Troy Thibodeaux

Mexican food, me likey!


Cajun food and Mexican food are not that similar, but there's a few things about them that are, which from a Cajun perspective made it easy to fit right in.

Not all Mexican food is spicy, but a lot of it is, at least Tex-Mex is. Not all Cajun food is spicy either, but that's for another discussion. The hot part of spicy Cajun food and Mexican food are based on different types of peppers like Cayenne, Jalapeno, Tabasco, etc., so the base of the spice is similar in both cuisines. Both foods have lots of onions and garlic as well. Again, I'm pointing out the similarities in "some" of the dishes.

Just to be clear, I'm not saying I like Mexican food because it's similar to Cajun food. Mexican food is it's own unique thing, and I like it for what it is. The few similarities are just a bonus.

One thing that is hard to find up here in Texas is cracklins. The main challenge is that they don't really keep that well. Their shelf-life is short. Pork rinds on the other hand do stay good for a long time and those are very common. Even if they were able to preserve them, the difference in fresh cracklins compared to even one of two day old is stark.

Cracklins, as opposed to pork rinds, have the skin, meat, and fat part of the pork belly. Pork rinds are just the skin. I have found a few examples of "cracklins" on the shelves around here, but they just don't cut it. There's a brand called "Mac's" that can be found in Supermarkets here, but they are a far cry from "real" cracklins. I have found pork bellies in the Asian markets with the skin attached, so I do make my own, which come out pretty good, although I use a very quick method to cook them, as I just fry them in oil. The Cajun process is a bit more complicated.

Behold, Chicharrones. It was years after living here in Dallas before I saw Chicharrones in a Mexican market. I had seen Chicharrones in the grocery store, but those were just pork rinds. The Mexican market had these beautiful long chunks of fried pork we're talkin'.

Chicharrones are not exactly the same as cracklins, but pretty darn close. I think the Cajun method of cooking the pork bellies makes the skin a little puffier, and they are highly seasoned. Unfortunately I don't get the timing always right at the Mexican markets to know when they were cooked, as the fresher the better, but they are always good.

What's also cool is that the more I dig in to Mexican food, the more awesome dishes I discover. Jim Gaffigan did a funny bit about how Mexican food is all the same. As funny as that bit was, and has a tiny sliver of truth when applied to some Mex/Tex-Mex dishes, it really is far far from reality. That oversimplification doesn't even really apply to something as simple as salsa. 

Salsa alone has so many varieties. Even at somewhat generic Tex-Mex restaurants I can almost always request a spicier salsa than the one they bring out with the chips. One my past favorite places (killed by the government covid policies I'm sure) was a place called "7 Salsas". And yes, they had seven salsas to choose from.

My recent discovery is Birria. This is a stew basically, but when served with tacos, the tacos are fried using the fat from the stew, then when served, you dip the tacos in the birria. 

I also have discovery the diversity of chorizo. I had always associated chorizo with breakfast, which is great. But queso flameado, or just chorizo tacos are off the charts good.

I could go on and on. I guess I already have.

Music Music I Hear Music
I have so many songs in the works right now. I have to finish them. I don’t want to settle and just finish them if it doesn’t feel right, but I don’t want them to just sit there unfinished either. I think they are good ideas, so I need to get at least a couple of those finished soon.

One song, What Else Can I Do, I want to work with 49th Vibration on (April and Robbie), because I think it would fit that band, and I want it to be a collaboration, so I don’t want to just present it to them as a complete song. I really want their input.
The CCCT project (Chad, Chad, Chris) has some songs in the works as well. Chris’s song, Bad Days, was built off of a couple of riffs he had, then I wrote some lyrics/melodies, and even threw in a riff of my own, so that’s a true collaboration. That song is just about done. I am really enjoying that process. I like that he had some ideas and I worked on melodies on my own, which I don’t think I could have done right on the spot. But then we jammed on it as a band and more parts and ideas came from everyone. So that will be a true “band” composition. Love it. 

I have another song, Follow Our/Your Heart, that I just love the chorus, but I’m not 100% sold on the verse melody. I started to record parts, so that’s a start, but I have to lock down the verse. I do like what I have for the verse, I’m just not sure that there’s not something better. I even have a bridge idea, so that one could be close.

I also sent a riff to Doug to see if it’s something he’s interested in jamming on. That would probably be an instrumental Jazzy Fusion type of thing. That’s fun to think about where that could go.


The older I get, the more I get satisfaction from accomplishing things. I know that sounds pretty obvious, but even though the level of satisfaction correlates with my perceived level of importance to the task, which is also obvious, I guess when I was younger I didn’t get satisfaction or recognize the positive feeling of accomplishing even from the smallest of tasks.

If I create a new song, or work on a new song and write a verse or something, I get a huge amount of satisfaction from that. If I fix something on my car, complete a project at work, or a freelance project, etc. I get a great feeling of accomplishment, satisfaction, etc. out of those things. With those things, there’s ego, money, etc. involved. The value of those things are very easy to recognize.

What’s different now is that I get a similar feeling (not the same, but similar) from taking out the trash, doing laundry, etc. Don’t get me wrong, those things are not enjoyable, and the don’t advance anything… I don’t learn anything, I don’t get any financial reward, it didn’t effect my health, relationships, etc. It’s just things that need be done. But even besides the fact that it’s things that maintain the household, it also make me feel productive. Yes, a day of pure relaxation is nice. I like not having to do anything sometimes. But even those days, there’s a point where I want to do some exercise, play my guitar, take a Spanish lesson, etc. I still want to feel like I accomplished something. You could make the argument that a day of nothing helps recharge you mentally and physically, so that is accomplishing something, and those things are important, but my brain needs activity.

Turkey Day

Gained 2 lbs from Thanksgiving meal. Worth it. I can work that off. But, now I have a couple of days worth of leftovers of the same food that put those 2 lbs on. And I'm hungry right now. I know the answer. Keep the turkey, throw out the rolls, yams, mac n cheese, stuffing.

On a brighter note, I ran the North Texas Turkey Trot 5K in Frisco on Thanksgiving morning. It rained the whole time, but thankfully the temperature was not too cold. 

I had a great pace (for me) going until just about halfway when I hit a wall. I pretty much coasted the rest of the way. I'm interested to see my official time. I know it won't be great, but I wonder how much the fast first half had on my overall time. A normal 3 mile run for me would be around 34 minutes. I've settled in to a 11 minute mile pace in recent years. 

New Tune!

New tune in the works with the CCCT (Chris, Chad, Chad, Troy) gang. Chris came up with a couple of tasty riffs, and I am putting lyrics to them. This is super fun stuff. The creation/collaboration process is magical.

I have so many ideas and songs, and ideas about collaborations with friends, that it's almost overwhelming. I sure like it when it comes to fruition. Well, it's coming to fruition. I hope it gets there.

I want to complete a new song with Damaged Faith.

I want to record songs and/or a solo album with my musician friends (Doug, Harbour, Chad, Neil, Mike, etc. etc.).

I want to record another 49th Vibration album.

And so much more.....

Spanish Learning

417 days of learning Spanish with Duolingo.

Man, Duolingo says I know 1,460 words. I feel like I know about 100, but half of those I can't seem to recognize when they fly out of a Spanish speaker's mouth.

Now, let me try saying all that in Spanish. I don't know how to say "fly out" and I guessed at "recognize/recognocer" and "speaker/hablador".

"tipo, Duolingo dice yo se 1,460 plabras. Yo siente yo se sobre 100, pero mieda de esos yo no puedo recognocer cuando ellos [fly out] de un hablador de espanol boca."

So here's what Google Translate says, that I just said:

"Dude, Duolingo says I know 1,460 words. I feel like I know about 100, but I'm afraid of those I can't recognize when they [fly out] from their mouths."

Wow, way better than I thought. I said "mieda" instead of "media", but that was a typo, as I do know the word "media/half". Of course, if I ever forget that word I think of Rebecca and Jose Mediaceja. Wrong verb conjugation for "siente". Should have been "siento", and should have been "me siento". I know those things, but I tried not to thing too long and just go with what came to mind.

That statement might come through to a Spanish speaker as a mangled mess, but I think they would know what I was trying to say....maybe. "I'm afraid of those I can't recognize..." would be very confusing. lol.


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. 


 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.

Sat 4-2-2022
Fishing at Lake Lewisville 

I only caught a couple, but it was sure fun, and was a beautiful day.