Charlie Haldeman

The digital home of the genuine rural eclectic.

October 2018

October 31, 2018

There’s something about today that’s different from most days. I just can’t put my finger on it. Is it a holiday or something?


October 29, 2018

How do journalists dig for information? How does it all work? Our friend, Al Tompkins gives a lesson on searching for answers related to the man who shot all those people in Pittsburgh. You’ll need Facebook to read it, but it’s worth a look:


October 28, 2018

At dawn in Waco, we await the brisket. We watch over the beans. We cool the potato salad.

And we have a deeper understanding of why barbecue is what it is. But we can’t understand people right now.

It’s Sunday.

Remember children, you can read the funny papers, but only after you’ve read your Sunday School lesson this morning.

Ours comes from the book of google. (Well, not really but that’s where I found it.)

I was seeking the words quoted by my colleague, Steve Ackermann when he wrote “My House shall be a House of Prayer for all People.”

He referred to the quote in light of voting early and after 11 people were gunned down yesterday during a baby naming ceremony at a Pittsburg synagogue.

As we watch over the burnt offerings in the back yard here in Waco, let’s turn to that lesson I was talking about earlier. Then we’ll look at the funny papers.


October 27, 2018


From the Pecan Valley Genealogical Society over in Brown County:

“Warshing Clothes Recipe” — imagine having a recipe for this ! ! !

Years ago a Texas grandmother gave the new bride the following recipe:

This is an exact copy as written and found in an old scrapbook, spelling errors and all.


Build fire in backyard to heat kettle of rain water. Set tubs so smoke wont blow in eyes if wind is pert.

Shave one hole cake of lie soap in boilin water.

Sort things, make 3 piles

1 pile white,

1 pile colored,

1 pile work britches and rags.

To make starch, stir flour in cool water to smooth, then thin down with boiling water.

Take white things, rub dirty spots on board, scrub hard and boil, then rub colored don’t boil just wrench and starch.

Take things out of kettle with broom stick handle, then wrench, and starch.

Hang old rags on fence.

Spread tea towels on grass.

Pore wrench water in flower bed. Scrub porch with hot soapy water.

Turn tubs upside down.

Go put on clean dress, smooth hair with hair combs. Brew cup of tea, sit and rock a spell and count your blessings.

From our original 2017 post. ~CR


October 26, 2018

If you weren’t sure that Halloween was approaching, the driver of this Jeep is on a mission to remedy that.


October 25, 2018

Today, I saw where the inventor of the Green-Bean Casserole has died.

Her legacy was six ingredients and six minutes of prep time.

Dorcas Reilly died on October 15, but the New York Times just recently ran the story.

Here it is. 



October 24, 2018

I’m a terrible gift-giver. I always have been. It’s a skill that I’ve long worked to improve.

For example, can’t you just see someone who would want a candle sharpener?

I’m going to buy a dozen for loved ones on my Christmas shopping list.


October 23, 2018

Pop quiz for only the most random knowledge knowers around:

What do the call letters WBAP stand for?

Legend has it that President Herbert Hoover coined the phrase “We Bring A Program.”

However, this great piece in the Fort Worth Star Telegram claims the calls actually meant “We’ll Be At Party.”

Here’s a wonderful story from Bud Kennedy on 70 years of Channel 5 in Dallas-Fort Worth:

As Channel 5 turns 70, here are 5 things you didn’t know about NBC 5



October 22, 2018

The world of firewood is a tricky one. The measurements are foreign to me.

There are cords and ricks.

There are face cords and what we have here above is a half-face cord.

We’ll have to explore all of these (and barbecue) in a dispatch soon.


October 21, 2018


October 20, 2018

Behind the scenes of a successful television news broadcast on a fall Friday night in Texas will most definitely include a healthy dose of football.


October 19, 2018

As Texas continues to flood in the low places, one icon is ready for the rising waters.

The statue of the late Stevie Ray Vaughan.

My cousin Keith Earl would get a kick out of this. Keith Earl was (and probably still is) SRV’s biggest fan in the 80’s and 90’s.


October 18, 2018

I’m not making this up.

The CDC has actually issued an advisory about dressing up chickens in Halloween costumes.


October 17, 2018

Some nights, I can’t sleep through. What I mean is, at the strike of 3 a.m. or 4 a.m., I return to the land of the living after a few hours of slumber. This morning, it was 3:33 a.m.

I resist the urge to look at the mobile device that’s on my night stand. I usually give in and begin to read until I get sleepy again.

This morning’s headlines included a note that Big Bird was leaving Sesame Street.


The New York Times headline jarred me, but I learned through reading that, no, Big Bird isn’t going, but his handler is.

Caroll Spinney played the part of the bird and Oscar the Grouch for 50 years.

“I always thought, How fortunate for me that I got to play the two best Muppets?” he told the Times.

“Playing Big Bird is one of the most joyous things of my life.”

Here’s the compelling story. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.


October 16, 2018

We talk a lot about the weather here. This week, it seems everybody is talking about the weather.  That’s because there’s plenty of weather to talk about.

From Hurricane Michael and the aftermath in Florida and Georgia… to the cold snap across the plains and southwest… to the high water here and there.

Over in Llano County (that’s pronounced LAN-oh), the raging rivers have taken out homes, cars, and even bridges. The local newspaper at Llano claims this is the worst flooding of the Llano River since the 1930’s.

Here’s an image from TxDOT at Kingsland, Texas where the Ranch Road 2900 bridge was washed away today.


October 15, 2018

You can’t tell by this picture, but it’s 43 degrees, windy, and the rain is coming down in sheets. The first cold snap of the season has finally come to visit.

I’m sure we’ll all be tired of it in a week or two.


October 14, 2018

A couple of lessons from the weekend:

Driving over your water meter can be an $800 mistake.

Seasoning your new grill can enlighten you on the lessons of temperature ratings. Even for devices called fire boxes. (You can’t burn too hot in this one.) We’ll be buying some high temperature paint today.


October 13, 2018

Grandma and Tank are 89-years-old and don’t venture far from home these days.

This time, they’ve made a trip to College Station to see their youngest granddaughter, Landry. She’s a senior at Texas A&M. That’s Landry on the far left sitting next to her mother, Jane. Jane is the real hero here, as she has been their driver and caretaker for the entirety of this journey.

Now, they’ve come to Waco to see their oldest great-granddaughter, Hattie, as she marches in the band.

Grandma enjoyed her nachos with jalapeños. She even shared with me.


October 12, 2018

As seen in downtown Temple, Texas yesterday. Workers have gutted the first floor of an old building, but the fascinating part is up above. Tons of stucco Nd rebar are being removed to reveal the original facade.


October 11, 2018

I got into a minor mode of house cleaning with a brief burst of energy last night.

I only got as a far as dusting the old upright piano.

That’s a task when you include dusting the 40 framed pictures on top.

The piano has never been played for as long as I’ve had it. It needs lots of work before it’s in a decent condition. I don’t know if it will ever be restored to its former glory. Maybe one day.

It came out of an old dilapidated house that had been damaged in the big tornado of 1999. The city was going to haul it off to the dump.

In the end, the house it belonged to was demolished. The piano, built in 1913, survives as a piece of furniture to hold pictures.


October 10, 2018

Sonny Carl is at it again thanks to the upcoming election for U.S. Senate in Texas. Surely, you’ve seen Sonny. Or heard of him.


Sonny Carl Davis is an actor from Austin. He showed up on my radar a few years back when he brilliantly delivered the lines about the five different parts of Texas in the movie “Bernie.”  Here’s that clip:

Now Sonny is back thanks to a political action committee and he’s salty as ever.

This one is PG13 for language and may offend certain folks given the content is a sitting United States Senator. I don’t have a dog in the hunt for senate, but I laughed at the clip.  That’s why I’m sharing it. Save the hate mail for someone else. I would have shared it if it had been about the other guy running.


October 9, 2018

That’s my 89-year-old grandfather picking okra in his backyard this past weekend.


October 8, 2018

After a weekend in the hometown, I remembered how the businesses and entities there have some of the greatest slogans. There’s a whole list here.

There’s this one from our local lumber mill, Phillips Forest Products:

“You should see what we saw.”

The old slogan of the De Kalb Volunteer Fire Dept:

“You light em. We fight em.”

The De Kalb Body Shop:

“You bend em. We mend em.”

And the Fannin Dairy’s great slogan:

“All we have, we owe to udders.”


October 7, 2018

A good time was had by All.


October 6, 2018

Today is Oktoberfest in De Kalb, Texas. If you happen to be close by today, I hope I see you up town.


October 5, 2018

Aren’t you glad you can come to a digital space like this and find a different topic discussed each day?

Over on the social media site Instagram, the opposite is going on and it’s quite popular.

There are people who post the same image every day. Some of them have thousands of followers.

This one of an egg has 130 followers. The egg man’s goal is to get 1,000 people to follow his daily habit.

The Atlantic has even written about this trend.

I guess it’s a safe topic to tackle when you post publicly. The same innocuous image posted every day.

After all, you can’t talk politics anymore with your friends and family.

My old Kindergarten teacher has recently discovered Facebook and is roasting anybody who has an opinion that differs from hers. It’s both humorous and sad.

I remember when this teacher would turn on the class television set to watch soap operas during the day. You know, those TV shows that seem to be about the same thing. Every day.


October 4, 2018

There are 82 days until Christmas.

Our friend, Shawn over at Accuweather says that means in 80 days, he’ll panic order everything from Amazon Prime and hope the free 2-day shipping works.


If you’re in the mood for barbecue for Christmas, Texas A&M has a deal for you. Overnight delivery of a fully cooked brisket all the way from College Station.

Texas Aggie Brand fully cooked brisket (Rosenthal Meat Center)


October 3, 2018

Long after the Cold War has died down, there is still a need for the country to communicate with you directly. You’ll remember the alert tones and the announcer on the radio saying “This is only a test…”

Emergency managers on the federal level are doing another test.  This time it’s to all mobile devices. So today, you’ll get a message from Washington.  Remember, it’s only a test and no, it’s not from the President.

text you

The most frightening Emergency Alert activation to me was on February 1, 2003. This was when space shuttle Columbia disintegrated over Texas on its way home. It literally rained pieces large and small over hundreds of miles. While the tragedy was bad enough, radio and television stations across the region had to active EAS protocols. The announcement from the National Weather Service was most ominous.

“This is a civil emergency. This is not a test. Debris from the shuttle Columbia is falling across eastern Texas and western Louisiana. Take cover now. Do not approach parts that have fallen near you.  Contact your local authorities and await their arrival.”

I don’t think I’ve heard anything quite as jarring since then.

By the way, if you’re a broadcaster or journalist reading this… please make a special note today:

If you produce a news story on today’s test, please remember you cannot use the EAS tones in your story. It is a serious FCC offense to use the tones in any manner other than a test or emergency.

A while back, there was a trailer for a movie where terrorists took over the White House. The producers of that movie trailer used real EAS tones and were fined thousands of dollars. Every television station that ran the ad was also fined.

The irony in this?

You can easily see and hear EAS tones on youtube.


October 2, 2018

Checking through the feeds this morning and ran across a post that caught my eye. This one from Joe Little out in San Diego on phrase usage.

Joe writes, “Please. Share this with everyone you know.

It’s the “first anniversary.”

It’s not the “one-year anniversary.” That’s redundant. It’s incorrect English.”

That’s a good tip to remember when you’re writing. It’s as important as the phrase “First Annual,” which doesn’t make sense. If it’s the first, there’s no way it can be an annual event. Instead, write “first-ever” or you can even get fancy with it and call it an “inaugural” event.

Now, where were we before we got on the grammar and writing soapbox?

Oh yes, checking the feeds. We used to check the mail for news and information. Now, it’s checking the feeds. For example, I read where there was a big to-do back in the hometown. A backyard party at the Blackmon’s got a little rowdy. The evidence was discovered the next morning.

It wasn’t me who broke the swing. I was 204 miles away.

But my luck would dictate that it very well could have been me had I attended.


October 1, 2018

For all you fans of fall, happy first day of October to you. I hope you’re able to consume all the pumpkin spice drinks your heart desires.

No, I’m not a fan but I won’t turn one down if ever offered.

Since the clock is ticking and the countdown is on, what are you going to be for Halloween?

Here’s all 25 minutes of my favorite part of fall:


Read posts from September 2018 here

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