Troy Thibodeaux

Cracklins/Chicharrones

Growing up in south Louisiana we ate Cracklins all the time. They are like pork skins/rinds but with some meat and fat on the skin. Mexico has something very similar called Chicharrones. These come in different forms. I've seen them in the grocery store where they are similar to pork skins, which is just the fried skin. Those are good, like most pork skins. But I recently found the ones that are more similar to cracklins. They have the meat and fat on them. I found a place close by my house called La Super and they have them, so I am set. I even was able to practice a little Spanish when ordering.





The Cleverly's at Billy Bobs

We went see the Cleverly's at Billy Bob's in Ft Worth. Great show and fun place. We stayed the night and enjoyed the Stockyards the next day. It had been probably over 10 years since I had been there. It's as massive and country as I remember. We had a great night. 

The band was entertaining. Their schtick is hilarious, but don't think these guys are not legit musicians. They are the real deal. 


We had some great Mexican food at Esperanza's the next day. 


Fishing

 Sat 4-30-2022

I went fishing at Lake Lewisville. I went to Ridgepointe Park, which is on the south east corner of the lake. This is the stop I have fished lately. I walk along the shore to little point. The water is shallow, so I walk a little ways out to about waist deep water and either throw out my catfish lines or throw out a lure.

I've caught largemouth and sand bass there, but not much catfish. This time, I caught some live shad in my cast net and set out two lines off of the point. I fished on the bottom with double drops on each pole.

I got my lines in the water around 11:15 am. I caught a small, but keeper size blue catfish. I put in on a stringer, as I considered taking some home if I caught enough. There is no minimum legal size, but it was around 14 inches and a good eating size.

I little after 12 am I caught my second one, which was a really nice size Blue. It was well over 12 inches long.


Around 12:30 I caught my third fish, which was bigger than the first one, but not as big as the second.  This one was a Channel Cat I believe.



 Five minutes later I caught my fourth fish I caught was a freshwater drum. It was probably a foot long, and I was not oppose to eating that, so I put it on the stringer as well.


The stringer was looking really nice at this point. I felt like I had to make decision whether I was going to take these home. It was a commitment to clean and process these fish, and this was more than I was going to eat in one meal, so I would have pack some away and freeze them. Not a huge deal, but that decision would decide how I would spend the rest of my day once I got home. I decided to let them go, and keep on fishing.

Around 1:39 pm I caught my fifth fish, which another really nice Channel Cat. It was a good 20 inches long. In the image below, the tackle box is around 16 inches wide.





Not five minutes later I caught number size which was another Channel Cat which a little bit bigger and fatter than the previous one.






















Right at 2 pm I caught number seven, which was another really good fish. This one was a Blue.

Right before I caught my last fish I noticed a few guys fishing a little ways down the shore. I would walk right by them on my way out, so I purposely kept the last fish I caught and would offer it to them, if they wanted it.

Before I packed up, one of the guys came over and asked me if I had a lighter. I didn't. I talked him a little about what I was catching and fishing with, and what they were fishing with. He spoke Spanish, so I tried to speak a little Spanish to him. I didn't know many fishing terms in Spanish. 

As I was leaving I talked to him and his buddies for a few minutes. They has set up camp and had a BBQ pit ready to go. They had shrimp and crawfish for bait. 

I asked them, as I have aske a few other Spanish-speaking people, how to say "crawfish" in Spanish. They just called the crawfish "camarones", which is the same word for shrimp. 

If I type "crawfish" into Google translate, it says "cangrejo de río", but no Spanish-speaking person I have said that term to was familiar with it, and these guys were not as well. 

I told them "bien suerte" and called it a day.

Fishing
Sat 4-2-2022
Fishing at Lake Lewisville 

I only caught a couple, but it was sure fun, and was a beautiful day.
Trust the experts?

1-24-2022

 As a rebellious young man, I questioned many established things... religion, government, etc. etc., but I didn't think I would ever NEED to question doctors, scientist, and other professionals that I thought exclusively worked in the realm of facts. I can give you example after example of supposedly knowledge holders (experts) disagreeing on some very important things that have, or will have huge impacts on our lives.

Inferred Evidence
We don't know everything. We use what we do know along with reason, logic, predictive models, etc. to arrive at conclusions. Those conclusions, though fact-based, are not proven facts. They might be true. We might one day know that they are, but until then, they are an educated guesses. 

Climate change, Covid, carbohydrates, etc. is all up for grabs.

Some doctors says Ivermectin is dangerous and there is no proof it helps treat Covid. Other doctors, citing studies, say exactly the opposite.

Some climatologists say that climate change is an existential threat to the planet, and other climatologist say the small amount of warming is very manageable, and in many ways is beneficial to the humans and the planet.

Some doctors say the Keto diet is unhealthy and leads to high cholesterol, liver damage, heart disease, etc., while other doctors say that a high carbohydrate diets leads to those same problems, and a high protein, high fat, low carb diet reduces cholesterol levels in the blood.

I try to not always have a "follow the money" mentality. Everyone is getting paid to do their jobs. There's nothing wrong with that, and just because you get paid by an organization that shares your opinions/conclusions, that does not make everything they say biased. But, it does make you wonder, and no one is above reproach.

Trust the experts? Which ones?

The emotional rollercoaster that is Duolingo

1-20-2022

You ever have one of those Duo days where with the combination of just plain guessing, brain farts, typos, etc. you run out of hearts before you get through even one lesson? This was today, so far. 

The day before was great. I had 200+ XPs. I completed enough lessons where the next checkpoint became available "checkpoint 2". I had watched a few Youtube videos by "Spring Spanish" that gave me some interesting insights into how native speakers handle some common questions/responses. It was an encouraging day, and felt like I made some progress. But today, not so much. 

Oh well, I'll keep pushing forward. It sometimes feels like two steps forward, one step back, which by definition is still progress, it's just slow (muy lento).


Otra ano en los libros. Another year in the books.

1-17-2022

I am blessed to have my health, a loving wife and family, good friends, a good job, personal interests that are fun and challenging and stimulate my body and brain. I wish for growth. I want to progress in all of those things, but if for whatever reason life keeps me where I am, then I've led a pretty good life. 

That being said, I can't be sedentary to maintain what I have, so it will take work to remain where I am. Everything is not perfect, and it doesn't all come easy.

I was blessed with being born to good parents, born in a country with a lot of freedom and opportunities, and born without any major physical or mental challenges. That is pretty much where the "luck" part ends. 

Health
Unfortunately at my age, it takes work to be healthy. I am not in perfect health, so if I don't continue to "attempt" to watch what I eat, exercise, get check-ups, etc. I will regress for sure. 

Friends and Family
I hope my wife and family will always unconditionally love me, but love is reciprocal. "The love you take is equal to the love you make". Not that it takes a lot of work to love my family. They are easy to love. But to be loving, and to show love is an action. It takes volition and must be acted upon. Just feeling that way is not enough. This also holds true for all friendships. 

Work
My job, as stable as I might think it is at times, is volatile. I could lose my job any day, and it could be because of something completely outside of my control. But, if I slack, if I become complacent, if I stop being perceived as a value to my employer, I will be gone. That would change a hell of lot in my life. I could, should, and mostly probably would find another good job, but I don't like that uncertainty. At this point, I really enjoy my job, and the people I work with. I get paid a fare wage, and I think I'm respected. It's a pretty sweet situation.  

Music
Music is a passion for me. I love making it, listening to it, thinking about it, etc. That is purely a gift from God. The creation of music is so rewarding. I really do think it's magic. The actual physical part of playing an instrument takes work. It takes a bit of work to maintain what I already have, and if I want to progress, it takes more work. For the most part, my skills on guitar have progress dramatically much over the years, buy my understanding of music and how to implement that on guitar has really progresses, and that is what facilitates make my own music. The transfer of the mental to the physical is a very important skill, and I can do that much better now than I ever have. 

Learning
A new interest is Spanish. I've always wanted to learn a language, and growing up in a house where both my parents spoke French, I was exposed to it, but only in a very small way. The culture in south Louisiana has a lot of French traditions, references, common phrases, etc., but it's not really a place where French is spoken very frequently any more. I missed a real opportunity to learn French, but growing up, I had no interest in it. 

Now, I have lived in Texas for many years, and Spanish much more common to hear, than French was growing up. It has a place in the culture, even for non-Hispanics. I gross paths with Spanish speakers almost on a daily basis. And, I will soon have a son-in-law (yerno) who is fluent in Spanish, so my interest in learning a language has ben heightened, and Spanish would be the natural choice. Maybe I can add French to my learning after I get to some level of Spanish where I can hold even a basic conversation. Besides the practicality of it, it really does challenge me, and make my brain work in a way it never has.  

Modes

Frank Gambale - Modes No More Mystery I remastered I #frankgambale
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kp8iiWSsZvM

Frank plays the chord progression E, D, A, but says it's NOT in the key of E, even though he does acknowledge that the emphasis in the progression is on E, and E is the "home base" as he calls it. Instead of saying that it's in the key of E, he says it's "the E mode of the A major scale". 

He says, "No matter what key you're in, the fifth mode will always be Mixolydian".

I know this is all probably just a matter of semantics, but that statement is just not true. The fifth mode is only Mixolydian when the key is the natural major scale, which is the Ionian mode. Do Ra Mi Fa So La Ti Do.

I think it's confusing to say "the E mode of the A major scale". If you play the progression E, D, A, with the emphasis on the "E", like he did and explained, then it makes much more sense to say it's in the key of "E". But I would say it's "E" Mixolydian, so whoever I'm talking to knows it's a major key with a flat 7. Granted, when written, the key signature would be identical to "A" major (Ionian) with 3 sharps. 

My reasoning follows the definition of a key below.

A "key" of a song/progressoin is the note the music centered around. In the example above, the key is "E".

The dominant note in a progression, scale, riff, etc. is the note that fives the key it's name. The root, tonic, home key, etc. is that note that the music is centered around. The scale, riff, etc. feels at rest when you are on that note, or the chord based on that note. There is resolution in that note/chord.

A key signature is a different matter. That refers to how the key is written in standard notation. If a song like The Beatles "Let It Be" is written, it would have no sharps or flats. That in itself does not tell us what is the root note, tonic, key of the song. The song itself does that. The key signature will tell you what notes are in the song. When they key signature has no sharps or flats, then you know whenever you see any notes on the staff, they are the natural notes, A, B, C, etc. ... with no sharps or flats. 

If you were to write out the song "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" the key signature would be the same. It would have no sharps or flats. But these two songs are not in the same key. "Let It Be" is in C major, and "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" is in A minor.

"Let It Be" does throw in a flat 7 here and there, and WMGGW changes keys in the bridge, but that's for another discussion.

To be clear, Frank Gambale knows WAY more music theory than I do, but his video is about teaching and understanding the modes, and I just think that his explanation of the "key" of song, and how it relates to modes makes it harder to understand how they work. At least in that particular statement. The rest of the video, and the video in general is great and very informative. 

I think of "moods" when I think of "modes". They each have a different mood. 

Spanish


11-16-2021

Well, I'm still at it. I'm 75 days in studying Spanish with Duolingo. Where am I at? I still don't know. I have a lot of trouble breaking down sentences I hear at a native speaker's pace. 

Yo estoy apredieno mucho, pero no usar lo.
I'm learning a lot, but not using it.

I have not tried to speak with  Spanish speakers much, but when I do, I am instantly lost .

Yo necesito personas hablar muy lento.
I need people to speak very slowly.

I think that might be awkward and rude to ask, but maybe I just need to throw that out there, and hopefully they will oblige me.

I'm starting to get into the weeds, and it's pretty confusing. But, there is some hope in that every once in a while I hear a phrase that I instantly know. For example, I've known for a long time that "Donde esta el bano" is, "Where is the bathroom?". I heard that so many times that I instantly know what is meant by that phrase. That's where I need to get with Spanish, and it happens sometimes. It's not often, and it's only with really simple things but it does happen.


Fishing

11-14-2021
I went fishing again at Lake Lewisville. This is the same spot I've been going to lately. The weather was great, but the water temp was noticeably colder, and this will soon put an end to my wade fishing for the year. It was not bad at all until the sun started to set, and by the time I got back to my car I had to put the heater on to warm my legs up.

I fished for a couple of hours and I caught three small bass. One was a sand bass, which I dropped while trying to get a pic of it. The other two were largemouth bass. All were caught on a Roostertail.




My floating net is really working out great. Besides having it handy to land the fish, I experimented with using it as a live well. I put one of the bass I caught in the net and just let it float. The bass did not get out. These are small fish, so I'm sure a bigger fish would find its way out, but I say "success".