alamo texas

To any who care

I know most of y’all may not care, and I know I haven’t posted anything Magic related in a few days, but I’m still fine. Like, I went to work and it was dead for two isn hours and three cashiers called out but it was just rainy and windy. No flooding. No power loss. Nothing serious here. Nothing. So I guess we’ll be ok in my area of San Antonio. I know others were not as lucky…

Tomorrow they say San Antonio will be heavily affected. We will see. 


March 6, 1836 -  The 13-day Mexican siege of the Alamo ended.  The siege, led by General Antonio López de Santa Anna, ended when all remaining defenders were killed.  The Mexican army of three thousand men defeated the 189 Texas volunteers. The Mexican losses exceeded 600.

PHOTO CREDIT: Richard Nowitz courtesy San Antonio Convention and Visitors Bureau. Received 07/14/11

Someone just messaged me about getting into derby and here was my response.

Ooh yess. I actually tried out for my first league when I was 17 and here’s what I wish someone had told me.

Derby is expensive both in money and time. Between skates, gear, and dues. Expect to pay quite a bit at first, and always buy the better gear even if it’s a bit pricey. It’ll pay off in the long run. Don’t cheap out you only have one body. Keep it safe.

When skating alway always wear some form of padding. I generally at the least go with knee pads and wrist guards.

Wear a damn mouth guard. Not for your teeth but to prevent concussions. Well for your teeth too.

As for actual skating. Never compare yourself to others as hard as that will be. You’ll never be the best blocker, jammer, backward skater, blah blah blah. Just do your best. Skating comes more naturally to some and some girls take years to work up to even making a team let alone a travel or competing team. If your league has that.

Always give your all. Even on days when you don’t want to go to practice. Go. You will feel better. No matter the root of wanting to stay home.

Find an experienced skater and watch them. At practices and games. Maybe change each time. Look at their stance, control, the skills they’re good at. Ask them for help. Always ask. If you don’t know ask. If you’re unsure ask. If you think you’re good ask for tips to be better. Everyone can improve even the girls you think are he best.

Never feel down on yourself. So you fell. If you fall you’re learning and pushing your limits. I fall all the time trying new shit and seeing how far I can push myself. So you had a bad practice. You showed up. You were there and you learned from it. People will notice your effort and attendance more than you falling or failing. Always ask if you can help out. Do merch at the bouts. Lay track. Set up cones for drills. Be eager. And listen to what people tell you.

Make friends in your league. Go out of your way to talk to people even if you have social anxiety like me. It will make you more confident and people are generally always nice and willing to help.

There will be bitches. There will be girls you don’t get along with or who for some reason or another don’t like you. Don’t play into it. Do you and stay out of the drama. Always be nice and courteous. People will notice if you come in with an attitude or act like an asshole. They will also notice if you’re friendly and make an effort. First rule of derby is Don’t be a Dick. Take note of that. Always remember it. People will remember if you’re a douche. Also don’t get shitfaced especially if you’re underage. People remember that too. On that note never drink or take drugs while you’re skating as much fun as it is. It’s super dangerous and no one wants to be that girl who broke her ankle drunk skating.

All in all. Enjoy it. Derby will be one of the hardest, most challenging, most rewarding things you will ever do in your life. Savor every moment. Even the hard ones.

If you don’t make it in your first try out, don’t take it to heart but rather let it fuel you. Work out outside of derby. Skate everywhere. Skate at parks, rinks, and wear your skates at home it will help so much. If you can dodge a child at the open skate you can dodge a block from a giant blocker. If you can shut the car door with your ass you can block that super fast jammer.

General skating tips.
Always move your feet. Work on your footwork more than anything else. It will pay off. Look behind you. Derby happens in the back even if you’re at the back of the pack. Track awareness is key and your eyes should always be moving. Always know where both jammers are or you’ll have no idea what’s happening. Watch ore recorded bouts. The better the teams the better you’ll learn. Know the fucking rules. Study your ruleset front to back. When you think you know it. Read it again. Read it on the bus. Read it between classes. Read it when you’re bored and watching Netflix. It will pay off. Always get low. Think you’re low? Squat lower. It’s harder to hit and easier to take a hit. You’ll feel more stable on your skates. Think you’re gonna fall? Do a deep squat. You will probably recover. If you do fall get up quickly without your hands if you can. Always tuck your fingers. They will be rolled over, caught in the rail, or broke. If you don’t. Always find a buddy. Derby is about walls. If you’re alone and you’re not a jammer out of the pack you shouldn’t be alone. You’re not helping anyone. As a blocker find someone and wall up. Two blockers are generally a ton more effective than one. As a jammer look for your walls they will help you. They are your friends and you love them for it, but don’t rely on them.

I know that was a ton but I love derby and these are some of what I’ve learned skating with three leagues and trying out for four.

Lastly Skate Hard. Skate Fast. Turn Left. Hit a Bitch.

50 States Most Haunted

Each state in the USA has it’s own tales of haunted hotels, houses, and various other places. But each state has what is considered their “most haunted” spot. What is your state’s most haunted place?

1. Alabama - Sloss Furnaces (Birmingham)
2. Alaska - UAA’s Wendy Williamson Auditorium (Anchorage)
3. Arizona - Bird Cage Theater (Tombstone)
4. Arkansas - The Crescent Hotel (Eureka Springs)
5. California - Alcatraz Island (San Francisco)
6. Colorado - The Stanley Hotel (Estes Park)
7. Connecticut - Seaside Sanatorium (Waterford)
8. Delaware - Fort Delaware (Pea Patch Island)
9. Florida - Florida Theatre (Jacksonville)
10. Georgia - Kennesaw House (Marietta)
11. Hawaii - ‘lolani Place (Honolulu)
12. Idaho - Old Idaho State Penitentiary (Boise)
13.  Illinois - Congress Plaza Hotel (Chicago)
14. Indiana - French Lick Springs Hotel (French Lick)
15. Iowa - Villisca Ax Murder House (Villisca)
16. Kansas - The Sallie House (Atchison)
17. Kentucky - Waverly Hills Sanatorium (Louisville)
18. Louisiana - The Myrtles Plantation (St. Francisville)
19. Maine - Wood Island Lighthouse (Wood Island)
20. Maryland - Antietam Battlefield (Sharpsburg)
21. Massachusetts - The Lizzie Borden House (Fall River)
22. Michigan - Henderson Castle (Kalamazoo)
23. Minnesota - Forepaugh’s Restaurant (St. Paul)
24. Mississippi - Cedar Grove Mansion (Vicksburg)
25. Missouri - Lemp Mansion (St. Louis)
26. Montana - The University of Montana (Missoula)
27. Nebraska - Nebraska State Capitol (Lincoln)
28. Nevada - Virginia City
29. New Hampshire - Pine Hill Cemetery (Hollis)
30. New Jersey - Seabrook-Wilson House (Port Monmouth)
31. New Mexico - Highway 666
32. New York - The Amityville Horror House (Amityville)
33. North Carolina - Brown Mountain Lights (Burke and Caldwell Counties)
34. North Dakota - Liberty Memorial Building (Bismarck)
35. Ohio - The Ridges (Athens)
36. Oklahoma - Skirvin Hotel (Oklahoma City)
37. Oregon - McMenamin’s White Eagle Saloon (Portland)
38. Pennsylvania - Gettysburg Battlefields (Gettysburg)
39. Rhode Island - The Ladd School (Exeter)
40. South Carolina - Old Charleston Jail (Charleston)
41. South Dakota - Bullock Hotel (Deadwood)
42. Tennessee - Loretta Lynn Plantation House (Hurricane Mills)
43. Texas - The Alamo (San Antonio)
44. Utah - Westminster College (Salt Lake City)
45. Vermont - The University of Vermont (Burlington)
46. Virginia - Ferry Plantation House (Virginia Beach)
47. Washington - The Palace Hotel (Port Townshend)
48. West Virginia - West Virginia State Penitentiary (Moundsville)
49. Wisconsin - Summerwind Mansion (West Bay Lake)
50. Wyoming - Wyoming Frontier Prison (Rawlins)

On this day, April 21 in 1836, REMEMBER THE ALAMO - The Battle of San Jacinto, was fought in present-day Harris County, Texas. It was the decisive battle of the Texas Revolution. Led by General Sam Houston, the Texian Army engaged and defeated General Antonio López de Santa Anna’s Mexican army in a fight that lasted just 18 minutes.

Santa Anna, the President of Mexico, was captured and surrendered the following day and held as a prisoner of war. Three weeks later, he signed the peace treaty that dictated that the Mexican army leave the region, paving the way for the Republic of Texas to become an independent country.

I walked through a county courthouse square
On a park bench, an old man was sitting there
I said “Your old court house is kind of run down”
He said “Naw, it’ll do for our little town”
I said “Your old flag pole is leaned a little bit”
And that’s a ragged old flag you got hanging on it
He said “Have a seat”, and I sat down
“Is this the first time you’ve been to our little town?”
I said “I think it is”
He said “I don’t like to brag, but we’re kind of proud of
That Ragged Old Flag
You see, we got a little hole in that flag there
When Washington took it across the Delaware
And It got powder burned the night Francis Scott Key sat watching it
Writing Say Can You See
It got a rip in New Orleans, with Packingham & Jackson
Tugging at its seams
And It almost fell at the Alamo
Beside the Texas flag
But she waved on though
She got cut with a sword at Chancellorsville
And she got cut again at Shiloh Hill
There was Robert E. Lee and Beauregard and Bragg
And the south wind blew hard on
That Ragged Old Flag
On Flanders Field in World War I
She got a big hole from a Bertha Gun
She turned blood red in World War II
She hung limp, and low, a time or two
She was in Korea, Vietnam, She went where she was sent
By her Uncle Sam
She waved from our ships upon the briny foam
And now they’ve about quit waving back here at home
In her own good land here She’s been abused
She’s been burned, dishonored, denied an’ refused
And the government for which she stands
Has been scandalized throughout out the land
And she’s getting thread bare, and she’s wearing thin
But she’s in good shape, for the shape she’s in
Because she’s been through the fire before
And I believe she can take a whole lot more
So we raise her up every morning
And we bring her down slow every night
We don’t let her touch the ground
And we fold her up right
On second thought
I do like to brag
Because I’m mighty proud of
That Ragged Old Flag

2

February 23rd 1836: Battle of the Alamo begins

On this day in 1836, the Battle of the Alamo began between Texan and Mexican soldiers, near the modern city of San Antonio. The Alamo was a former mission founded by Spanish settlers, which, by the nineteenth century, had become a fort for Spanish troops. In the 1820s, Mexico fought a successul war for independence from Spain, which led to increased migration of American citizens into the Mexican province of Texas. As the American population in the area grew, a revolutionary movement gained traction. War eventually broke out in 1835, and early on, Texan volunteer soldiers successfully captured the Alamo garrison from Mexican troops, and with it gained control of San Antonio. While Texas’ commander-in-chief, Sam Houston, was apathetic about keeping the fort, its defenders - including Colonel James Bowie, Lieutenant Colonel William Travis, and famed frontiersman Davy Crockett - insisted on defending the Alamo. Only around 200 soldiers defended the fort, and on February 23rd 1836 were besieged by a formidable Mexican army, numbering thousands of troops, led by General Antonio López de Santa Anna. Despite overwhelming odds, the Texans managed to repel the attack for 13 days, before being overpowered on March 6th, when most of the defenders were killed. Mexican forces thus regained control of the Alamo fort, but Texans rallied around the incident as a symbol of their resistance against Mexican oppression; “Remember the Alamo!” became a popular war cry. In April, Houston’s army - buoyed by new recruits inspired by the Alamo - defeated the Mexicans at San Jacinto, and Texan independence was secured. The Republic of Texas was short-lived, as Texas was annexed as the 28th state of the United States in 1845. The annexation enflamed sectional tensions, as it raised the question of whether the new state would be slave or free. The action also exacerbated underlying tensions between America and Mexico - as Mexico did not recognise Texas’ independence - and led to war in 1846. The Alamo remains a powerful symbolic moment in Texan and American history, having been immortalised in numerous works of fiction; the site of the battle attracts over 2.5 million visitors a year.