August 12, 2006

I read that former talk-show host Mike Douglas has died. Click for article.  I can remember
seeing his shows during the 60's and 70's.  He was the daytime version of Johnny Carson.  His
main rival on the daytime talk-show circuit was Merv Griffin.  I always thought they bore a  
resemblance and had a very similar interviewing style.  For those of you who remember these
two I have placed a picture of each below.  Do you know which one is Merv Griffin and which is
Mike Douglas?  











I saw Jack and Virginia Foshee at the cafe tonight. Mr. Foshee was my principal at Groesbeck
High School.  He was unlike any principal I had ever had.  He was reasonable and would
actually listen to the students.  However, you could see in his eyes that he knew if you were
giving him a line of bull.  Karl Shiflett and I once speculated it was possible he had on occasion
done the same thing to his Kosse teachers fifteen years earlier.   Mr. Foshee was soft-spoken
and always friendly.  The toughest of the students respected him, and knew better than to
cross him.  I later got to know his mother, Doris, and saw where he had gained his personality.
The Foshees are good people.

The Bremond I.S.D. has published a new dress code.  Among the new rules are "Boys may
not have earrings, straw, or any other object in their ears" and "Pajama bottoms of any kind
are not permitted."  I am just wondering if they are having a problem with boys wearing straw
and other objects in their ears and students wearing pajama bottoms to school?  Also, since it
is explicitly stated that pajama bottoms are banned, does that mean you can wear your
pajama tops?  Why did the school board simply not say pajamas?  I guess things have
changed since my matriculation in 1975.  I cannot remember a single day I considered going
to school wearing pajama bottoms and adorned with a bunch of straw in my ears.  Of course I
never was a fashion trendsetter.

Inebriation Headline of the Day:
Do Not Hire These People for Your Cross-Country Move


August 11, 2006

If anyone is in need of a sofa, there is one on the side of Highway 14 approximately one mile
south of Kosse.  You can't miss is as it is approximately 1.86 feet off of the shoulder.  It is a
beautiful stained cream color.  Hopefully it did not have a headlight and radiator embedded in
it overnight.  Antifreeze green would not go well with the stained cream hue of this fine piece of
furniture.

It is predicted to be over 100 degrees for at least the next week.  Click for forecast.  We are in
the midst of the hottest weeks of the year so this is not unexpected.  But knowledge of this
does not help my scorched fingertips each time I buckle my seat belt upon first getting in my
car.

The City of Kosse has issued an important notice involving current allowable water usage.  It
can be seen on the bottom of the Kosse Courier page.  Click for notice from City of Kosse.

The world affairs horror story of the day involves the aborted threat by some radical British
Muslims to blow up ten American-based airlines enroute from London to major east coast
cities.  The threatened airlines were United, American, and Continental.  
Click for article.  
Flyers can no longer carry on liquid-based items ranging from water to perfume.  Officials are
suggesting arriving at the airport three hours early for flights.  I am sure most travelers would
make this inconvenience trade-off for an assurance they will not be blown up across the
Atlantic.  Ryan is flying to Seattle on a Continental 757 Sunday, so it did not take long for this
latest event to affect my family.  

The walking trail at the Kosse City Park is now a reality, with restrooms, tables, and chairs
soon to follow.  This collaborative effort on the part of the City of Kosse and some of our more
progressive citizenry is a reflection of Kosse's desire to improve the quality of life in our
already unique community.  

Lovable Critter Headline of the Day:
I'll Take Two Bags of Cubes and a Large Scooper


August 8, 2006

I read a number of online newspapers each day and among them is the Jerusalem Post.  In
order to read it I had to initially sign up as a subscriber and give them my e-mail address.  As
a result I receive a weekly bulletin, which often includes solicitation offers from their partner
companies.  Nothing unusual about that, in fact it is the norm.  What I found unusual was the
offer they sent out today.  It is a contest where the prize is an expense-paid trip from New York
City to Israel.  
Click here for offer.  I'm thinking, who in their right mind would want to take a trip
to Israel at the moment?  Maybe they could throw in a one-day side trip to beautiful downtown
Baghdad.

I met a couple of women this morning who are somehow involved in trying to sell the Bassett
building next to my office.  There is a brick embedded in one of the front columns with the
inscription "Bassett" on it.  When this brick is removed there is going to be a time capsule
inside the column.  I am not sure when this building was built but I would assume in the early
1900's.  It will be interesting to see what is inside the time capsule.

I will be gone the next couple of days.  The Kosse Blog will return on Friday or Saturday.

Seafood Headline of the Day:
Thank God It Wasn't a Whale  


August 7, 2006

Among the offerings on this website is a section called "Believe It or Not".  It consists of totally
inane "Little Known Facts About the Kosse Cafe" and is obviously an attempt at low-level
satirical humor (or so I thought).  
Click here for "Believe It or Not" section.  Among the quoted
facts is the following statement:
"In order to be considered for eligibility as a Kosse Cafe
burger, a cow must have won at least two ribbons at a nationally recognized county fair."  
The
statement is accompanied by a ridiculous piece of clip art depicting the award-winning cow
and her proud owner.  Imagine my surprise upon discovering that my bovine-related fact has
been added to the "Amazing Cow Facts" website of Great Britain.  
Click here for website.  (It is
about halfway down the page.)  I feel quite honored that our prospective burger donors are
being included in this list.  Joining the Kosse Cafe's award-winning dogies on "Amazing Cow
Facts" are offerings from the Georgia Farm Bureau Agricultural Facts website, the Oakland
Education Agency's Mechanisms of Sperm Mobility website, Dr. Lorraine Day's website
featuring case studies of recoveries from Mad Cow Disease, and the GoVeg.com website for
humans opposed to devouring anything that does not have a stalk, stem, or root.

The rain finally arrived yesterday evening.  While it was not enough to inspire my beginning
construction on an ark, it was a very heavy downpour for quite a while.  For once I timed my
yard-mowing perfectly.  My landscaping engineer, Donald Porch, had just finished my yard
when the deluge began.

The Middle East is a mess at the moment.  General John Abizaid, commander of U.S. forces in
the Middle East, and General Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, testified before
the Senate Armed Services Committee last week.  They stated there is a growing possibility of
civil war in Iraq and they had not foreseen this circumstance a year ago.  According to this
week's issue of Newsweek, there is a contingency plan in place by the Bush administration if it
becomes the President's opinion that Iraq has fallen into all-out civil war.  The plan is to move
all U.S. troops out of Iraq so as to avoid being caught in the crossfire.  
Click for article.  Unlike
World War II, most American citizens are not directly affected by what former Speaker of the
House Newt Gingrich calls World War III.  Or so we may think.  The fact is the Iraq war has so
far cost over $300 billion dollars.  This represents $1000.00 for each American.  If you have a
family of four it has cost you $4000.00 (or more likely future generations who will be paying
the debt).  According to Forbes.com, there is a $25.00 per barrel "fear premium" in the price
of oil today, so we have $3.00 per gallon gasoline rather than the $2.00 it otherwise would be.
And now after all this is the growing possibility the place will become embroiled in a bloody civil
war and we will leave.  What a mess.

Media Video of the Day:
You're No Edward R. Murrow        


August 6, 2006

I read that Toyota has overtaken Ford as the second-largest auto seller in the United States
market in the most recent quarterly sales figure reports.  I saw a report on television that said
the Ford Mustang is no longer classified as an American-made vehicle because the threshold
of allowable foreign-made parts was crossed.  On the other hand, the Toyota Camry (the
biggest selling car in the U.S.) is in fact considered an American-made car because it is almost
fully-produced at the Toyota plant in Georgetown, Kentucky.  
Click for website.

Stacy informed me that an eighteen-wheeler has flattened our 30-foot outdoor light pole.  This
is the second time our pole has met this unfortunate fate.  The pole is located by the outside
dumpsters so as to provide adequate lighting for the 297 community cats who dumpster-dive
at the Kosse Cafe each night, but that's another story.  

Martial Arts Video of the Day:
Sorry About That Master Sokitome


August 5, 2006

In this week's Groesbeck Journal was an article from the District Manager for the Social
Security Administration.  She referenced the Social Security website which gives categorized
lists of the top baby names.
Click here for website.   In 2005, the top ten male names in the
United States were Jacob, Michael, Joshua, Matthew, Ethan, Andrew, Daniel, Anthony,
Christopher, and Joseph.  As you can see, the Judeo/Christian heritage of our nation is
represented in the majority of these names.  The website also has a page which lists the top
100 baby names by state.  I went to the Texas page and the list was much different.  
Click for
page.  The top ten names for males born in Texas in 2005 were Jose, Jacob, Joshua, Daniel,
Christopher, David, Angel, Juan, Michael, and Anthony.  I looked for my name and George
was not even in the top 100.  However, the Spanish derivative for George (Jorge) was ranked
as number 55.  Their lists only go back as far as the year 1960, so my birth year of 1957 was
not included.  I went to the 1960 list to see if George was on it.  It came in at number 26 and
Jorge was not in the top 100.

The annual Texas Sales Tax Holiday is ongoing through Sunday.  I would imagine Wal-Mart
and the malls are going to be quite busy.  Most of the items on the tax-free list are
apparel-related and since I never buy new clothes (why get rid of perfectly good leisure suits
and bell bottoms?)  I will be avoiding the hordes.  Another shopping day I make sure to avoid
each year is the day after Thanksgiving.  The stores open at 5:00 a.m., and a crowd of
determined consumers is inevitably crowding the front doors, waiting for that magic moment
when the doors are opened and the stampede can begin. Venturing into a voluminous variety
of veritable values, vying valiantly yet vainly for a cheap television is not among my desired
activities.

Jackpot Headline of the Day:
When They Named it Extra Money They Weren't Joking  


August 4, 2006

I went inside the Kosse bank today for the first time in a few months.  (My accounts are with
our friendly bank but I normally use their night deposit.)  It was my first up-close view of the
interior renovations that were done a few months ago.  It certainly looks professional and
secure.  Although I will have to say there was a certain charm to the old look; not as antiseptic.
While in the bank I was able to visit with Mary Brantner.  I had not seen Mary in quite a while
and we had a nice conversation.  She asked where I had been.  I told her things run smoother
at the Kosse Cafe if I stay in the background and let Stacy run the show.  Stacy is an excellent
manager and the cafe is a reflection of that.  

I received a follow-up e-mail from Mike Wheal.  I hope he does not mind its publication.  He
offers a good observation of our community.

George

Thanks for putting my comments online !  The leg will be fully healed in 6 or so months - I can
walk on it now - but running isn't really an option.  I do have a 4 inch piece of metal and 5 pins
inside me as a full time reminder of my last visit !  Hopefully the next time won't be quite so
eventful.

I'd like to thank you for the certificate - my point was 'tongue-in-cheek' as it were. I read your
blog mainly to see how life in Rani's town passes by and to see how / what people think of the
various issues that affect their lives.

The building of the mine and the power station can probably only mean growth for Kosse - but
it would be nice to think that it will still retain its friendly uniqueness.

Best wishes
Mike

No Conscience Headline of the Day:
Totally Uncool


August 3, 2006

As I wrote in yesterday's blog, the Kosse Cafe gift certificate giveaway did bring to my
attention the fact people are actually reading my daily musings.  I received an e-mail today
which brought great surprise to the widespread scope of the readership.  It was a letter from
Mike Wheal and it is self-explanatory.  

Hi George

Just a short mail to let you know how much I enjoy reading your Blog each day / post !!  Am I
one of your furthest 'readers' ?  (Central England)

How did I find it you ask ?  Well, my girlfriend lives in Kosse (Rani Lauderdale) and I have
visited Kosse several times in the last 2 years and eaten at the Cafe !  In fact, before I even
visited for the first time, I'd heard so much about life in Kosse and 'catfish night' on Friday for
Mary and John Lauderdale.

Whilst I am writing could you mention several things online for me ?

I visited Rani last Christmas and had the unfortunate experience of rolling a 4-wheeler over
myself, breaking my 'tib, fib and shattering my plateau' - well - I wanted to stay longer with
Rani, but next time I must find a less painful way of doing things...

Texan friendliness and hospitality really struck home though, the local school bus stopped to
help me as did Mr Thunderburk.  I would like to thank all concerned once again for the help
they gave me that afternoon. (before I was taken to Waco for treatment).  Also, a big thank
you to Mary and John for a) making me feel welcome and b) helping me through part of the
healing process.

But, mainly - and it would be nice to see this in print as it were, my deepest thanks to Rani for
looking after me, sleeping at my bedside in the most uncomfortable looking chair for 5+ days
and being the greatest nurse to one of the worst patients :)

I'd heard a lot of great things about Texas growing up, and my first time visiting really showed
me how, probably uniquely amongst the 'states' - its identity is so solid.  Maybe the only place
where, when someone says "have a nice day" - they actually mean it ?
---
now - a slight complaint !!

I am 6 hours ahead of you over here !  So how am I ever going to win my $10 gift voucher ?  
(which I will give to Mary, John and Rani !)  or save for myself when I visit later in the year
again !

With regards !
Mike Wheal

Mike's letter shows once again why Kosse is the little town with a big heart, and the
Lauderdales' are one of Kosse's many class-act families.  

Mike, in regards to your handicap in winning the $10.00 gift certificate-- It is true the prize was
claimed within a very short time of the blog's posting.  Therefore I am going to send Rani a gift
certificate good for two catfish dinners that you and she can use upon your next arrival to
Kosse.  I hope your injuries have healed with no permanent damage and you can return to
Kosse soon.

Pestilence Headline of the Day:
It's the Aftereffects That Are So Bothersome


August 2, 2006

The winner of the $10.00 gift certificate to the Kosse Cafe was Carlos Smith of Kosse.  I was
gratified to see that people actually do read the Kosse Blog and I am not totally wasting my
ranting and raving time.

I earlier mentioned my recent patronage of the newly-opened Bushwhackers Hair Salon under
the ownership of Tim and Karen Partin.  Tim and Karen are also the owners of Kosse Feeds.  
They have been a great asset to the growth and promotion of Kosse.  Karen is involved in just
about every civic organization I can think of and is always helpful, easy to work with, and
friendly.  There are a number of people like this in town and this is fortunate.  Kelley
McKinney-Self is another.  

The Texas Education Agency released their district ratings report yesterday so I looked up the
results for the Groesbeck I.S.D., the district which the Kosse kids attend.  Evidently there are
four categories; Exemplary, Recognized, Academically Acceptable, and Academically
Unacceptable.    The district as a whole was rated Academically Acceptable.  Out of the four
rated schools, three were rated Academically Acceptable and one (Groesbeck Elementary)
was rated Recognized.  Among the Bremond I.S.D. schools, two were Recognized and one
was Academically Acceptable.
 Click for Texas Education Agency school ratings.

Leadership Video of the Day:
Hail to the Chief


August 1, 2006

A new month arrives.  August is our hottest month, the month that school begins, and the
month of Elvis' death.  People say they always remember what they were doing when they first
heard news of significant events in America; i.e.,  the assassination of JFK, the bombing of the
Twin Towers, for some the bombing of Pearl Harbor, etc.  My hearing of Elvis' death was one
such moment in my life.  I was driving from Thornton to Groesbeck in my 1974 Chevrolet Vega
when I heard the news on the radio that day of August 16, 1977.  It was quite a shock.  
Click
for website.

I am going to try something new in today's blog.  If it gets a good response I will do it on a
regular basis.  This will only be advertised in this blog.  I will mail a $10.00 Kosse Cafe gift
certificate to the first person who e-mails me with their name and address and mentions the
free gift certificate.  Send your e-mail to georgerasco@tol-tx.com.

I see Fidel Castro has temporarily relinquished power to his brother, Raul.  
Click for article.  
The Cuban exiles in Miami are celebrating and hoping for his quick demise.  It is strange how
many of the cars are Cuba are 1950's-era American-made vehicles.  You wonder how they
have kept them running for so long.  

Matrimonial Headline of the Day:
Undoubtedly a Lifelong Union
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