course it did accomplish the purpose of me remembering the product.
Rain is forecast over the weekend. The weather bureaus are describing it as the result of a cold front moving in. Temperatures are to be in the high-90's, which I suppose is the Texas version of a cold front in July.
Electric bills have arrived. Whoa! One utility that has plummeted in price is long-distance phone service. I remember a few years when Sprint came out with a commercial advertising their ten-cent per minute phone service. At the time, this was a breakthrough price level. Now most cellular phone plans have free night and weekend calling, and many companies offer unlimited VOIP (which requires broadband internet service) long-distance for $20-25 per month. VOIP is another reason we need high-speed internet in Kosse as we could save on phone service to help pay the electric bill.
A music library section is being added to this website. The first category of music to be posted is Classic Rock. Other genres slated to be included are country, pop, instrumental, the Motown sound, easy listening, oldies, doo-wop, big band, and rhythm and blues. I will be passing on the opportunity to post hip-hop since I do not own any at the moment and will not own any in the future. I feel like my father must have when in the early 70's he puzzled over our allure for Led Zeppelin. Click to access Music Library.