Thursday, April 28, 2011

Life In Shamrock

I imagine that living in a small town on the famous Route 66 does have it's advantages. In fact, I set out to discover some of them this week when we had a very brief amount of down time.

As has already been mentioned, Shamrock, TX is located on the famous Route 66.

One of it's buildings:

was the inspiration for a very popular hang out place for the characters in this movie.

If you ever have the opportunity to pass through here, I highly recommend that you stop in and visit Big Vern's Steakhouse. It is located right on Route 66, and there are billboards for it everywhere. This is easily the best tasting steak in the area.

If you are lucky, you might get to see Vern himself.

(He is a VERY nice guy, but you have to listen to him carefully as he has a very quiet voice and tends to mumble his words.)

Not only is Shamrock famous for it's movie building is also the home of the largest water tower (of this type), in the entire state of Texas.

(It is quite large and can be seen from a long distance.)

But probably one of the best parts of Shamrock is that if you stay in a hotel, for even one night, you get a free round of 18 holes of golf at their local country club. (It's actually a 9-hole course that you get to go round twice).

(Yes...that's me with a pink putter...)

So the next time you decide you need a long road trip...consider Route 66 and the small town of Shamrock, TX.

Tell them Zach sent you! They won't have a clue who you are talking about.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Feel The Love of the Embrace

Today I was embraced by the Long Arm of the Texas Law.

So I found myself once again traveling to the wonderful state of Texas. I am down here for another 3 weeks...and it is already leading up to be one of the best trips yet.
After flying out of Salt Lake and landing in the great city of Oklahoma, in the state of the same name...I and my co-workers headed over to Joe's Crab Shack for some delicious seafood. I got the Rajun' Cajun Steampot. Although this particular dish is quite was most delectable.

After the meal, young Neil and I jumped in our trusty SUV, (a Nissan Armada to be exact), and drove West into the Texas Panhandle area.
Our destination was a Best Western hotel. This isn't the usual place of our lodging...because the "usual" spot was fully booked.

When we arrived, I checked in first and took my bags up to my room. I then returned to the lobby to meet up with Neil and find out which room he had been checked into.
When I arrived at the lobby, my "partner in crime" was nowhere to be found.
So I pulled out my phone and shot off a quick e-mail to find out where he was. As I was hitting send, in through the front doors came barreling 6 men wearing bulletproof vests, star badges, and most of them had cowboy hats. Guns drawn, and scanning the lobby, one of the larger men pointed (his finger) at me and said, "Watch him!"

Then all of them jumped in the elevator and headed somewhere.
A few minutes later, the same guy came back down and coming straight at me, demanded some identification.
I said, "Of course you go."
I handed him my passport.
He looked at me and asked if I had something else.
So I pulled out my driver's licenses. (I'm currently in the process of getting my motorcycle endorsement, so I have a paper "temporary" permit and then my plastic copy that has two holes punched in it).
He asked why the holes were punched in it. I told him that it was a temporary, while I was getting my motorcycle endorsement.
He demanded that I hand over my phone.
Now, at this moment, IN MY HEAD, I thought, "You really need a warrant for this." But I also though, IN MY HEAD, it would be very unwise to say something like that to this large, very irritated man who happens to have a gun...and the right to detain me for 24 hours with no reason.
So I said, "Of you go."
The phone was locked, so he demanded that I unlock it and show him whatever e-mail I had just sent.
Not having anything to hide, I showed him. At that point, young Neil had decided to e-mail me and let me know which room he was in. So the officer, turning the phone away from me, asked, "Who's in room ***?"
By the way...he wasn't asking any of this nicely.
Of course this was the first I had heard of this room...but I surmised that it must have been Neil, so I answered as such.
The officer seemed somewhat satiated with that answer.
But then the following conversation took place:
Officer: "Do you have a criminal record??"
Me: "No"
Officer: "Have you ever been arrested?"
Me: "No"
Officer: "Do you have any felonies or warrants?"
Me: "No"
Officer: "Have you ever had any speeding tickets?"
Me: "No"
(I wasn't going to explain that the one that I did get happened over 12 years ago and never went on my record)

The officer then took all my identifications, (that he had been holding), and wrote down everything, Passport Number, License, Phone Number, and then told me, "stay available."

And thus was my welcoming hug to the Great State of Texas.

PS - A few minutes later, the rest of the officers came down with a man in handcuffs. They escorted him out of the building and as of this writing...I haven't heard another word about it.

But I am still available.

Monday, April 11, 2011

New Post

There is absolutely no way that I can properly cover everything that has been going on since my last post, (or even since my last guest's post). However, I am re-investing myself into my blog and hope to once again, much like the proverbial Phoenix, raise my blog to the standards and entertainment that it once was.

And I need a better medium for keeping a journal.

With that said, I will just give you the briefest of synopses on the doings of my life.

I know that the question on everyone's mind is, "Who was that masked blogger that swooped in and left the wonderful Valentine's Post?"

Well, her name is Ashlee...and we have been dating since December. We met in an Institute class and have been spending quite a bit of time with each other since then. She is a brilliant young woman, served a mission in Thailand and has a Master's Degree from BYU in Art History. She is currently working as a curator for a local art museum.

I have also recently changed out vehicles in my life. The Passat has been replaced by a Ford F-150. I won't lie...I am enjoying the 4x4 option.

As far as work is concerned, I have been making regular treks to and from Shamrock, TX since September. It's funny how last year and the year prior to that, whenever people asked me where I had been or where I was going, they were always impressed as I would say things like, "Scotland", "England" or "Trinidad". But lately, I can see just the slightest disappointment cross their face as I now answer, "Texas".

And it's not even an off-shore's a land rig with rattle snakes and everything.

I have also joined the Twitter Nation. I will be the first to admit that I am still quite the tyro at it...but I am learning. Feel free to follow me if you wish @liffdog23

So there you have it...I have brought you relatively up to speed on my life. Moving forward, I am looking forward to golf and driving the motorcycle...not to mention a quick trip at some point to Spokane, WA to help replace a roof.

Until then my extremely faithful readers...I bid you adieu.