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Remembering November 29, 1986

     On this date 26 years ago, my Step-Father did something that made a lasting impression on me.  Now keep in mind that at the time, he and my mother had only been dating for a little over 2 1/2 months. I was not too happy about Fred taking my Mother's attention away from me.

     Anyways, back to the point. I had a school project coming up that required me to collect 30 pine cones. No problem, there were plenty of pine trees around the neighborhood. Therefore, there should be plenty of pine cones on the ground.  Uhhh yeah, not so much.  I searched and searched and found not one pine cone.

    I came home cold, crying, runny nose. I was so upset that I found no pine cones and feared I would fail my project.  Fred, who was at our apartment wiped my face clean and told me not to worry, that he would think of something. He sure did.........

     The next morning which was November 29, 1986, Fred came to pick up Mom and I and drove us up to Yosemite National Park. JACKPOT!!!!!!!!!! Pine cone central.  Words could not explain how happy and thankful I was.  It took less than 10 minutes to gather up my 30 pine cones.  After that, the three of us roamed about the park and enjoyed a picnic of potato salad and fried chicken made my my Mommy.

     When I went to school the following Monday, not only did I have my 30 pine cones, but I also had a great story to tell about how and where I got them.



     

    

Writer's Block: One day

How do you feel when a favorite band breaks up? Do you still follow the original band members in their new projects?

My favorite band is Earth Wind & Fire. Even though they are still performing today, majority of the original members have departed from the group. With the help of youtube.com, I am able to keep up with former memebers with their new bands. Most of those new bands are "tribute" bands to Earth Wind & Fire. I know it's a long shot, but I am always hopeful that the original classic Earth Wind & Fire lineup will do a reunion performance or even an album.

The Flying Skunk!!!!!!!!


I went to Subway to grab a sammich and what I saw on the way was a once in a lifetime thing. I was heading north up the frontage road parallel to the I-35 and the car in front of me had their convertible top down. Well a truck coming the opposite way hit a live skunk that was running across the road and sent the skunk flying into the convertible!!!!!

Lord have mercy, I had to pull over because I was laughing do damn much, hell I am still laughing!!!!!

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Some finished projects from my new job

Here are some photos of projects I have worked on since taking on the new job, hope you like.

  These are pictures from a luxury suite at  Texas Memorial Stadium (Texas Longhorns)

  Maggiano's Little Italy Restaurant

   These last three pictures are from the Arthouse in Downtown Austin. The staircase is made from Ipe wood. This by far was an extremely complex project. But looking at the finished project makes all the drama from drawing, field measuring, construction and installation well worth it.

    It's no secret that I am in love with the work I do. I look forward to posting more pictures from projects.

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I'm expanding!!!!

     Many who know me are quite aware that I am normally a thin dude. Sure my weight has gone up and down, but usually by a few pounds. Normally, I weigh about 175-lbs to around 180lbs. 

     Since moving to Austin, TX., a lot of stress has been lifted off my shoulders. I am much happier now and enjoying life even more than ever. 

     My appetite and belly is really enjoying all this Texas BBQ and other good foods. This is probably why now I weigh..... acoording to three different scales,I weigh about 206lbs now, including mine at home.................

 

  Once I got home, I stripped naked and the scale said 209lbs with no clothes on. It's nice to be able to raise my arms and not see the outline of my ribs, LOL. I do have an appointment to see my doctor for a routine check-up for my pancreatitis. So I will have him check blood pressure, cholesterol, etc.

     I'm sure most of you think that 206lbs is nothing. But for me, this is a lot, although I like having a little more meat on my bones. At the same time, I need to keep an eye on it too.
 


What is the biggest mistake of your life so far? What did you learn from it?

The biggest mistake I have made so far is not being true to myself. Now I am seriously paying for that mistake.

That damned "N" word (No jokes please)

     Answer me this:  Why do some people, whether they are black, white, hispanic, etc., think that calling somebody "nigga" instead of "nigger" is ok and not offensive?  Seriously here, no joking please, does anybody have an answer for this?

My phobia of spiders...............

Many of you who know me are well aware that I am massively afraid of spiders. I have been since that one night when I was three years old.  A night that I remember all too well.  It was one of those nights when I did not want to go to sleep.
 
Me: MOM.....MOM...............MOM!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Mom: Robert Cooper, go to sleep.
Me: MAMA............MAMA!!!!!!!!!!
Mom: Brother Cooper, you call my name one more time and I am coming in there with the comb!!!!!!!
(Silence for a few minutes)
Me: There's a spider on my face!!!!!!
Mom: That's it, you're gonna get it young man!!!!
(Mom charges down the hall)
Me: (Crying my eyes out)
Mom: Stop that crying, I haven't even done anything yet.
(Mom turns on the light)
Mom: (SCREAMS) OH MY GOD, THERE'S A SPIDER ON YOUR FACE!!!!!!!!!
Me: (Stops crying) Didn't I just tell you that?!?!?!
 
So off to Kaiser we went on BART.  The right side of my face looked as though I had got into a fight with Mike Tyson. To be honest, I do not remember what was done at the hospital.  I was left with a scar just below my right eye, which is slowly going away.

For a while, I had completely forget about the spider bite.  In fact, I would actually go outside and capture Daddy Longlegs and pull their legs off (You know you did it too). 

One night at Grandma's house, we were watching the movie Tarantula and everything was fine.  Suddenly out of nowhere, I began to freak out. I ran down the hall and hid in the back of Grandma's closet screaming at the top of my lungs for somebody to save me. Since then, I have been deathly afraid of them.

Around age 12, Fred and Wanda (Dad and Mom) began letting me stay home by myself over the weekend while they were out of town. Of course my older brother Casey would come by to check on me.  Even though he said he was only there to get food (Yeah right).  Anyways, I come home from school Friday afternoon and I go in my room and there was a spider on my bed. I freaked out something fierce. I slammed the door shut and I stuffed towels under the door and I didn't go near my room for the whole weekend.  Luckily there was clean clothes in the laundry room.

Fast forward to 1998, I'm driving down Blackstone Ave and while sitting at the stop light, out of nowhere, there is a spider crawling in my window, causing my first panic attack. Somehow I managed to fling the spider out the window and go on about my business.

A few years later, a good friend bought the movie Arachnophobia for me because he knew that I liked John Goodman.  Needless to say, the DVD is still in the shrink-wrap and I have never seen the movie to this day.

Ok I will skip embarassing myself with more spider incidents. Today at work, I was walking up the walkway to my office and there on the handrail was this:



Golden silk orb-weaver

Of course I was freaked out, I stood there frozen in place knowing I would have to go passed the spider to get to the office. Suddenly, it moved and I hauled ass up the steps and into the office and quickly slammed the door.  I know I know, I am 31 years old and I damn near pee my pants when I encounter a spider.  But to everybody's surprise, I put on my big boy undies and took the picture of the spider. Sure I took about twenty pictures because I was shaking from fright, but dammit I got it.

I'm sure as time goes on, I will become less afraid of spiders...................YEAH GOOD LUCK WITH THAT!!!!
 

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Evolution of a Bear Part 18: Benjamin

February 1975, the world was graced with the an adorable baby by the name of Benjamin.  He was cute, cuddly, smart and loveable.  Growing up, Mr. Ben liked fishing and even hiking in the woods.  He also had a love for Mom's home cooked meals, especially her chicken and rice.



Ben couldn't wait for the holidays to watch the Peanuts Christmas specials.  The movie Muppets Take Manhatton is a big time favorite, seriously, just quote a line from the movie and watch that face of his light up like a Christmas tree. He may even giggle a little too.



What many people love most about Ben is his personality, his playful sense of humor and how caring he is to his friends and family.  Just recently, Ben has fallen in love and from what he has told me, he is very happy.  I wish you all the happiness in the world Mr. Benjamin.


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