How to get around: Denton to Austin TX

I’ve done enough traveling to know a few more things about how to get from 1 place to another. I also realized that some of these journeys may happen again so now I have a place to go where all the research is done. Every trip depends on how much time you have so go slow or fast, enjoy the ride!

One of the 1st pages I use is this one which breaks down the travel riding options such as air bus train even ferry if available. This page located a couple of amazing boat rides on some trips and its always fun to add a new travel method. A search reveals that its bus or train only. Sure flights are an option but not one for under 100$. Now is where you have to ask yourself how in a hurry are you? The 1 truth I learned on a long trip is that it is cheaper if you fit yourself around their schedule.

A big thing is to consider arrival or departure times. Buses run 24 hrs a day and if you want to save even more, you can catch a night bus and wake up at your destination. Always be sure to check the itineraries before you book because there is 1 bus company that likes to make passengers change buses at 2 am. You do not want to do this if you can find a more direct option.

So the train is first option to ATX, only 2 per day and it takes 2x as long as car or bus plus it costs more. Another random thing you learn about buses is that they have assigned stops at certain gas stations or other non marked stops. Just type in whatever city you are really in and they just may have a stop at a station. This is the case with Denton there is a stop at a station just off the highway. This stop connects you to the big Dallas hub where you can go pretty much anywhere in the US. This way is a bit more vs public transportation but it will be faster. Bonus is should this bus be late you can go right to their counter to get remedy.

Greyhound and Megabus are your options. Greyhound has a pick up station in Denton or you can Dart to Greyhound’s hub in downtown Dallas. This is the option I recommend. When you get to the station you need to look for one of the buses to Mexico, as that is the final stop and the name of the bus. Just underneath the final stop are the cities it stops at in-between. Take the express non-stop bus, several times per day and takes 3 hours. You get a electrical plug at every seat, mine worked. So nap read watch a movies or do what you want and you are soon dropped in Austin.

3 hours is not bad even in a car. I had no stops on my trip. I caught some shut eye. I haven’t taken Austins buses yet but I am sure I  will. Keep on reading for more info when that ride happens.

 

 

 

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Baseball Stadium trip Game 1- Brewers Stadium

My friend and I talked a lot about baseball, especially Wrigley Field where the Cubs played in Chicago. When we were growing up, WGN TV station seemed to be included on every cable package in the US. I caught Cubs games in TX, CA and KS over the years. The oldest stadium in the league, countless hall of fame players walked the grass, the crawling ivy in the outfield, all iconic. I was living in TX at the time, and was freshly off my first layoff. I had time and a little bit of money for a road trip. We had only planned on going to Wrigley Field so that is all we had bought tickets for. It was three of us: Jeremy, Matt and me hitting the baseball stadium road.

We were at my house in Denton, TX talking, having a bev with a friend on a nearby computer. We were planning on leaving in the morning, hanging in Chicago a few days, or maybe we could stay in KC or St Louis along the way.

Suddenly my friend said, ‘Milwaukee plays tomorrow night at 7, I bet if we left now, we could make that game.

It was the day before, maybe 10 at night. We all looked at each other, why not? We quickly packed and hopped in my friend’s car and we were heading to Milwaukee!

We all took turns driving but my friend Jeremy drove most of the night. I took over in the morning but I was soon deemed to be a slow driver and relived after a couple hours. Slow in this case meant I only drove 70s, or the speed limit. My travel partners all set the cruise about 80-90+ and we flew down the highways, passing cars. We never get a ticket on this trip and I had hell of a time in the back, sometimes riding shotgun. I also became navigator, checking maps and telling them which highways to take.

We arrived in Milwaukee perfectly to enter the stadium just before game time. It was dusk as we walked to the stadium, the sun was on the horizon, would have been a great outdoor game but this was a dome stadium. We found the ticket counter and spoke our first manta,

‘3 of the cheapest tickets you have please, we asked.

brewers - Edited.jpg

 

I feel that most games on this trip were in the $10 range, very reasonable. We also learned on this trip that you don’t really have to sit in your seat, games are rarely sold out. So long as you get into the stadium and act like you belong, just look for a fairly empty section or row and post up. You will likely not be disturbed and if you are, feign out of town ignorance!

This was my first encounter with an electronic ticketing system where tickets are scanned as you entered and waited for that most important BEEP that meant you were legal. I really liked this stadium; it was new and modern. It was the first stadium with a retractable roof I’d been in but they did not open it so I am still unsure how that works and how long it takes. Is there a set time they have to make the open or closed decision? I felt it should be open during the summer, but it wasn’t for our game.

In left field, their mascot had a den like area with a slide that he would shoot down whilst fireworks exploded around him whenever the Brewers scored. That was really cool to see. Part of the fun on a stadium trip is to see what sorts of stunts the mascots pull during the game to keep the crowd pumped.

This was better than most we would see but not the best entertainment. We found a hotel near the stadium and set about our second trait of the trip: find another stadium, game! The internet was really just starting, so we were able to use that to determine game times. We had to use maps for driving directions however. Somewhere on this leg we encounter passing a car: road head, a woman was blowing some guy while he drove. We had to speed up to get a quick peek, just to confirm it happened, that we bore witness. So funny, we had to slow down we were laughing so hard.

Our lodging was based solely on a Motel 6 catalog we picked somewhere in OK or MO.

Crazy Neighbor

These events occurred in 2004 in Denton, TX USA

 

 

We have a drunken neighbor who has hollered at my roommate a few times just saying hey, or making dumb comments. He knocked on the door about a month ago and scared her as he kept knocking for over a minute. I received a frantic call driving home from Dallas. She called from her closet as he continued to knock. I knew then that I was soon to me this guy and that the encounter would not be pleasant.

I finally met him one night a week or so later. I pull into the driveway and there he was drinking a beer on his porch. I wave and begin unloading groceries from my car. I hear mumbles, but I don’t pay any attention. I go inside and watch Family Guy. He knocks on my door about halfway through and he is clearly drunk, to the point he has trouble standing. He asks why I didn’t talk to him earlier. I apologize and say I had a lot on my mind and I introduce myself. He gets nice and stars telling me about his bitch of an ex wife and then he gets serious,

“Hey man, are you bi?” he asks.

‘Bi what? bipolar?’I wonder.

“No bisexual man.” he says.

I tell him no way. He said he likes sucking dick and he wouldn’t mind sucking my dick whenever I want. I say thanks, but no thanks I’m not into that from guys. He tells me about how he isn’t gay, but he does that and he has been in jail for domestic dispute assault so I guess he got some practice. At this point, punching the guy is not an option since I don’t want a mad neighbor. I mean he knows where I live and when I am asleep. Bad things man, bad things. I have to get this asshat off my porch and fast. So I tell him I have to get to my laundry so he finally walks off.

I try to finish Family Guy with the knowledge that my neighbor likes my member and this neighbor happens to be a guy… with sharp teeth. Just when I calm down he comes back to clarify I won’t have to pay him or do anything to him, I just have to ‘lay down and take it.’ I reiterate the fact that I’m still not into this from guys and he tears into my roommate. He says she is cheating on me as he sees a lot of girls and guys at our house when I am not home. Oh and hey, he could take pics if I want. I should kick her out and then maybe he could move in. I tell him we have an open relationship, but it’s not his business anyway. I tell him not to come back, nor talk to me or my roommate again as I close the door.

My roommate, of course, freaked when I told her what happened. Then she said maybe he has a gun or knife. This did not enter into my mind until she said something so there goes my night of sleep. Someone else mentioned this scenario sounded like American Beauty…frankly you bastards aren’t helping out.

My neighbor took to singing gospel tunes at the top of his voice at 11 PM in addition to kicking and punching his trash cans, usually before singing. He also is quite the serenader, singing to our windows on various occasions. We also had the pleasure of trying to have a civil man to man talk with him about his actions. He staggered over before we all went to the bar one night at our friends house across the street. We were talking with Doc, the neighborhood sage, and jackass brings his son over. He tries to shake my hand like we are old buddies so I tell him I am not his friend and I am not shaking his hand. He mumbles about how the hood is against him. Doc begins listing the neighborhoods complaints against him. Seems he has been to most houses making the same proposition!  I throw in I am not his buddy and he really needs to stop singing. He got angry at Doc for some reason and advised the old man to watch him mouth. Doc told him he could say anything he damn well pleased. Doc is retired SEAL so it would be a short fight.

We called the cops twice in the past couple months. The first time, brainiac and his son RUN, leaving his ma to talk to the cops. She did acknowledge he was playing his music loud. The second time he was singing & yelling he was not scared of me anymore, so I walked out and talked to the cops and gave them the whole story back to the bj offer and his singing talents. There was little they could do since being an asshole is not a criminal offense. They did give us permission to beat him so we got that going for us now, which is nice.
Justice came to town yesterday as my neighbor was arrested, shirtless of course, by Denton’s finest. He came back a few hours later, but at least the effort was made. My friends told me that he frequently would pass out on his driveway at all hours. They would take turns shooting him with a BB gun. That is the only justice we will have with our neighbor, we all moved off the street shortly after the final incident.

 

Slobberbone Final Show

Slobberbone played their final show at Dan’s Sliverleaf in 2005. These are my recollections of that show. The band is back together now and are playing sporadically.

 

Denton, TX saw the end of an era as the city’s finest band, Slobberbone, hung up their instruments at Dan’s Silver Leaf Sunday night. It was more than just the end of what one could easily defend as the best rock band to come out Denton rock city; it was the harbinger that the end of one of them most fertile musical scenes was almost nigh. The evening overall was a celebration of a decade of rock, but occasionally there was laughter through the tears.

Upon arriving to the rock show, I heard the familiar sounds of a band tuning up. I had seen Slobberbone play long shows before, but this was setting up to be a marathon. Imagine my surprise to see Centro-Matic ready to play a show with their friends. Johnson said the band had driven from St. Louis that day to play and apologized for showing up late. Centro-Matic’s power and confidence they displayed during their set can be described thusly: when driving on I-35 you will see exits labeled, “Runaway Trucks,” & Centro-matic were barreling down such an exit and only the emotional hill of seeing their friend’s last show slowed them down.

Kicking off with, “Post-It Notes from the Mental Hospital,” the band appeared to be the heir to the Denton rock torch. Highlights included, “Fidgeting Wildly,” that Brent Best and the rest of the crowd sang along with at the top of their lungs. Johnson sent out a blistering, “The Mighty Midshipmen,” to Brian Lane. The emotional zenith of the set, however, was the final two songs: “Without You,” which Johnson and Scott Danbom nailed the closing falsetto, “Ooohs.” Johnson ended the set with a new tune, “Sure Enjoyed You Being Around,” that he had finished while stuck in Oklahoma traffic on the 14-hour drive. Johnson said a few kind words about the Bone and quipped, “I don’t even know the lyrics yet, so I’ll have to sing this with my eyes open, which is foreign.” Summoning Lane to act as a human music holder, Johnson stood alone singing his heart out to gently strummed guitar. When the song was over, Johnson saluted Best who responded by taking off his glasses & wiping away the first of many tears that would be shed this night.

A brief documentary soon followed that was shot by Baptist Generals’ Chris Flemmons back in 1997 for the release of Barrel Chested. Dismissed by Doolittle Records as portraying Slobberbone as being, “too much of a drinking band,” (what the fuck is wrong with that?!) the video had never seen the light of day. Aptly described by Best as taking place during the bands, “fat, Waffle House years,” the short film featured interviews with the Bone in varying degrees of sobriety interspersed with live footage. Dismissing critics’ fondness of describing them as a ‘drunken, country rock band,’ each member offered a resounding, “Whatever, it’s still rock,” as “Engine Joe,” and other cuts off the record played in the background. The film’s funniest and endearing moment came when Best on his front porch, beer in hand at a party, performed lines from “Blade Runner,” in a full on Harrison Ford imitation.

“I just want to start by saying thank you very, very much for being here and supporting us,” said Best before the band roared into the one-two punch of, “Front Porch,” and “Placemat Blues.” Danbom added some delicate keys to the more somber than usual, “Lumberlung,” which Best stumbled a bit as he fought off tears on the closing words, “Goddamn this lumberlung/ She knows I’m no longer fun/ For her.”

“Ok guys, drinky, drinky time,” Best said, as he and the rest of the band toasted the crowd with shots of whiskey. Only Lane abstained from the numerous calls for drink, choosing instead to swig from a Coke can. Best soon launched into a rambling story involving San Francisco and some California hydro that incapacitated the band precipitating a frantic exit as house cleaning exclaimed, “Drugas! Dios Mio!” After relating this story, Best pulled out his acoustic guitar for, “Meltdown,” and other quieter numbers in the catalogue. The band picked up steam for, “Barrel Chested,” as wood flew from drummer Tony Harper’s sticks & Best whipped his head back and forth flinging sweat in every direction. Barr kept his composure, chain smoking at his usual frightening pace and playing each solo with annoying ease after which he pointed his finger at the sky with tongue firmly in his cheek.

During the usual closing song, “I Can’t Stay Sober,” by the Showoffs, Best introduced each band member who took a brief solo. Lane jumped on Dan’s bar and nearly knocked off a hanging lamp as he played the intro to CCR’s, “Down on the Corner.” Barr and Harper tried to match David Lee Roth high kicks, which Harper came away the winner when he pointed out, “With one leg!” to the cheers of the crowd. Best said some kind words about Danbom, saying his firing was, “The dumbest, best decision we ever made if that makes sense. It allowed him to join Centro-Matic: the best fucking band playing right now.” It was during the song that Best could no longer hold back and he went around kissing every member of the band before jumping into the crowd as the song climaxed.

At the two o’clock last call, all the drinks were thrown away so the band could continue playing. “This song is how I feel at this moment,” Best said as he finished his beer, leading the band in Neil Young’s, “Big Time,” whose chorus cemented the sentiments of the evening, “I’m still living the dream we had/ For me it’s not over” Throwing his electric guitar at the ceiling behind him and just missing a surprised Harper, Best grabbed his trusty acoustic to play, “Dunk You in the River.” The audience had to finish the song as Best was overcome with emotion and tears rolled down his face as he strummed.

“This has been the best 10 years playing with these guys for you. Thank you all so very much. Thank you, thank you, thank you,” Best choked out as he began shaking everybody’s hands and personally thanking them for coming.

No Slobberbone, thank you for delivering the rock. From now on Shiner won’t taste as good and the desire to chase it with Jack grows, knowing that these guys won’t be around to play shows. Remember: its rock.

Final Setlist: Front Porch, Placemat Blues, That is All, Get Gone Again, Gimme Back My Dog, Lumberlung, Engine Joe, Billy Prichard, Some New Town, Find the Out, Sister Beams, Meltdown, Trust Jesus, Lazy Guy, Pinball Song, I’ll Be Damned, To Love Somebody, Barrel Chested, Springfield IL, I Can Tell Your Love is Waning, Haze of Drink, I Can’t Stay Sober, Big Time, Dunk You In the River