Big Bend Notes November 13, 2009

Big Bend Notes November 13, 2009

–If you’re looking for an amazing and funny journey through the Big Bend, be sure to check out The Oasis of My Soul, Ara Gureghian’s weblog about his travels in the area. He rides a BMW motorcycle with his helmeted dog, Spirit. Ara’s story is a unique one; he’s been a bakery owner, a personal chef and a nomad. This blog features tons of great photography from the area.


I didn’t make it down to the Chili Cookoff this year. I grew up in Terlingua, and the idea of driving an hour and a half to be hassled by five different varieties of cops didn’t appeal to me. Also, if this is the highlight of what goes on (wet t-shirt contests with corny DJs, scummy boyfriends letting their skanky girlfriends rub up against middle-age beer drinkers, sexual assault, etc.) then I don’t really want to go. Not because I am morally opposed to nudity, just because it seems sort of a whack sausage fest. However, send me your photos and video and I will be happy to post them on your behalf.

Dusty Reins has great photos from the Cookoff. View those photos here. Follow Dusty on Twitter here.

–Newsflash from Jack MacNamera: “I just spoke with Tana Gunville’s attorney Mike Barclay of Alpine at 2:50 p.m. He said the jury had just returned a verdict of “Not Guilty” on both charges (“produces/traffics in counterfeit device” and “tampering with a witness, victim or an informant”) in the US v. Gunville case.

The case was tried in San Antonio before US District Judge Xavier Rodriguez after transfer from Judge Robert Junell.” [emphasis added]

To read more about this, check out Jack’s news website, The Nimby News. Jack also complains that Mike Perry of the Avalanche was a little too soft on the folks responsible for the library falling down and that the Avalanche story regarding that was almost a re-election piece for Val Beard. Mike said he would publish that e-mail in the letters section, but I didn’t see it this week.

–WARNING TO THE PEOPLE OF MARFA: Your town is becoming overexposed in the mainstream media! You need to kick out the Quaids before it becomes any worse. Here is the chain of events: 1) features in the NYT travel blog, 2) mentioned in Details or W magazine, 3) mentioned in People magazine, 4) Paris Hilton buys a condo, a reality TV show called Marfa Style runs on FOX and Hollywood Squares films for a week in front of the Judd Foundation. Quick! Kick them out! The first three have already happened!
There’s a poll regarding this subject on the left sidebar of the homepage. Participate in order to see the results!

–Willy Nelson, Leon Russell and Ray Charles

For more awesome video, links and news visit my FriendFeed.

–My Contributing Editor Marfa, Amanda Mayo let me know “Alister M and Lusitania at Ray’s Bar tonight in Marfa! Listen at 10:30am for an interview with Steve from Alister M… or 93.5fm.”

–“The Center for Big Bend Studies is hosting its 16th Annual Conference on November 13 and 14 at the Sul Ross State University Morgan University Center. Over 30 presenters will speak on the history, archaeology, and culture of the Big Bend and northern Mexico. There is a complimentary Social for registrants, and vendors of books, apparel, and more. Sul Ross students, faculty, and staff may come to all sessions for free, but should register if they plan on attending the majority of the conference.” If you are interested in Big Bend history, geography or archeology, you have to attend this conference. Check out their website here.

Big Bend Ranch Park

Big Bend Ranch Park

–“November 14, 2009 β€” Big Bend Ranch SP β€” La Fiesta β€” Big Bend Ranch State Park welcomes a new era of family recreation and outdoor adventure opportunities. Come celebrate with the state park staff and residents of the local communities of the Big Bend area as Texas Parks and Wildlife Department presents this public awareness event at the ranch. Free park entry, a free barbecue lunch and a variety of free tours and activities will be offered to each guest who wishes to participate in the outdoor recreation opportunities promotion of Texas’ premier primitive wilderness park. Accessible for the mobility and visually impaired. 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m.; reservations required (432) 358-4444.” Visit their official site for more information.

Big Bend News

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–I recently became an editor on the Open Directory Project. If you are a web junkie like me, this is a good way to give a little back to the web community. It’s a directory edited completely by human volunteers.

From a search engine optimization standpoint, this might be the best single listing you can get because other directories use the ODP database to populate their own directories (the Google Directory for instance). So, if you get listed here you will get about 50 more high quality links in the course of a couple of months.

Here’s some advice on submitting your site:
1) Find the absolute best category to submit in. Look around for a while and find a category that has your peers in it.
2) Write a succinct, factual directory listing that follows ODP guidelines without puffery. The editors would like to accept your entry without having to edit it.
3) Be patient. If you re-submit, your prior entry is erased. This is all volunteer work, so its backed up, especially in large categories. Submit your entry and forget about it.
4) Have a personal friend who is an editor πŸ˜‰
Open Directory Project at

–Interview magazine has a little bit more about why Elijah Wood was in Marfa, Texas on Halloween. The band that played Masquerade Marfa is signed to Wood’s Simian Records. Click here to read that article.

–I am looking to start a monthly blogging seminar. If any of you folks out there think that it would be helpful, e-mail me at to demonstrate your interest.

–If you are a 100% reliable web developer, KRTS is looking for a contractor to make some small additions to their current site. Contact Tom Michael at KRTS to submit a bid.