September 11, 2006

Today's post will offer an opportunity to recall the day America was attacked by al-Qaeda.  
Below is a list of articles and videos describing the events of September 11, 2001.  

Article detailing the events of 9-11-2001

ABC News Real-Time Footage Part I

ABC News Real-Time Footage Part II

ABC News Real-Time Footage Part III

ABC News Real-Time Footage Part IV

September 10, 2006

The fifth anniversary of September 11, 2001 is upon us.  A common question even to this day
is what a person was doing at the time they heard about the attacks.  In my case I arrived at
my office about 9:30 a.m. and began working.  I did not have the television on so had no idea
of the developing situation.  I turned on the television at 11:00 a.m. in anticipation of catching
my daily viewing of the Andy Griffith Show on the TV Land channel.  I had been watching CNN
Headline News the previous day so this is what first appeared upon turning on the television.  
It was almost unfathomable what was being reported.  I turned to Fox News and spent the rest
of the day following the events.  My feeling of American nationalism has never been greater
than on that day.  

There has been wide media coverage of the investigative reporter in San Diego who was
beaten to a pulp by one of his investigation subjects.  The incident was fully captured on tape.
The person who attacked the reporter had an interview on MSNBC Friday night in which he
offers no regret for the assault.  
Click for video and transcript of interview.  We present, you

Song of the Day:
Alison Krauss/When You Say Nothing At All

King of the World Headline of the Day:
Sorry About That

September 9, 2006

I had a chance to visit with Mrs. Graeber last night at the cafe.  She is true class.  Her
grandson, Mike Howard, was once one of my employees at the grocery store.  At the time he
was studying to be certified as an EMT.  Mike was one of my favorite employees but he was a
nut.  He had a rapier wit and was a perpetual prankster.  The thoughts that crossed through
his mind were a source of constant amazement to me.  One Tuesday night we were at the
Lions Club meeting.  The meeting ended about the time it was getting dark outside.  I was the
hired caterer and was in the process of carrying the catering supplies to my car to take back
to the store.  I stepped out the back door of the community center and saw Mike standing
about twenty feet to my left.  The impending darkness made it difficult to see clearly, but I was
able to see what appeared to be Mike answering nature's call while standing on the grounds
of the community center.  It was not an event normally found at Lions Club gatherings so I
suggested he might wish to cease in a timely manner.  His stream of action continued
unabated and now included appropriate commentary.  After he made sure I truly believed he
was doing what he appeared to be doing, he turned around to reveal a large pitcher of water
which was providing the visual effects.  I had fallen for one of Mr. Howard's pranks once again.
Revenge was shortly forthcoming.  Mike drove a Chevy Blazer at that time which had a spare
tire mounted on the rear door.  I noticed the tire had a smooth plastic cover on it.  I called Mike
over to the Blazer and informed him his spare tire was completely bald.  This appeared to be
puzzling to him as to how a rarely-used tire could be bald.  It was totally dark by that point so
Mike could not see the black tire. I rubbed my hand across the plastic cover and invited him to
do the same so as to verify its baldness.  I soon had it in his head that someone had stolen his
spare tire and replaced it with a totally bald tire.  I finally informed him of the smooth plastic tire
cover and got to observe the same expression on his face that I think I had when he had
bamboozled me earlier that evening.

We are beginning a new Kosse Blog feature.  Joining our Headline of the Day will now be our
Song of the Day.  The inaugural tune will be my favorite song from the Pride of Pearsall,
Texas.  Enjoy.

Song of the Day:
George Strait/Blue Clear Sky

Too Much Time on His Hands Headline of the Day:
Calling Fred and Ginger                 

September 8, 2006

The Mexia I.S.D. 2006-2007 budget was approved by the school board at their most recent
meeting.  It shows a deficit of $929,788.00.  
Click for article.  While school tax receipts are  
based on property ownership rather than a per capita basis, if everyone in the Mexia district
owned an equal amount of property the per person debt for this year alone would be
approximately $1000.00.  

The Groesbeck I.S.D. is a much different story.  It will be operating on a balanced budget and
is making a debt service payment of $0.00 on $0.00 debt.  
Click for Groesbeck I.S.D.
2006-2007 budget.  It is true that G.I.S.D. has been most fortunate in recent decades in
regards to industries locating within her boundaries, but it would have been very easy for
school boards over the years to spend more than they took in, as there are always additional
needs and desires in public education.  But it sure is nice as a Groesbeck I.S.D. taxpayer to
see that $0.00 on the debt service line of the budget.   

The current Groesbeck High School building was constructed after I graduated as a Goat.  
The campus I attended is now the middle school, but at the time of my attendance it was
Groesbeck High School.  It was only one year old so was quite modern for the time.  The
students and teachers were thrilled to be in this facility as their previous building was non-air
conditioned and evidently in very poor condition.  One day some of my fellow students (who
will remain nameless) decided to add to the euphoria of the situation by planting marijuana
seeds in the planter box of the front foyer.  Needless to say, news of this cultivation effort soon
spread throughout a certain sector of the student body.  The faculty and staff were unaware
of the growing flora and soon the seeds had germinated quite successfully.  I'm not sure who
was in charge of tending to the planter box offerings but they evidently had quite a green
thumb. The cannabis crop reached a height of six inches or so and was most prominent
among the other decorative blooms.  One day the illegal vegetation suddenly disappeared.  
There was a difference of opinion among the student observers regarding the sudden
disappearance of the ill-fated crop.  Some felt it had befallen the eagle eye of a faculty
member and was unceremoniously destroyed.  Others believed it had been harvested by an
unknown marijuana-smoking student.  Still others felt that a particular member of the janitorial
staff, who was rumored to be a pot purveyor, had absconded with the plants under the cover
of an empty school building.  While the vexing mystery will forever remain unsolved, I can
assure you the whole situation was quite amusing to many students at Groesbeck High School
in 1974.

Margaritaville Headline of the Day:
We're Shocked, Shocked!    

September 7, 2006

There's a full moon in Kosse tonight, a predicted low of 58, and autumn is two weeks away.  

A new hospital is going to be built in Groesbeck to replace the current one.  When I was nine
or ten years old I spent a couple of days as a patient at the predecessor to the current
Groesbeck hospital.  It was owned by the local doctor at the time, Dr. Cox.  It was appropriately
called Dr. Cox's Hospital and was located where Dr. Rettig now has his offices.  One of the
nurses was my aunt, Irene Rasco.  I remember enjoying the stay because I could watch
whatever shows I wanted on the television.  Living in a family of six kids with one television, this
was a treat not often found at home.

My dog is determined to drive me crazy.  Junior Rasco has somehow learned how to turn the
outside water faucet on.  Three times within the past two weeks he has converted the yard into
a miniature lake.  Junior unfortunately has not been blessed with the brightest bulb in the
doghouse.  I should have known he would be destined to torment me from the day I adopted
him.  Within five seconds of putting him in my car to carry him to his new home, he decided to
relieve himself in the passenger seat.  Upon arriving home, Junior was introduced to his new
sleeping quarters, which also doubled as the utility room.  He was evidently not pleased with
this arrangement and begin howling incessantly.  It was obvious he considered himself master
bedroom material.  After a week or two, Junior was relocated against his will to the outdoor
dog pen.  He is now spending his middle-age years enjoying Old Roy dog food, turning on the
outdoor faucet, and barking at man, fowl, and beast.   

What a Relief Headline of the Day:
Invisible Human Suddenly Appears

September 6, 2006

Finally got a little rain.  The forecast low tomorrow night is 59.  Certainly a change from a
couple weeks ago.

I received the following e-mail from a prospective Kosse resident.  It is self-explanatory.

Who owns the little blue-gray house at 7843 s. Highway 14 with Joe and Ruthie Guerrero on
the mail box.  I notice it looks empty. Trying to locate owners to see if they might be interested
in selling.  Also trying to contact the owners of the commercial building at the corner of
narcissus to see what the price would be on that building.  None of the numbers posted on the
building seem to be working numbers. Please e mail me with any information you have.
Thanks Dianne Bailey ( )  214-819-5678/ 972-533-9563 or 903-388-7337
Trying to find a house for my husband who drives for a local company in Mexia. We are good
neighbors. Please post. Thanks

I talked to my brother Bill last night.  Bill is my older brother and is also in the pizza business.  
In fact, all three of us male Rasco siblings have somehow ended up in the world of pizza.  I
lived with Bill the summer after my graduation from Groesbeck High.  He had an apartment in
Lake Jackson that we shared and it was a most interesting three months.  He was employed at
Dow Chemical and I had the prestigious position of graveyard clerk at Sunny's Convenience
Store in Freeport.  Sunny's had three locations and I was shuffled between them.  These were
dive stores in dive areas of town, but they got a lot of business due to having the cheapest
beer and cigarettes in Freeport.  As keeper of the establishment during the night shift, I found
myself exposed to a side of life I had been ignorant of up to that point in my life.  One night
about 3:00 a.m. a black couple entered the store.  It was obvious they were drunk, high, or
both.  There was really nothing unusual about that, as a large percentage of the night
clientele was inebriated.  They were arguing as they entered the store and the verbal rhubarb
continued as they did their shopping.  All of a sudden the woman grabbed a glass quart bottle
of vinegar off the shelf and smashed it across the man's head.  As the man sank to the floor of
the Sunny's vinegar aisle, the woman calmly walked out of the store, got in the car, and drove
off.  She did not even offer to pay for the vinegar.  Okay, so now I am stuck at Sunny's
Convenience Store in the worst area of Freeport at 3:00 a.m. with an inebriated, unconscious
black man lying in a pool of vinegar with blood pouring out of his head.  I briefly considered
putting him in a grocery cart and rolling him to the washateria next door, but I did not want to
smell like vinegar so I called the cops.  They arrived in a couple of minutes, immediately
ascertained who the vinegar victim was (evidently one of their regular customers), surmised
who the assailant was (evidently another of their regular customers), and waited for the
soon-to-arrive ambulance.  The EMT crew patched his head and hauled him off.  I then had
the pleasure of filling out a police report and cleaning up the mess.  At that moment I was not
sure the $2.04 per hour compensation I was receiving was worth it.

Gridiron Headline of the Day:
My Dad Can Beat Up Your Dad      

September 4, 2006

I filled up with gas this morning in Bremond and paid $2.44 per gallon.  Oil prices continue to
drop. Hopefully we can reach the $2.00 per gallon threshold soon.  
Click for article.  

The Osama bin Laden branch of al Qaeda has released another videotape in which the
spokesman encourages Americans to convert to Islam.  
Click for article.  (There is a link in the
referenced article in which you can watch his presentation.)  What is unusual about this video
is that the speaker on 90% of the tape is an American from California named Adam Gadahn.  
Click for biography.  Adam Gadahn is obviously as Americanized as you or I, so this got me to
thinking.  It has now been five years since the attacks of 9-11-2001 and we have yet to
capture or kill bin Laden.  As is shown by Gadahn's presence in the inner circle of al Qaeda, it
is indeed possible for an American to become a trusted participant in the bin Laden
organization.  Why doesn't the C.I.A. try to plant another American in al Qaeda?  If Gadahn,
(who originally was named Adam Pearlman and is of Jewish descent) can gain this type of
access, why could someone else not do the same?  I am sure this would take a certain amount
of time, and would probably involve the person doing things that would normally be considered
illegal or unsavory, but in this case the ends would justify the means.  Once enough trust was
gained to ascertain the location of bin Laden, the agent could leave the immediate premises,
somehow notify the American officials (surely this could be figured out with today's
technology), wait for bin Laden and his associates to be bombed into oblivion, and in the
ensuing confusion (which would be inevitable) be picked up by an American helicopter and
returned to safety.  Maybe this idea is naive, but in five years there has been no success in
delivering justice to Osama, and if someone like Adam Pearlman of Riverside, California can
pierce the inner circle, then surely a professional C.I.A. operative could do the same.

Get Out the News Headline of the Day:
And Now Presenting Our Drunks of the Week

September 3, 2006

The Kosse Lions Club is raising money for renovation of the Kosse Lions Park softball fields.  
Sounds like a good idea.  The softball tournaments always added vibrancy to our community
and economy.  There is a donation receptacle at the Kosse Cafe.

The Kosse Lions Club's biggest annual fundraiser is the sponsorship of the Braschler Music
Show from Branson, Missouri.  This is the story of how the annual Braschler Music Show
fundraiser came to be a Kosse Lions Club tradition:

In the late 1980's, we were living in Houston.  Although I was teaching for the Houston I.S.D.
and Houston Community College, I remained an entrepreneur at heart.  It so happened that
my mother was a Braschler groupie.  
Click for Braschler Music Show website.  She would go to
Branson on a regular basis and always went to the Braschler concert.  She was introduced to
Cliff and Jan Braschler and over the years developed a personal friendship with them.  When
they were in Groesbeck the whole band came to her home for a pre-concert meal.  It was quite
a sight to see their big tour bus pull up to Mother's driveway in the McLelland Addition and
have all the musicians and helpers come pouring out.  Anyway, back to the story.  I was sitting
at my house in Houston brainstorming about how to make a buck.  It suddenly crossed my
mind to try and cash in on my mother's friendship with the Braschlers.  Within ten minutes I
had written down the business plan.  I immediately went into action.  I first called the principal
of Groesbeck High to inquire about the rental policies of the GHS auditorium.  Mr. Hoel was
principal at the time, and was one of my former teachers.  We had a nice conversation, and I
soon had the venue location worked out.  I then called Mother to tell her my plan and get Cliff
Braschler's phone number.  Being a Braschler groupie, she was quite excited to hear about
this.  I called Cliff and within five minutes had a verbal agreement for the concert date.  It was
to be held the Friday after Valentine's Day at the Groesbeck High School Auditorium.  
Approximately one hour had transpired from the moment I had my brainstorm, worked out the
plan, projected the financials, secured the venue, and lined up the talent.  I was suddenly an
aspiring concert promotions mogul.  I had already set up a business entity in Harris County for
our various projects, so everything appeared to be a go.  Part of my Braschler business plan
involved having a worthwhile local organization as a sponsor/benificiary of the concert.  I
settled on the Limestone County Peace Officers Association and soon also had this aspect
worked out.  I had tickets and circulars printed, obtained a mailing list from the Braschlers of
all their groupies (my mother's name was indeed on the list), mailed concert notice letters to
the groupies,  blitzed ads to all the local media organizations, began selling ads for the
program, and waited for ticket orders to arrive.  Within a week, I knew the LCPOA and I had hit
the jackpot.  Ticket orders were flooding in and all expenses were soon covered.  The concert
date arrived and everything went perfectly.  The auditorium was full, the show was excellent,
the LCPOA received a nice donation, my mother was thrilled, and it proved to be a winner for
all involved.  The next year I invited the American Legion to be the local sponsor/benificiary
and the experience was repeated.   My brother John was president of the Kosse Lions Club
during the third year, so I offered them the sponsorship spot with the agreement that John
would be the primarily facilitator of the event that year.  In the meantime we had moved back
to Limestone County and were totally tied up with the expansion of our business holdings.  
The full Braschler concert production was offered to the Kosse Lions Club, and it remains
under their stewardship to this day.  They have since added a matinee performance and
pre-concert dinner to the annual Braschler experience.  I've never told this full story to
anyone, but each year when the posters go up advertising the upcoming concert, I am
reminded of the huge benefits that have come to the Kosse Lions Club and their community
projects as a direct result of my brainstorm on that Houston morning in 1988.

Antidepressent Headline of the Day:
Thank Goodness I Can Stop Worrying Over This

September 2, 2006

Kenda Echols has published a new website for her Kosse business, Sign Creations.  It looks
really good.  Check it out.  
Click for Sign Creations website.  

I mentioned a few days ago that, according to the Bremond Press, the Bremond Tigers
football team was having trouble recruiting players after drug-testing recently began.  It
appears as if the former players were flying higher last night than the remainder of the team.  
The Tigers were drubbed by Lexington to the tune of 52-0.  The Groesbeck Goats were
defeated by Lorena, 35-20.  

According to a Pentagon report issued Friday, the situation in Iraq is worse than ever.  
for article.  Former Secretary of State Colin Powell has been proven correct when he
reportedly told President Bush of the difficulties that would arise if we invaded Iraq.  I have
heard it said the leaders who most wish to avoid war are those who have actually fought in
one.  To them it is more than an abstract concept.  I think Colin Powell is among that group.  

I recently watched an interesting biographical documentary on another of our leaders who felt
this way, President Dwight Eisenhower.  As one of the last five-star generals, Eisenhower
successfully led the invasion of Normandy on D-Day, and in 1952 was elected President.  
Josef Stalin, the dictator of the Soviet Union, died in 1953, and Eisenhower saw this as an
opportunity to lessen the tensions of the Cold War.  He dramatically cut overall defense
spending, concentrating our defense dollars on less-expensive nuclear weapons.  He adopted
the concept of Mutually Assured Destruction, which was his belief the Soviets would not launch
nuclear weapons with the knowledge that the United States would retaliate with a massive
attack on the Soviet homeland.  In other words, the Soviets would be afraid to attack us
because they knew we would respond by annihilating them.  His belief proved correct, and the
Cold War eventually ended without a shot being fired. Eisenhower used the money that had
previously been spent on conventional defense programs for domestic improvements.  His
greatest domestic accomplishment was the establishment of our Interstate Highway System.  It
is hard to imagine what our mobility and economy would be like without the interstate system,
and for that we can thank the peaceloving warrior, Dwight Eisenhower.

How to Become a Household Name Video of the Day:
Sounds Plausible to Me
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