Thursday, August 29, 2013

Duke's new career

David Duke sends this along --

"I did have a Mansfield Police officer ask me if I was working for a newspaper while I was taking pictures of an accident in downtown Mansfield recently. So after that I had this made! I wear one and keep another on the rear view mirror of my Jeep."

All David needs now is a hat with "Press" on it!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

David Duke, ace photographer!

Photos by David Duke
A new contribution from David Duke --

I was out taking pictures around my little, not so any more, town of Mansfield. I was just doing this for a group of people in a web site about digital cameras. I thought it would be neat to go around and take pictures of this town that I know more about than the recently moved in residents. Yep all the way back to 1947 when I started school here!

Any way there is a railroad trestle here in town that has been photographed a thousand times by photographers doing "Glamour" shots of pretty young ladies. Sometimes several were taken of students. And even sometimes group pictures of classes. Even though it is private railroad property people still do it.  When I was in school we climbed that bridge. Some still do but if the police get wind of it there is trouble.

The bridge is not far from a road crossing and it is over a creek named Walnut. The thing was built, oddly enough in 1906. That is no real big deal unless you remember that was the year of the "Great San Francisco Earthquake!" That year is cut into the top member of the trestle. That sets the stage.

While I was doing this I went by the Mansfield News-Mirror office and met the Editor. I don't remember why I did that except to meet her, Amanda Rogers. While I was there talking to her she brought up the subject of a little contest the paper was having. OH Really? Well the way it goes is Mansfield residents are offered an opportunity to submit a picture taken in Mansfield. This was AFTER I had already been taking pictures! I submitted the attached picture via e-mail to Amanda last week. This was after I tried getting just a picture of the trestle which I did BUT I went back and waited to catch the train Engine coming across it!\

As I said, many pictures have been taken there but this one, as far as I know, has never been done before! I have always been behind a camera since I was 10 years old. I may not be the best but I have a lot of experience. But what made my day today is it is my birthday and this morning when I went out to my driveway there was the paper with My picture on the front page! One Hell o'v a Birthday present!

Thanks, David. for sharing that. And belatedly, Happy Birthday!! -- Gerry

Friday, May 31, 2013

Brisbee Welcomes Haley and Heather

Haley and Heather -- or is it Heather and Haley?
I have to give special props to David Duke, the longest-term StarTexan and resident BBQ expert in Brisbee, for keeping the StarText tradition alive. Duke is proud of his grand-daughters -- twins Haley and Heather, 16, who "come by my place once per week and tidy up for me." Duke notes "this photograph was taken with a somewhat new Nikon D3100 camera with a remote shutter control." You can count on David having the latest and greatest gadgets. By the way, I like that hat on your lampshade! Thanks for checking in, Duke. Tell Haley and Heather they are now official residents of Brisbee. -- Gerry

Sunday, June 3, 2012

StarText History Begins Here

The history of StarText posts are in more or less chronological order starting here. To continue reading the history, follow the links posted in 2009. Most recent updates are below. Enjoy!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

A Grad Student Looks at StarText

StarText recently caught the attention of Robb Crocker, currently studying communications in a graduate program at Rutgers University. Robb has a blog, The Past, Present and Future of Newspaper Websites, where he posts interviews and viewpoints.

StarText was the topic for his most recent blog, linked here.

Robb challenged me with questions about both StarText and the current state of online media, including should newspapers start charging for their websites and what will the future bring. Nothing very weighty or important, thank goodness. Just issues some seriously smart people have been trying to figure out for a very long time.

It's always fun to speculate on what might be ahead, mostly because no one really knows (except maybe Paul Saffo, a futurist who when he talks, I always listen.)

At any rate, thanks Robb for your interest in StarText and good luck with your studies. Hopefully you'll be the one who comes up with the answers.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Former StarText Editor Checks In

Today's email brought this:


"I just stumbled upon your StarText history.

"As a long-impoverished, yet recent Baylor graduate, in 1988 I became a part-time editor at StarText while a student at Southwestern Seminary. I was always impressed with the possibilities the service provided and couldn't figure out why print media wasn't adopting the efficiencies of electronic production.

"I worked alone on the 5 pm to midnight shift inputting data. It was a pretty dry task, though I enjoyed scanning the news, writing headlines, and occasionally writing stories. In fact, I did live reporting during the San Francisco earthquake. [StarText News Editor] Christine Russell always was concerned about my 'dyslexia' when I input Wall Street download codes. Looking at 4598, for example, I would say 9845, but always input the number correctly.

Sometimes we didn't get the Star Telegram feeds, especially Rangers stories, and I'd have to walk over to the news editors -- who never really cared for the StarText side of things -- and remind them not to forget the electronic folks.

"The workday was over when David Letterman said goodnight, so I guess some things have not changed.

"And while I only vaguely remember you, thanks for the history."

Thom "Alan" Mackenzie

Alan --

I appreciate you taking the time to tell your StarText story. I would agree there was a little love/hate (or maybe more, like/dislike) relationship between the print and electronic sides of the house. Much the same as today, in many shops. But hey, we had to start somewhere and StarText just gave us a headstart on working out those issues.

By the way, Alan went on from his brief stint with StarText to, among other things, design and operate 11 computer centers for low income residents of Los Angeles. He returned to Texas, got a PhD in literature and now a college teacher. Congrats Alan, and thanks again for sharing.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Reader Note -- This is another in a continuing series of stories authored by StarText subscriber columnist Ed Jackson. My thanks to Dennis Brand for sending it along.

Copyright by e.j.

My name is Jude. Hey, look... Don't ask me why I'm betraying him. I don't know. I imagine HE knows. He knows everything. I dunno... I guess I just think the story is too good to keep. I'm sure it makes me out to be some kind of summich, but... well.. I reckon I am what I am. I haven't any idea whether he'll bother to track me down and nail me for telling or not. Considering the kind of guy he is, I don’t think so, but if he does, he'll have his work cut out for him. By the time you read this, I'll be half way around the world.

Funny, how it all started.. with me. The doctors had all given me up for terminal... the big C, you know. I went to see him, and he healed me. Being the kind of guy I am, I had to find out just who the hell he was, and, being the kind of guy I am. ... I found out. He was a brought-back-from-the-grave, arisen-from-the-dead savior of the world... but he was a robot. He was Rad Fourteen.

He had kept his identity secret, and set himself up as a healer, and was doing real well at it. I tried to shake him down, and I guess my nerve intrigued him, or something, because he didn't alter me. Instead, he talked me into becoming one of his staff. I served him well, too, for about six years. Then something happened in the healer business. Somehow or another the rumor got around that he was a robot, and the healing business just went to pot. Kind'a hard to figure... considering he wasn't charging any money. Folks just decided he wasn't the genuine article.

Funny thing about people. They are perfectly willing to believe that a MAN is a Son of God, or has been given the gift BY God. They can believe in a man, but they just can't put their trust or faith in a machine. With technology the way it is right now, I know I sure as hell trust ANY machine more than I trust ANY man, but most folks aren't like that. Nobody had any proof.... nobody but me, and I wasn’t talking... but the rumor was enough. It put him out of business, and all his staff were put on temporary leave. In my case, a bank account was opened for me, and I had all the money I needed. I don't need much, and I don't know how much was there for me. All I know is that it never ran out.. not even when I drew out the hundred grand to take with me when I ducked.

One night, a couple of weeks ago, I got this call from Rad. He asked me to come see him, and gave me an address. When I got there, Rad met me at the door.

"Hi, Jude. Come on in." We shook hands, and I went into his living room.

"Wipe your feet before you come into MY house!" a raucus voice snapped at me. I looked over to the open door on the right side of the room at this red headed woman who stood there belligerently, hands on hips.

"Yes'm," I said, and automatically did a soft shoe on the mat just inside the door.

"Jude," said Rad, "I'd like you to meet my wife. Rachel, this
is Jude.'

"Pleased to meetcha, ma'am," I said.

"Humph! Well, if you're gonna sit and gab, do it in the kitchen. I'm gonna watch the T.V." She glared, first at me, then at Rad.

"Yes dear," said Rad. "How about fixing us some coffee?" "You want coffee, YOU fix coffee. I'm your wife, not your.."

"Yes dear," said Rad. "Come on, Jude, we'll have some coffee in the kitchen, and talk."

As we walked by Mrs. Rad... er, Rachel.. I loaded up my peepers, out of the corners. I'm good at that. She was a tad taller than Rad, maybe thirty pounds heavier, and, I'm afraid, not a very handsome woman. No boobs to speak of, no great shape, her ears were kind'a big... they stuck out through her hair-do, and her nose REALLY needed some kind of plastic surgery. Not a pretty dame. Not pretty at all.

"Sit down, Jude. I'll just be a minute," said Rad, as he put the coffee on.

"How? What? Who? Hey Rad, this is ME... Jude, you're talking to. Where did you dig HER up? Is she for real? Is she a woman or...."

"Just hang in there, Jude, for a couple, and I'11 tell you the whole story," said Rad, as he got down two cups and saucers, and opened up the fridge. "Cake? Oh, sure, I remember, you have a sweet tooth.. of COURSE you'll have cake!" He took out a plate with a cover on it, and went about the task of setting us up a place to snack... all the while humming contentedly under his breath.

"Don't you mess up MY kitchen," yelled Rachel, as she came through the swinging door into the kitchen.

"No, dear," said Rad.

"I mean it, now, dammit!"

"Not to worry, dear. I'11 clean everything up when I get through."

"Uh-huh. Well, don't make too damned much noise, and get rid of your.." she glared over at me.. "company before too late."

"Yes, dear. We won't be very long."

"See that you aren't!" said Rachel, and steamed back out of the room.

"Rad," I said. "You've got to tell me what the hell is going ON here."

"Of course I will. That's why I had you come over," said Rad, setting down two cups of coffee, and easing into a chair across from me. "What do you think of her?"

I looked at the door apprehensively. "Well.... gee, I don't know, Rad. Is she a woman, or a..." I couldn't seem to say the word.

"Robot? Sure, she's a robot. I built her," said Rad, smiling.

I was lost. I knew enough about Rad, his past, his present, just what he was capable of doing. I couldn't figure this one out at all. That’s about all I could think to say.

"I can't figure it out. What do you need with a wife?" "She's going to make it possible for me to carry on my work."

The door to the kitchen swung open again. "Don't forget to carry out the garbage tonight,” said Rachel, Rad’s "No, dear" was lost on her as she popped back out of the room.

"But..." I started.

"Think about this, Jude. You know what put us out of business. The rumor that I was not a human being. People have grown to accept robots. It isn't like there was a whole lot of hate, or prejudice, or anything. It’s just that they can't accept them as God-inspired. They are only too well aware that they are made either by men, or other robots. I had to put the rumor to rest. What ONE thing separates man from robot? Sex. Since we don't need sex, we don't need women. If a man has a wife, he is just not suspect of being a robot. Simple, isn't it? I don't know why I didn't think of it before."

"I can see that. I don't know why I didn't think of it myself, when we were talking about ways to get around the rumor... before you shut down the operation."

"Then you think it's going to work," Rad said. I couldn't tell from his inflection if it was a question or a statement.

"Work? Sure it will work. But...."

"But what, Jude?" asked Rad, smiling.

"Look, Rad... I know you. I know.... no... I take that back... I don't know... but I THINK I know what you are capable of doing. You could have made yourself a real help-mate.... Gorgeous, a little SHORTER than you ... a well modulated voice... why Rachel?"

"I wanted no suspicions. If you thought I was a robot, but wasn't SURE, would a perfect wife really convince you I was a man... knowing a robot’s capability of building robots?"

"No.... I suppose not... but Rachel?"

The door burst open again, and Rachel barged back into the Kitchen. "Behind you, now, clean up this crap, and lock up. I'm going upstairs."

"Yes, dear." said Rad.

"Pleased to have met you, Ma'am," I said.

"Humph," said Rachel, as she sailed out of the room.

"Can't you see it, Jude? Nobody in his right mind would believe a robot would build a wife like Rachel. I wanted this 'marriage' to look perfectly normal to everyone else. Marriage is NOT perfect for many people... not real people, Jude. If we were a perfect couple, few people would believe it. Perfect couples can be made by robots. They are, contrary to popular belief, seldom 'made in heaven.' Rachel is not pretty, doesn't have a pleasing voice, and, you might say, only an idiot would have married her." He chuckled. "Haven't you ever noticed how often you see beautiful women married to homely men and vice-versa? I've programmed Rachel to nag, spend money like it was going to go rotten sitting in the bank, disapprove of everything I say or do, disapprove of my friends and acquaintances, be demanding, ignore anything I say, and make goo-goo eyes at every man she sees."

“Get RID of that bum!” came Rachel’s voice, from the other room.

"You get the picture, Jude? Now I can continue my work." He raised his voice. "YES DEAR," he called, and sat back, grinning happily.

That's All, folks.