New Year 2013 Brings Doses of Old, New, & Same

happy new year 2013

It didn’t take long for the old to get here. The Democrats and the Republicans held us all over the “Fiscal Cliff” until the very last-minute before finally approving some steps to save the day in some politically face-saving way. We’ll see how much difference these elusive moves actually make, but let’s not hold our collective breath.

The Houston Texans now hang precariously over another familiar cliff to local teams. After establishing themselves in the 2012 NFL race as the odds on favorite for home field advantage in the AFC, they now hang sputtering in a heap, just waiting for a club like the Cincinnati Bengals to come to town and hit them with a fatal feather. – We’ll see, but it makes you wonder: How long is it going to take beyond the end of this football season for the fans to start crying for a new QB or coach? Matt Schaub is already showing that he’s as good as he’s going to get – and that he’s not good enough. Old news again.

Here’s something new: The Houston Astros move to the American League and the DH-rules version of baseball in 2013. – Wait a minute. – What’s new in Houston MLB history about losing over 100 games a season for the third year in a row?

Hey! This is new! – The State of Texas has adjusted certain sections of I-10 West beyond Kerrville on the way to El Paso with new speed limits of 80 and 85 mph, but there’s a touch of old attached to this practical concession to the boredom and impatience of West Texas travelers: All of the little town Justice of the Peace courts along the way and their “cahootie” buddies in the DPS black & whites have made the adjustment from 70 mph to the higher legal speed limits. I have it on anonymous testimony from a conservative driving friend who thought that cruise control at 80 MPH would protect him from a ticket. A DPS officer pulled him over, alleging that his speed actually had been 90 MPH. If he disputed the charge, he had the option of staying in this little town a couple of days and going through a trial – or else – he could plead guilty, pay the fine, and continue on his way. Since it was Christmas, my buddy elected to plead guilty, even though he later checked his speed at 80 MPH under cruise control by the official highway mileage posts and found his car’s rate to have been accurate.

The cost of sacrificing a long-shot chance at justice for the sake of avoiding inconvenience doesn’t come cheap.

The fine for going a pleaded-out 90 in an 80 was $198 in court costs, plus $248 as the fine for exceeding the pleaded out speed at “90 in an 80.” He was also told that an “81 in an 80” would have been $108, plus the aforementioned court costs. – Some things just stay old. – I wish the heck we could catch more drinking and reckless, lane-weaving speeders and stop chopping up our salt-of-the-earth types, but what else is new?

Dancing “Gang-Nam” style is still new, but bound to get old with our young people soon. The inventor of that chiropractor’s dream dance looks too much like the President of North Korea on a “Gang-Nam” style aerobic diet to actually remain popular for too much longer.

Oh yeah. There’s me. The Pecan Park Eagle guy turned 75 yesterday. Nothing new about that, but I do try to keep my mind fresh to what’s new in the world and to embrace the new digital technology for all of its good reasons.

WordPress tells me that my blog here had over 300,000 hits in 2012 from over 157 countries. Most were from the USA, of course, but some were from England and a lot of other countries around the world. I wasn’t sure in advance that there were 157 countries in the world that contained English-speaking people, but that just goes to show again how much I need to still learn about our social planet.

What was new about birthday celebration yesterday? My 28 year-old son Neal picked up the tab for our steak dinners at Taste of Texas restaurant. That was a pretty neat little experience in itself.

1929: Coming Attractions

2029: Coming Attractions

Neal is also a very well-informed astronomical hobbyist. On a clear night anywhere, he can show us lesser informed observers of the universe some parts of the heavens that we may not have even realized were a part of the grand scheme of things, but yesterday, after our meal, he also had one of those popular “stick around, Dad” messages for me.

“Dad,” Neal said, “You really need to stick around for something that is going to happen in 2029. You will only be 92 by that time, but the wait will be well worth it.”

“So, what’s new about 2029?” I asked.

“It’s not actually new, Dad,” Neal answered excitedly. “It’s actually quite old, but, believe me, it’s really going to be something to see.”

What it is – is the coming of a giant meteor, Neal says, and it is predicted to be on a track that will carry it between the earth and the moon on its way back again into the infinite space beyond us.

Is that new and amazing? Or just plain scary for those who probably will be here? What if the projections for its passage arc past earth are just a tad bit off? – Why, a thing like that may be big enough to wipe out the whole 2029 baseball season if it actually hit the earth.

Wouldn’t you think?

Oh well, here’s another something old:


The Pecan Park Eagle

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8 Responses to “New Year 2013 Brings Doses of Old, New, & Same”

  1. Bob Hulsey Says:

    Happy belated birthday, Bill!

    • Bill McCurdy Says:

      Thank you much, Mr. Hulsey, and thank you especially for your many contributions here. I’m really looking forward to our new experiences with a very different Astros baseball season. Hope you are too.

  2. Irv and Helenann Lauber Says:

    Happy Birthday, Bill! Many more healthy, happy ones! Love to Neal and Norma, too!

    • Bill McCurdy Says:

      God bless you too, Helenann, and thank you for the warm loving wishes from both you and wonderful Irving. We’ll see each other again one of these days. It’s just hard to break the mold of this socially reclusive life style that Norma and I have built around our lives of work, semi-retirement, and volunteer commitment. Well, truth to tell: Norma’s the worker. I’m the semi-retired volunteer. She’s always too tired – and I’m always too busy to break out and just getaway from things to visit old friends. Please forgive us for now. One of these days …. (you know the rest).

  3. Neal McCurdy Says:

    CORRECTION: It isn’t 2029, it’s April 13th, 2036, Easter Sunday… And you’ll be 98.

  4. Patrick Callahan Says:

    i am close behind on the 75 number (April 16). Keep up the good work, and occasionally write something about Houston or something other than baseball. You’re doing a great job.

    PS >> We were in Houston early December and went to our favorite seafood restaurant Little Pappas Seafood Kitchen on Shepherd at W. Alabama (not your rend of town- but mine as I grew up over there). They have turned the W. Alabama theater into a TRADER JOE’S now – I remember going tot he Saturday morning “Fun Club” there; parents dropped us of for maybe 2.5 hours; 12 cents admission = cartoons, B Grade westerns (black & white of course), and maybe the serials like the “Green Hornet”
    those were heady days!

  5. Shirley Virdon Says:

    Happy Birthday! You’re just a young thing at 75!! Keep up the good commentary!!
    Happy New Year!!

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