Tag Archives: Texas

Your Complete Annular Eclipse Viewing Guide

Happy Annular Eclipse viewing for my son in Albuquerque celebrating his birthday today!  Also for my Mom in Lubbock, Texas if they can keep the skies clear enough just before sunset.  Here are viewing times and tips from NASA and your friendly announcer dude:

Something Fishy Going On Again

Neons and Tetras and Plants, Oh Joy
Neons and Tetras and Plants, Oh Joy

I love my fish tank.  It brings a calm and peace to my life as I peer into an alien environment created for creatures with gills and colorful scales.  I have a 55 gallon tank and when it’s fully stocked with guppies and neons and assorted tetras it can be better than HD TV.  In 3D even!

The story of the tank goes back to the days in Roswell and my job at KBIM TV.  The year was 1992.  I already had a 10 gallon tank (which was later the home for my Piranha, but that is another story) where my green snake lived.  (it was so cool)  I also had a little goldfish tank with a little goldfish in it.  I didn’t want a dog or a cat since I lived in an upstairs apartment.

I was minding my own business at work one day talking to our receptionist and she asked me if I wanted to buy her 55 gallon tank.  Stand, underground filters, gravel, the whole works for only $75.  What a steal and a deal!  I jumped at it and we agreed.  Her Dad even helped me carry it up the stairs to my apartment.  He even took the heavy end.  (and it was heavy)

I got it all set up and stocked it with fish and it was amazing.  It had (and still has) the best gravel I’ve seen in a fresh water tank.  My son was only 3 years old at the time and he loved it!  Amber did too, and so did I.  :-)

I had the tank for the remaining couple years I lived in Roswell.  I added a dog when I moved into a house.  Popcorn was our “Pet of the Week” one week that we featured on the air after the weather.   I said on TV that I would take her if no one else did, and I did, but again, that is another another story.

Marbles from FAO Schwartz.  Fish from Pet Smart.
Marbles from FAO Schwartz. Fish from Pet Smart.

Back to the tank.  It traveled well when I moved to Lubbock, Texas and was a source of joy when I bought my first house a couple of years later.  I visited FAO Schwartz in NY, NY and bought some marbles that I added to the tank.  The fish even made the move (and two year stay) to Odessa, Texas after my nearly 10 years in Lubbock.  After Odessa I moved to Tucson and that is when I ran into a problem.  The tank got cracked during transport from Odessa to Tucson.  So, I went without fish for almost a year.  That is until my son came to visit.

Now in high school, one of the first things my son said to me was, “Where is your fish tank?”  I had always had the tank since he could remember and it was noticeably missing.  I missed it too, so I went down to the Wal-Mart and bought a new tank.  I still had all the set-up stuff and it was easy to set it up back up and stock it.  Just like old times!  All was calm and peaceful again in the Shaw household.

Then came my personal Great Depression last year into this one.  Not so much my mood, but my finances.  First one light burned out on the tank, then the other.  Some of the fish were dying (normal attrition) and the remaining were living in the dark except for the natural light coming in from the windows.  I couldn’t afford to replace the lights nor the fish.  This went on for nearly a year until last week.

Still needs a little work, but I'm glad it's back
Still needs a little work, but I'm glad it's back

Finally!  I caught up on my bills and I had some left over cash to replace the lights and stock the tank.  I especially love the guppies.  They are the most colorful and flamboyant of the fish and they breed like crazy.  The little baby guppies serve as live food for the rest of the fish, and the guppies that survive continue to supply even more guppies. It’s wonderful!  In Lubbock I had a pet store owner who used to buy guppies from me.

So there you have it.  Pets and apartment living don’t mix with me very well.  Except for the fish.  They don’t need to be walked and there is no cat box litter smell.  Only peace and love and a glimpse into an alien world full of color and life.  Sigh.

Don’t Text During the Movie. All Right?!

It’s been a rough couple of weeks and I needed a good laugh.  Thanx to TheBlaze.com for bringing this important issue to light.

A movie theater in Austin, Texas, part of a small chain of theaters, took an angry voice mail and turned it into a funny FUNNY message that texting is not allowed in their theaters.

Let’s be honest.  When someone opens their phone during a movie the light can be distracting.  I didn’t pay $7.50 for a movie and $6 for popcorn so I can watch you text!

This video is not suitable for work nor for children and some adults.  Enjoy

California vs. Texas

This was originally posted at the Tucson Tea Party’s new blog

They say everything is bigger in Texas. That is not entirely true. Texas has a much smaller unemployment rate than the rest of the country and a smaller deficit too. Their deficit is so small, it’s a surplus!

Compare that to California that excels in joblessness and deficit spending. How did the Golden State squander their gold while Texas is thriving in the the worst economy in a generation?

One only look as far as the ideals that have brought Americans out on the streets asking Washington D.C., pleading really, to shrink the size of Government, lower taxes and embrace fiscal responsibility. The Tucson Tea Party Peeps have been pointing out what Texas is proving. Less really is more when it comes to government and resulting prosperity.

Mark Hemingway shows the contrast between the Golden and Lone Star states in the first of his 5 part series, “Texas booms while California busts.” He compares the two states philosophies and behaviors, and the very different results they bring. From the article:

While Texas has been affected by the economic downturn, its 7.9 percent unemployment rate is well below the national average of 9.8. At 12 percent, unemployment in California is well above average.

Perhaps the most dramatic illustration of Texas’ superiority is that Americans have been stating their preference for the Lone Star State with their feet.

Between 2000 and 2009, California had a domestic outflow of 1.5 million people, while Texas had 850,000 move in from other states. From 2008 to 2009, Texas’ population inflow was double that of any other state.

So how have two similar states ended up in such radically different situations? The answer is smaller government.

What Texas is doing “appears as right-wing science fiction to many California legislators and pundits. They claim that serious reform of the tax code is unrealistic, that a large state has many duties to fulfill, and that it is irresponsible to call for a return to a 19th century view of the role of government,” write economists Arthur B. Laffer, Stephen Moore and Jonathan Williams in their annual report “Rich States, Poor States.”

Texas has no state income tax or personal capital gains tax and a small 1 percent gross receipts tax on business. In contrast, California’s 10.3 percent personal income tax is the second highest in the country, and the Golden’s State’s top marginal rates for corporate income and capital gains are 8.84 and 10.55 percent, respectively.

Unfortunately Washington D.C. and the Federal Government aren’t listening to the Tea Party and aren’t following the real world example of Texas. Instead they continue down the California path that instead of being paved with gold is littered with printed money borrowed from our kids and grandkids.

We the People of the Tucson Tea Party will be back out there holding our signs, peacefully assembling for principles that are obviously and demonstrably right. For a country that is seeking answers we only need to examine the bad and good examples being set by California and Texas.

How Cold is it?


New record low of 18 this morning which is also tied for the second coldest ever for a February Tucson morning.  There’s a chance we tied the all-time record February low of 17.  We won’t find out for sure for a few hours.  If we didn’t reach it, no worries.  We have an even better chance tomorrow morning!

This could be the coldest February chill in Tucson’s history.  I go through all of that plus take a look at the cold, snow and freezing rain forecast for Texas in this morning’s “Coffee and a Forecast”

Video streaming by Ustream
Here is a comprehensive look at the cold start originally posted on my TucsonWeather.us site.

One Reason I Left TV

Morning Show was Fun
Morning Show was Fun

It left me.

There are many reasons why I left, but a Newsbusters story this morning reminded of something that used to really bug me.

I used to anchor the morning news on two stations in Lubbock, Texas.  CBS13 from 5:30-6:00.  ABC28 from 6:00 – 7:00.  Back on CBS for news 7:00-8:00 and then weather cut-ins on CBS from 8:00-9:00.  Yeah, it was busy.

Occasionally, our producer would want some time off and some of those times, I would come in at Midnight and produce my own shows.  Part of that process is pulling down news stories (packages as they are called) from the various satellite feeds from the networks.  It used to bug me to no end how hard it was to find down the middle reporting.  I trusted many of our local reporters to give an honest look at both sides more than I did the supposed leaders of our industry!

Being a watcher of the news these days, and also an unapologetic conservative reporter in the “new media,” I can tell you that yes, it has gotten worse.  It seems like when the networks crowned Barack Obama as President the veil was lifted.  Network news isn’t unbiased reporting any more, rather it’s reporting with a liberal slant in much the same way that this blog and my videos are reporting with a conservative one.  I don’t mind so much that ABCBSNBC are liberal, except they try to pretend that they are fair!

So here’s the story from Newsbusters.  Seems the by a margin of 12:1, ABC, CBS and NBC have been reporting negatively on the new immigration law in Arizona.  No kidding (sarcasm).  Translation?  They are lying to the American people.  Propaganda even.  No wonder their ratings are down.  Americans are around 60% in favor of this law, and that’s even while they are bombarded by lies!  Honest reporting on the facts of the bill might even put a damper on some of the violent protests against the bill.  It couldn’t hurt anyway.  Certainly good journalism requires telling the truth.  Right?

Thank God that the term “media” is plural.  There are all sides being discussed on various mediums.  The TV networks used to do a better job of balancing themselves out.  Now we consumers of news have to turn to a variety of sources.

I don’t miss being on TV so much… well, maybe weather anchoring.  Maybe that’s why I started TucsonWeather.us.  See ya there!