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How Did I Miss That? Gator Goliath; Monkees Shine

Fox Sports reported (with video) that an alligator approximately 15 feet in length strolled across Buffalo Creek Golf Course in Palmetto, Florida. Charles Helm of Sarasota interrupted his game to video the humongous creature and listen to other golfers reacting.

I showed the video to my cousin Ray Sixkiller, who just yawned and asked if that was Albert or Alberta? I had to debrief Ray to understand the question.

Albert E. Gator is the mascot of the University of Florida. Alberta cheers for the women. Albert and Alberta have been costumed students since 1970. Before that they were the real deal, and Ray figured they were having a casting call to protect Albert’s 2007 ranking by Sports Illustrated number one in “Mascot Power Rankings.”

In professional sports, the Seattle Mariners website reported good news and bad news.

The good news was that Mariners designated hitter Nelson Cruz just became the first batter to hit a ball entirely out of Safeco Field.

The bad news was that the epic wallop was in battingpractice.

Who needs sports in a presidential election year?

Bill Kristol, the neocon editor of the neocon organ, The Weekly Standard, tweeted that what is left of the Republican establishment has found an independent candidate and the money to stop Donald J. Trump.

Kristol did not name the suspect, but at this column’s deadline, speculation centered on David French of Tennessee, an Iraq veteran and a very smart, very conservative guy who has less name identification than the mustard of the same name.

Name identification can be bought, but on the national level the price is very high and the process is freighted with the danger of being branded by the other side before you can establish your own brand. This high risk strategy would pose no threat if Trump had a professional operation, but he does not and he keeps claiming he has no need of such conventional gewgaws and the number of conventional politicians he clobbered in the primary is proof.

Kristol’s tweet set off a Trumpian Twitterstorm, calling Kristol a “dummy” and a “loser.”

Cousin Ray observed that a critical employee of President Trump would be Keeper of the Presidential Twitter Account. “There’s no truth to the rumor,” he added, “that he’ll save money by replacing the State Department with Twitter.”

The Washington Post reported that the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII), powerful clerics who advise the Pakistani government, has produced a report claiming husbands have a right to “lightly beat” their wives for certain kinds of disobedience and it is “un-Islamic” for a woman to take refuge in a battered women’s shelter.

Justifications for beating include “if she defies his commands and refuses to dress up as per his desires; turns down demand of intercourse without any religious excuse or does not take bath after intercourse or menstrual periods” or she fails to cover her face in public or “interacts with strangers; speaks loud enough that she can easily be heard by strangers.”

Asked by reporters if he wanted to explain that, CII Chairman Muhammad Kahn Sherani said beating should be a last resort and the husband was obligated to warn his wife first and give her a chance to obey.

“Why didn’t he say so in the first place,” Cousin Ray erupted, “if he thinks that makes wife beating all better?”

The U.S. Geological Survey announced that two new lava flows are rolling down Kilauea on Hawai’i’s Big Island, but there’s no imminent danger. One of my brothers, another Cherokee of the Teehee family, lives in the shadow of Kilauea and he assured me it’s no big deal.

If you wish to draw your own conclusions, the USGS has restored film of Kilauea’s 1959-60 eruption. It shows lava flows of “up to 20 miles per hour.”

One of the lava fountains erupted 700 feet “in a matter of seconds” and visitors to the Volcanoes National Park are warned that the fountains can ��change direction in a matter of seconds.” The highest lava fountain ever recorded in Hawai’i was at Kilauea: 1,900 feet.

Buzzworthy reported that Gary Gostecnik, 71, of Pattison, Texas was trapped in his home by the Brazos River, which crested at a record 53.5 feet after going dry just two years ago. With the death toll from the flood clicking toward double digits, it seemed prudent to wait it out when the water surrounded him on May 27.

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On May 30, he could not stand it anymore. He hauled himself aboard his John Deere 8630 farm tractor and set off across the endless lake his land had become. Crossing the Brazos at the San Felipe bridge, he attained the object of his desire: Whataburger.

Whataburger is a Texas chain that started in Corpus Christi and Texans consider Whataburgers a basic food group like In and Out burgers are in California. Always a good neighbor, Gostecnik bought a sack of Whataburgers for his neighbors before he headed back though the flood.

This story made Cousin Ray hungry. He took my Whataburger order and offered a not very original comment: “Nothing runs like a Deere.”

All the TV stations in Texas seemed to have picked up on some irresistible video. Somebody hacked into one of the Transportation Department’s computerized road signs and left it flashing:

Donald Trump is

A shape-shifting lizard

Cousin Ray seemed distracted, and I asked him what he was thinking.

“I’m trying to decide whether that comparison is more unfair to lizards or to shapeshifters.

The Austin American-Statesman reported on what looks to be the endgame in the fight between ride-hailing behemoths Uber and Lyft and the Austin City Council. Uber and Lyft were opposed to Austin regulating their business, as they have been in other cities.

After giving the Council a chance to back off, the companies hired people to get signatures on a petition for a referendum on a “regulation” that would repeal the one they didn’t like.

What followed was a saturation ad campaign by the businesses that wanted to self-regulate. I remember two ads—both containing internal logical flaws. I used to run for office in Austin and it seemed to me that Austin voters would be as likely offended by ads with a terminal case of dumbass as by anything on the ballot. But I saw no advertising defending the City Council.

I later learned that Uber and Lyft also bought robo-calls to all registered voters and hired people to knock on doors. All told, the corporations spent about $10 million to buy their very own law. With that kind of spending, you could not say the voters didn’t get the memo, but they sure disregarded it. The corporations purchased less than 45 percent of the vote.

Uber and Lyft carried out their threat to pull out of Austin (putting 10,000 part time drivers out of work) and added a plan to go to the Republican legislature next session and buy themselves a law taking away the authority of city governments to regulate them, like the oil companies did when Denton passed an anti-fracking ordinance.

Once more, the will of the voters appeared doomed.

However, the American-Statesman reports that a new ride hailing service created by local techies, RideAustin, is about to launch and promises to have the market locked up before the legislature next meets. On top of that, RideAustin is a nonprofit.

Since the software was written locally, it added a typically Austin touch. The app contains an option that would allow all fares to be rounded up to the highest dollar and the proceeds donated to charities benefitting the environment, pets, or homeless shelters.

The New York Times has recovered from the sixties enough that they published a very warm review of the new Monkees album, “Good Times!” The occasion is the fiftieth anniversary of the U.S. answer to The Beatles, famously created from an open casting call and allowed to learn their chops while being backed up/covered for by studio musicians.

They did learn to play together and were able to tour successfully. Two of the originals, Micky Dolenz and Peter Tork, are touring to promote “Good Times!” and Michael Nesmith (the best musician in the same sense George Harrison was the best Beatle guitar player) plays on the album but not on the tour. Davy Jones died in 2012.

The Cherokee Phoenix reported that 10 tribal citizens were celebrated by tribal government and their friends and relatives as they headed off to Cherokee, North Carolina. In the homelands, they will meet up with a delegation from the Eastern Band and the combined force will travel by bicycle from the old capital at New Echota, Georgia along the Northern Route of the Trail of Tears to the new capital at Tahlequah, Oklahoma.

This annual “Remember the Removal” ride is a 30-year-old effort by both tribal governments to teach a shared history. This year, some students on the ride will collect three semester hours of college credit from Northeastern Oklahoma State University.