Category Archives: Texas

World Series Game 4 Staff Predictions

The World Series is back in Arlington tonight in a pivotal game 4 match up between the Texas Rangers and the St. Louis Cardinals. Texas tied up the series at 2-2 yesterday in a 4-0 shutout. Earlier today, I was sitting down with KACU’s Meagan Freeman and Blane Singletary discussing the game. The conversation led to predictions. Meagan, wearing her Texas Rangers ALCS championship t-shirt, quickly took out a piece of paper and jotted down our predictions. Then we got the idea to poll the entire KACU staff.

Here are some things to take into consideration for the game tonight. This is the last game that will be played in Arlington, the winner only needs to win one more to claim the title, and each team has great home run hitters. Taking that and more into consideration, here is what us at KACU think will happen tonight.

KACU World Series Predictions (those who replied to my texts…)

  • Blane Singletary, Announcer – St. Louis edges Texas in a close one, 3-2.
  • Meagan Freeman, Announcer – Rangers edge St. Louis in a close one, 3-2.
  • Zane Goggans, Announcer – “Everybody is picking 3-2… I change my guess…” Rangers win big 10-3.
  • Kholo Theledi, The New Girl – “What is a normal score for baseball?” Texas loses, 3-2.
  • Caleb Robinson, Announcer – Rangers lose this one 5-3 (but only so Texas can win “epically” in the next two games).
  • Alek White, Announcer – Alek: “We lost 16-7”, Me: “That was two games ago, I need your prediction for tonight…”, Alek: “I would guess a win [for Texas] then, 10-6.”
  • Julie Coppedge, Announcer – Via text message: “Ouuuu ummm Rangers win 7-4 :)”
  • Keyi Zhou, Announcer – Rangers win in another close one, 30-28 (Keyi admits to not watching much baseball).
  • Sandy Byers, Traffic Manager – Texas will fall to the Cardinals again, 4-2. “Maybe by picking the Cardinals we can jinx them.”
  • Justin Brown, Budget Manager – Texas takes it, 5-3.
  • Dave Smith, Director of Operations – “Show me who’s pitching…” “Are they in Texas?” “2-0, Rangers.”
  • John Best, General Manager – Rangers win 4-3. “It’s gonna be a nail bitter!”

KACU Picks…

Rangers: 7 picks to St. Louis: 4 picks

Rangers win tonight, what do YOU think?

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The Power Of TEAM

The day after the conclusion of the 2011 NBA Finals has people obsessing over two different things: 1). Lebron James not living up to his own high opinion of his skills and talents, and 2). Dirk and Dallas finally achieving a world championship. There are many points that can be and have been made on both of these aspects. I don’t want to reiterate those points, some things are said more than they necessarily need to be.

While I never bought into the “Lebron is the greatest player” hype, I did think that he had more class before the finals. He revealed something in his character that is really lacking, and that is class and maturity. I felt Scottie Pippen’s remarks a few weeks ago that he was better than Michael Jordan verged on blaspheme. I know I wasn’t alone. Many in and out of the sport got into the dialogue and spoke up that there is no comparison to MJ, at least not while a career is currently going. We can’t even say with full confidence that Kobe stands toe to toe with MJ. So how could Lebron possibly be better after 8 years in the pros and no championships?

On the flip side, more focus needs to be going to the Mavs. Not only are these guys full of class, maturity, heart, and perseverance, there are countless stories of inspiration within the overall story of their success that we could all spend the next month telling each other. There’s the amazing story behind Dirk who has played his entire career in Dallas, not leaving to go elsewhere to win a champ (a-la Lebron last year). There’s the facet about him staying at the arena and continuing to work on aspects of his game after he’s already played a full game (regular season, playoffs and finals) with his German basketball coach to improve on what he lacked during the game. Is there a player in basketball (or other sports for that matter) with that kind of dedication to excellence? There’s Jason Kidd who now has a championship after 17 years in the league. There’s Jason Terry who got a tattoo of the NBA championship trophy on his bicep and guaranteed a Finals championship well before he earned it. These are but the tip of the iceberg.

There are two underlying points I’d like to make briefly here concerning the Lebron side of the game, and the Mavs side of the game, and both have everything to do with you culture and lessons we can pass on to our children and young people. Let’s start with Lebron. Here’s a guy who excels at basketball so much that he gets drafted without ever having stepped on a court of higher pedigree than teenagers in a gymnasium. That by itself will jack up your ego. He leads a Cavalier team through 8 seasons almost single-handedly, once to the Finals. Knowing that the team’s success was largely due to his contributions, that also must have affected his ego. Then he makes a big deal about moving his place of work to a town with 2 other superstar players and guarantees endless championships will be the result. After a convincing win over Boston, then Chicago, the Mavs must have seemed to be another stop on the bus tour to victory. But it didn’t work out that way.

Ignore the whole thing with Dwayne Wade where the two of them mocked Dirk’s sickness on camera. Ignore the comment made post game last night that all his haters still had to wake up tomorrow and live their same old lives. Ignore that he bolted immediately after the game and didn’t stick around to congratulate the winning team (Wade did that to his credit). All of these things and the myriad of others I think have a lot more to do with the lack of leadership and guidance he’s had in life, which is more of a tragedy than and place of blame. His mother must have had a hard time raising a man-child on her own. Come on, the kid is 18 and 6 foot 5? That didn’t happen over night. I can only assume that trying to put restrictions or discipline in place during his teenage years must have been hellish to say the least. Who were his father figures? Who were the men that brought him direction, accountability, and taught him the realities of life? I’d argue that based on his behavior, they either didn’t have much of an impact on him or they didn’t exist.

This is why we’ll never really be able to compare Lebron to Jordan. Jordan’s father James Jordan was an integral part of MJ’s life, his success in sports, and the man he became. One can only assume that James taught Michael that if he wanted to win at the highest level, his dedication to being the best could only be met by him. That’s why when Michael talked about trying out for a team in college, he only refers to himself as the best competition for himself. Lebron might be convinced that he’s the greatest, but he hasn’t proved that because there isn’t a father in his life to really push him, one that he respects as a man and will not just massage his ego all the time. Want further proof? Who was Mike Tyson before Cuss D’Amato? He was a punk kid that was in and out of juvenile detention. After Cuss he was the youngest champion in boxing history. After Cuss he never could put the pieces together.

Instead of hating on Lebron, or criticizing him, which I admit to having both done a bit of and also find it easier to do, we should be hoping and praying that someone with the maturity and character to lead him to become the man and athlete he has the potential to be, will step forward into that place. Until then, the best Lebron will ever become is a talented child who doesn’t play well with champions.

The other side of the subject is what we can all gain from the Mavs, high school and younger sports coaches in particular. Rick Carlisle made key changes in his lineup to give his team the advantage against the Heat. The players went along with his starting lineup. This meant key guys who normally started didn’t. They were ok with it, because in the end the team was more important than the individual. On the other team, you couldn’t say the same thing. Any coach who has ever tried to convince a ragtag group of kids to play together instead of against each other, tried to get one player to share the ball or the responsibility, or tried to work on teamwork now has a poster-child for such an endeavor. Has there been in the last decade (with the possible exception of the Boston Celtics a few years ago) a better example of team work versus individuals with talent where team work won? It’s hard to do. But this is the real deal, and that’s the best story from last night’s win. Teams win championships, individuals go home.

Wildfires Ravage the Lone Star State

Burn bans are currently in effect in 195 of the state’s 254 counties.

Governor Perry has sent a letter to President Obama asking for him to declare the state a major disaster area.

I have lived in Texas all of my life. I have experienced droughts and grass fires, but nothing to this magnitude.

I had been following the news, but didn’t realize just how bad the fires had gotten until last Thursday. I was outside, filming a local concert and noticed that I kept having to brush dust off of the camera and myself. That’s when I realized it wasn’t dust, it was ash. I looked up at the moon and noticed the brown haze.

“They have called for evacuation in Rotan,” I heard a man say.

Although the fires were at least thirty minutes away, it was like they were burning right down the road. The smell of burning grass and smokey haze continues to linger in the air.

Since then, I have been staying up to date with the latest news regarding the fires.

There are currently six blazes:

1. Cooper Mountain Ranch Fire (162,000 acres, 80% contained): Fisher, Kent, Scurry, Stonewall counties.

2. East Sidywnicks Fire (3,000 acres, 95% contained): Eastland County

3. Jackson Ranch Fire (2,270 acres, 50% contained): Stephens County

4. County Road Fire (1,400 acres): Eastland County

5. Possum Kingdom West/Possum Kingdom East/ Hohertz Fire (55,000 acres, 10% contained): Stephens, Palo Pinto counties

6. Swenson Fire (120,000 acres, 90% contained): Stonewall, Knox, King counties

Over 1.5 million acres and 244 homes have been ravaged by the fires. High winds, high heat, and low humidity continue to feed the flames and The Texas Forest Service says the weather will only continue to make conditions worse this week. The Texas Forest Service has sent teams to help the crews fighting the fires. Most of these firemen are volunteers.

Take the time today and everyday until the fires are extinguished to pray for all of the people affected and all of the men and women bravely fighting these blazes.

What Does A Government Shutdown Mean?

I’ve been following the debates in Washington that could lead to a government shutdown by the end of today.

For those who haven’t been following the news, here is an update.

Someone asked me, “What does this actually mean? The country can’t actually stop everything, right?”

To be honest, I didn’t have an answer, but this perked my “journalistic ears.” I begin looking into it and found an interesting article about the last time the government had a major shutdown for 21 days back in 1996. Here’s a link to the story from Miller-McLune.

So what did I find out? What should we expect?

While most government officials aren’t even sure who would still have to report to work, there are a few that we can be assured will stay working, according to Miller-McLune:
• Air traffic controllers
• Deployed troops
• Airport TSA screeners
• The U.S. Mint
• Federal prison guards
• Congress and the Office of the President
• The Treasury
• The Postal Service
• The Border Patrol and Coast Guard

It’s still pretty clear that millions will be pained by potential shutdown. There are some issues that I think will have some major impacts among the “common folk.”

The IRS will not process any paper returns during this time. This will affect me personally. I had to make a change to my tax return and the IRS required I submit it through the mail. Now I am stuck wondering when my check will come. As a broke college student, this bums me out a little.

Also, living in a military town  brought about another issue has been buzzing among some of my enlisted friends. US troop’s pay could be delayed. I have many friends that are supporting families solely on their military wages.  What will they do without their check?

The Federal Housing Commission will suspend loans. Small businesses and homeowners would be denied loans for a certain time.

Social Security and Medicare would continue working, although medical research would be halted.

The list could go on.

Until the deadline, stay updated with the government’s progress towards a compromise through CNN’s live blog.

Bobbing for Cats

The ACU Logo with Mascot

As a student at ACU, there’s a lot of stuff I’m curious about.  Lately, my curiosity is like a cat and that’s something I’ve been wondering about.  Where did ACU come up with the Wildcat mascot? I have no idea. Why did ACU choose Wildcats as their mascot? Still no idea.

Wildcats are an entirely separate species of cat from any other. Wildcats are basically small feral cats that live in the tropically wooded parts of Asia, Africa and Europe. Wildcats are not native to Abilene, West Texas, Texas, the United States or even the Western Hemisphere. Even the five subspecies of wildcat are not native to the Americas, I’m serious… Google it. So how did a West Texas school get such a foreign mascot? The answer may be a simple misunderstanding.

According to Texas Parks and Wildlife, there are seven species of cat native to the Lone Star State: mountain lion (also pumas or cougars), ocelot, jaguarondi, jaguar (I would like to see one in Texas), domestic or feral, margay and of course the bobcat.

Is it possible that one of these cats have been mistaken as a “wildcat?” It’s up for debate, but here is why I think that the actual mascot of Abilene Christian University is one of these seven cats.

Given that actual wildcats do exist and that they are nowhere to be found in Texas, the seven Texas cats must have had an inspiration. So let’s narrow them down:

  • Mountain lion – Although mountain lions are pretty common in far West Texas, the mountain lion seems a little too big to be the ACU Wildcat.
  • Ocelot – Similar in size to the perceived mascot, the ocelot has striking features that no ACU Wildcat representation has… large spots.
  • Jaguarondi – This three foot tall cat is also similar in size to our vision of what we think our beloved Wildcat is like. However, this animal also has a striking feature unlike the ACU mascot… it has a long tail.
  • Jaguar – I think this one speaks for itself. It is far too large, has massive spots and has a long tail. It is also extremely rare to spot a jaguar roaming through Texas.
  • Domestic (feral cat) – ACU has these critters running around all over campus. Could they be the inspiration of our mascot? Not quite. Our mascot is no kitty and has features that domestic cats do not, such as large claws.
  • Margay – This animal is more of a cross between the ocelot and a domestic cat. It is small like a feral, but has large spots like an ocelot. Not what we are looking for.
  • Bobcat – This feline has an extremely whiskered face, large claws, small spots, very short tail and is about three feet long… Could it be that… maybe?

Bobcat

The favorite out of these ferocious fur balls has got to be the bobcat. So what does this mean for ACU? Should we rename Willie Wildcat to be Billy Bobcat? Should we acknowledge that the Wildcat statue on campus is not actually a wildcat? Should ACU give up and rename our sports teams to the Bobcats? Would it be cool to rename The World Famous Bean to The Bobcat Bite?

Nah. Why change it now? ACU should be known as the Wildcats. Think about it, nothing goes together better than foreign animals and purple. It’s what makes us unique as a university. We’ve been the Wildcats for over a hundred years and we’ll be the Wildcats for a hundred more!

W-I-L-D-C-A-T-S, Purple, White, Purple, White, Fight, Fight, Fight!

The Road Pt 2

This is a continuation of the story of my trek back to Abilene last Wednesday on I-20.  If you haven’t read the first part, you can do so here.

Moving was a big thing, after sitting still in a car for 3 hours.  We had managed to exit the interstate, get on an icy feeder road, maneuver past dozens of stalled semi trailer rigs and get back on the interstate.  Traffic was moving, slowly, but movement was so much better than not.  At 5 mph it seemed like we were traveling much faster.  Anxiety was high.  Neither my wife nor I had ever driven through conditions like this before.  I’d driven in snow and ice a few times, but always in town and always within distance of a business or friend to be able to walk to if my car got stranded.  I’d never been on the highway in an ice storm 10 miles outside of town at night where there was no way anyone could get to us.  I tried not to think about that.  I kept my mind focused on the road, finding the patches of concrete so that the tires could keep some kind of grip on the turf and not spin out.  I kept saying, “It’s ok, we’re fine,” to my wife who was more nervous than usual.  She doesn’t like car rides in the first place.  Add to it the 3 hours we’d spent moving a total of 2 miles and the insane road conditions.  It was enough to put a sane man in the asylum.

We called my boss and friend John Best.  He’d told me as we had arrived in Merkel that I-20 was backed up for miles in both directions in Abilene at highway 351.  He said to take the first exit into Abilene and come into town that way.  We asked him if we could stay at his house for the night because there would be no way for us to get home to Clyde.  It was approaching 9PM.  The first exit into Abilene is Business 20/South 1st.  He had suggested we take that road into town and figure a way through the conditions to get to his house on the north side of town.  In the back of my mind I kept thinking about how treacherous South 1st is in normal driving conditions.  Add snow, ice, black ice and desolation to that.  Not a promising situation.

The exit came.  I maintained the same speed, moving as best I could up the ramp and onto the bridge.  There was little light.  The entire bridge was iced over.  There was no concrete to be seen.  I couldn’t tell where the lanes were, if I was in the going or on-coming lane.  I could barely tell where we were.  I kept saying “It’s ok, we’re going to be fine.”  I firmly believed it and didn’t allow myself to focus on the danger we were in, how incredibly insane it was to be on the road at that time, or what could happen to us if we stalled.  My wife called some friends and family to ask that they pray for us.  Their prayers were more valuable than gold.

My eyes were glued to the road. I put the headlights on bright.  There were few if any other cars on the road.  One vehicle was a few hundred yards ahead of us.  In my rear view mirror there were distant headlights.  My foot hovered over the brake pedal.  We stayed steady at 5 mph.  Any faster seemed too risky.  There was little surface for the tires to grip.  We had purchased the car we were in over the Thanksgiving holiday from my father.  It was over a decade old, but well kept.  He had just put new Michelin tires on it.  How thankful I was he didn’t go the cheap road on the tires.  The road was black, even the ice didn’t have a whiteness to it.  There were no lights.  A few reflectors on a bridge indicated we were crossing something.  We wondered when we’d come to the Sam’s Club and be near loop 322.  In the distance I saw headlights moving across a bridge, like a domed horizon.  That must be the loop.  I looked to the right, there was a sign for Sam’s.  We were in town.  That was a relief.  It was short lived.

We approached the traffic light at the loop.  Not being from a place where wintry conditions happen very often, I don’t have a ton of practice driving through icy roads.  I do know that you shouldn’t let the tires come to a complete stop, especially if there’s little to no surface for the tires to grip.  I decided that unless there were no other option, I wouldn’t stop at a traffic light, regardless of whether it was red or not.  Fortunately there were no cars coming and the light was green.  South 1st was lit up, yet spooky in presentation.  The lights of the businesses and street lights made it easier to see how incredibly close to disaster and terror we were.  Maybe driving through all that ice in the dark wasn’t so bad after all.  Now seeing it clearly sent more chills up my spine.  I kept repeating the same line of being ok and alright.  Now I was trying to convince myself more than my wife.

To our right we passed K-Mart.  The parking lot was like a giant ice-skating rink.  It was crystallized and thick.  There were even people trying to move around down there.  We couldn’t tell if they were homeless, stranded or just out trying to enjoy themselves.  It seemed perilous either way.  We pressed onward.  I kept trying to figure out which road we would turn left on to get to the north side.  No option seemed like a plausible idea.  We approached Pioneer.  I looked over the tracks and saw only white and no cars.  I saw the same at Willis, Sayles, and then a turn with no light.  This was our chance.  Slowly and carefully we pulled into the turn lane.  A car approached from the other direction.  There wasn’t time to wait for it to pass, otherwise we’d have to stop.  I turned and crossed the tracks, and was on North 1st.  You know, there was no difference in North and South 1st.  Actually North 1st might have been worse.  There was less traction on the road, I couldn’t see where the lanes were or if I was in the on-coming or going.  As we came into downtown, a car approached from Grape street traveling south.  I had to nearly stop so it could pass.  The light was red.  I kept going.

Now I’m trying to figure out how to get to North 10th, which will take us to John’s street.  Again, there’s no feasible answers.  Pine street looks more chaotic than any of the roads we’ve been on.  It’s either Treadaway or Judge Ely.  I’d heard Ely was just a block of ice.  Plus we would have to make a left hand turn.  As we came around Pioneer Texas the street lights were out.  Two hauling trucks passed in the other direction.  We approached the light.  It was red.  There were cars traveling on Treadaway in both directions but no one approaching in the opposite direction on 1st.  I slowed enough to take the turn and kept going.  Under the street lights I saw only concrete.  I breathed a huge sigh of relief.  “I guess they take care of Treadaway when weather like this happens,” I said.  50 yards later it was just ice again.  The 2 or 3 cars in front of us moved slowly from lane to lane to keep on the ground and avoid the ice.  We’d been in Abilene for nearly an hour.  We’d traveled maybe 8 or 10 miles.  We were less than a mile away.

The street in front of John's house. We had been too nervous and cautious to take pictures up to this point

We approached North 10th.  The light was red.  On 10th a white Toyota Tercel was struggling to move in the ice.  It approached the light at the same time as we did.  The tires skid numerous times as the driver tried to push the car through the ice.  We slowed.  I couldn’t tell if the driver wasn’t prepared for the drive or if the car wasn’t or both.  The Tercel slowed as the truck in front of us approached the light.  It seemed like the two vehicles might collide.  I slowed more and the Toyota hit the gas and skid forward past us.  We got on 10th safely.  I couldn’t tell when we crossed the train tracks.  There’s usually a bump you feel going over them.  No bump this time.  Several times the Tercel and the truck started to fishtail in front of us.  I tried to keep enough distance between our cars so that should they spin out we wouldn’t hit them.  Going down the hill my foot hovered over the brake.  I didn’t want to build up too much speed, and yet at the same time I would need speed and momentum to get us up the hill at Washington.  A little controlled gas did that.

That was the scariest end of it.  We made it through Judge Ely, to John’s house and into his front door.  I was so excited to have arrived! I gave him a big hug as we came through the door.  I hadn’t allowed myself to think too much about it but everything we’d been through in the past 4 hours was traumatic and frightening.  To be honest with you, I think my heart rate is high right now just recalling it all.  I’m so glad that we made it through the ice hell of the road conditions.  We had no idea when we left El Paso that morning that things were so bad in Abilene.  We had arrived in Sweetwater at 5P and expected to be at home in Clyde with our cats at 6.  Four hours later we’d traveled through terror and arrived at a friend’s home.  We were treated to incredible hospitality and a warm place to sleep.  We were thankful for faithful friends and for God’s hand which definitely had taken us through everything that night.

The road would await us again in the morning.  But this time it wouldn’t be the same.  There would be light.  There would be movement on the interstate.  We would travel at speeds of 25 mph (which seemed like 90 compared to the night before).  It would take roughly 30 minutes to get to Clyde.  We would be home, defrost our house, get cozy with our cats and figure out the rest of the weekend.  The road would be a memory and a story to tell.

The Road Pt.1 (revised)

If you’ve seen the film starring Viggo Mortensen or read the book by Cormac McCarthy, The Road is a wrenching tale of a father and son trying to trek across the barren post-apocalyptic America.  There’s abandoned cars and desolation every where.  That was about 6 hours of my wife and I’s life yesterday.  Just outside of Tye, Texas we slowed to a stop on I-20.  We sat there for about 2 hours.  It was about the place on the map where we had 1 hour of driving left.  We thought we’d be home by 6P.  We never made it that far.

I-20 was a standstill from Ranger Hill all the way back west to Merkel.  Tons and tons of semi-trucks were either t-boned on the road, abandoned, or stalled.  We’d move 100 yards at a walking pace in our car, then stop for 45 minutes with no movement.  Then repeat the process at 150 yards.  It was agony and insanity.  Our bodies were aching.  We had 1/2 a tank of gas left.  We would put the car in park, sit for over an hour and then put it in 2nd (low) gear to drive.  There’s a level of calm that takes over when you realize there’s nothing you can do to change your circumstances.  All you can do is sit and wait for something to change.

That calm dissipated after 30 minutes of silent and motionless sitting.  Both of us were tapping our legs, nervous that we’d be stuck on the road over night, have to abandon our car to seek lodging, or worse, run out of gas and be stuck out there for more than a day.  We had provisions to last a few hours.  Beyond that was was hindsight would tell us later that we needed more.  We needed water.  We needed food.  We had warmth, but would the gas last.  Should we take the first exit we see and rough it on the access road?  As we sat at mile marker 272, any possibility of movement seemed like the best idea.

I called a friend to check it we should try an access road.  Suddenly the semi in front of us pulled forward.  I followed, not even able to take my foot completely off the brake.  We moved roughly 200 yards.  We decided not to take the exit at 272 because the access road was white with ice.  Chancing that could put us in a ditch or worse yet, stranded and alone.  At least if we stalled here there’s tons of people who might help us.  We sat for more than 30 minutes.  My friend said we should exit in Tye, take the access road to the Business 20/ South 1st exit and take that into Abilene.

Finally we were able to exit just outside of Tye.  It was after dark.  There was a semi truck 2 cars in front of us and an SUV in front of us.  As the road veered to the right, I noticed that I-20 was moving to the left and we weren’t parallel to it anymore.  As we approached a left turn, I slowly turned the car and avoided an oncoming vehicle and another car who was trying to make a U-turn.  We ventured back onto the feeder road.  On both sides of the lane were parked/stalled semi trucks.  Some had their engines off.  Some were still running.

As we continued on the feeder road, slow patches of 1-2 mph grew to 5 mph at times.  That was the fastest we sped.  The road turned and twisted, our line of a few cars veering carefully around stalled semis on the sides of both sides of the road.  Then there was a line in the middle of the road.  Were they stalled or moving?  We couldn’t tell.  The cars in front veered to the right and started moving around them.  We followed about 20 feet behind.  As we started to pass the first truck in the middle of the road, the truck in front of it lunged forward to try and move back on the road.  We hit the brakes and tried not to fishtail.  Cursing, we made it passed the truck angry that someone who could see such treacherous conditions all around us would risk our lives as well as his.  I didn’t look in the rearview mirror to see if he made it out.

My eyes were fixed to the road, the patches of concrete becoming fewer and fewer amongst the long stripes of ice and white.  The rear-wheel drive car kept moving forward, the steering wheel clutched in my fists and the suspension squeaking at every bump, which was happening every 2-3 seconds.  The car in front made a slow turn onto the interstate.  The road beyond the access point was pitch black and frightening.  I couldn’t tell if any of it was clear or if it would keep going at all.  Reluctantly, I followed the car onto I-20.  There was a large space to pull into and I made it on the highway without problem.  We were traveling 20 mph, which seemed like lightspeed at this point.  As we neared the exit for Business 20/83/South 1st in Abilene, a nagging fear began echoing in my mind: “You know this road is scary and dangerous during normal driving conditions, don’t you?  This could be the most dangerous and hazardous choice you’ve made don’t you?”

I pressed on to the ramp.  What would lie ahead would not only confirm the fear, but test me more than nearly anything I’ve every experienced before.  And yet I would see something few people have the opportunity to see and taste.

Read Part 2 here.

A Tropical Heatwave

If you’ve seen the movie Grumpy Old Men, there’s a song that plays through the beginning and Walter Matthou sings it a bit: “We’re having a heatwave, a tropical heatwave.”  I have no idea who did the song, but it’s playing while the camera is showing shots of Minnesota in the winter time, groups of people in the snow and ice fishing.  It’s irony, or comedy in ironic portions.

Abilene got something similar to that this week.  “A Tropical Heatwave” might describe the exact opposite of what blew in.  I missed all of it, though.  I went to New Mexico to see family and while I was gone, the snow blew in and brought its whole family.  I read that the town shut down and so did the regional areas.  DFW is also out for a while.  You all who lived through this, please comment and tell me your experiences.

While it was frozen in Abilene yesterday, it was just starting to get cold in El Paso.  Last night the arctic blast blew in and today it’s 4 degrees with some snow.  El Paso is shut down now, the mountains are covered and they’re warning of rolling blackouts.  I keep checking the weather map and it’s much of the same across Texas. 

We’re going to try and leave out of here in a few hours, take I-10/I-20 back home and hopefully rejoin the force tomorrow or Friday.  What a wild week for all this to happen.   I know I missed a lot being gone, so please share your experiences and let me know what I missed.

KACU Now On WordPress

In an effort to not only better cover the issues important to us, but to also connect with people interested in news, sports, entertainment, local, state and national issues and other stuff, KACU is now on wordpress.

KACU is the public radio station located in Abilene, Tx on the campus of Abilene Christian University.  We are housed in the Don Morris Building on the 1st floor.  Our bloggers are both students who work for the station as well as our professional staff members.

Founded as a student radio station in 1955, KACU was originally housed in McKinsey Dorm on the ACU campus until 1986 when it became an official public radio station on June 2nd.  Since then, 89.7 KACU FM Abilene Public Radio has continued to be the source for public radio in West Texas, the source for NPR news and programming, A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor, the BBC Worldservice, as well as a myriad of great music programs like Performance Today, Beale Street Caravan, Jazzset, and others.  KACU is also the home of locally produced shows like Eye On Entertainment, The News @ Noon, The Poet’s Corner, Nightsounds, All That Jazz and the syndicated variety music program The Appetizer.

 

Check back soon for the latest blog entries.

More information on the station can be found at www.kacu.org.