Friday, December 27, 2013

The Legend of Boggy Creek resin model kit is here ...

     Howdy, y'all!  A while back, just before Thanksgivin' ... I got an e-mail from Lyle Blackburn, author of The Beast of Boggy Creek tellin' me about his newest release, The Legend of Boggy Creek Resin Model Kit.  Well, bein' an old hobby-head from back-in-the-day, I stepped-up and got me a first release of this awesome figure!  Lyle's kit was sculpted by Jean St. Jean and was cast by John Diaz of Resin Realities, up there in the Bronx, New York.  Both did an outstandin' job ... and all I can say is that this kit will not disappoint!
     Sculptor Jean St. Jean abso-friggin'-lutely shreds!  He sculpted this figure as if it were ripped right out of the movie poster, capturin' the iconic stance of the creature as originally depicted by illustrator Ralph McQuarrie!  Jean is obviously a master at his craft ... nailin' all of the details includin' musculature, hair-growth patterns and its facial expression as it lumbers through the slough.  Jean done his dang homework on this one, lettin' his artistic expression run as wild as the subject at hand!  This beast is lean & lanky, with its hair-growth longer around the head & shoulders ... and the arms, hands and fingers are longer as well.  Hmmm, this makes me kinda wonder if Mr. Jean St. Jean ain't been doin' some of his own sloughstalkin' out there in them woods!  Ever been to Fouke, Jean?  From the looks of his sculpture, you'd think that he might've actually seen one of these critters up-close & personal ...
     And John Diaz did a superb job of castin' this kit as well.  Four simple pieces and no visible mold lines or seams.  It was clean, and all of the parts fit well.  I did some minor putty-work where the arms joined the shoulders, but that was it.  I cain't remember the last resin kit that was this simple to build.  Diaz must've had folks like me in mind; hey, y'all ... simple thangs for simple minds!  No air bubbles, no deformities and everything was there; no missin' digits, no poorly casted parts ... and the detailing was nice and crisp on the figure as well as on the base.  I had minimal clean-up, and very little extra material to trim away with my trusty X-ACTO.  That-there resin material Diaz used is quality ... his cast is solid, and I wish that more of my other, older resin kits were this good.  Y'all be sure and give Resin Realities a look-see at
     All right now, lets talk about the build; 12-hours from my mailbox to the display case, and that includes me peckin'-out this review!  After inspectin' the contents, I had trimmed away any extra material and thoroughly washed the kit with dish soap to remove any oils or castin' agents and then let it dry.  For any modelin' novices out there, this is so the glue and paint adhere to the resin.  And speakin' of glue, don't y'all be usin' no dang plastic model cement; this ain't styrene ... so you'll need to use a cyanoacrylate, such as Locktite Super Glue.  I glued the arms first, and then filled the gaps with modelers putty.  I used Tamiya Plastic Putty 'cause it dries quicker than Sculpey; I filled the gaps and immediately used an old toothbrush to remove any extra putty from the figure.  Just a few quick buffs goin' with the grain of the hair, and I used my X-ACTO to pick-out what the bristles couldn't get.
     Next came the pre-paint; I like to use a flat-black for my base coat, and then layer all of my detailin' from darker colors to lighter ones.  I wanted to paint the beast and the base separately, so I was really careful not to spray-paint the areas where these two pieces will be joined.  Cyanoacrylate doesn't really bond all that well after the pieces are painted.  See the image below; I used ¼ of a wet cotton ball to fill each of the two holes where the ankles meet the base, and mashed them in with the handle of my trusty X-ACTO.  Once the base was sprayed, I simply picked the damp cotton out.  The bottoms of the ankles are flat, and can be lightly sanded or scraped with a blade.  I then proceeded to paint my kit usin' both a wash and a dry-brush technique; dry-brush works well with surfaces that are extremely textured.  For the swamp-water on the base, I done "borrowed" some of my wife's clear nail polish to give it a wet appearance.

     I wanted my figure dark, just like the beast itself!  I used grays, tans & browns for the hair... and then orange for highlights to mimic the dusky-sunset glow of The Legend of Boggy Creek poster.  The kit actually came with a miniature 5" x 7" version printed on cardstock.  You can now order yours from Lyle Blackburn on-line at  This kit is available in 3 versions; un-built & unpainted, as a faux-bronzed built statue or as a fully-painted, built statue.  Hope y'all didn't mind me geekin'-out on y'all, but this kit is amazin' ... and buildin' it brings back memories of my childhood.  Next time, I'll stick to sloughstalkin' and we'll be talkin' 'bout Callin' ... but until then, y'all be safe out there in them woods.  And, y'all have a Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Prove it …

The lesser-known "Frame 253" ...
did they stumble on the Bumble?
     Howdy!  How many of y’all out there have actually had an encounter with somethin’ tall, dark & hairy wanderin’ ‘round on two legs out there in them woods?  If you truly have had an experience, can you prove it?  Well, I’ve had an experience … and sad to say, I really couldn’t prove it.  At the time, I was fishin’ with my son … who actually got a much better look at it than I did.  He even had a video camera; but because the foliage was so thick, he couldn’t get focused on the critter to get any footage.  Does that mean that we were mistaken?  Nope.  Does that mean we were hallucinatin’?  Nope.  Does that mean that what we saw just doesn’t exist?  Well, it obviously exists; but in the eyes of skeptics, without the burden of proof ... it obviously doesn’t.  So if we say it’s real but the skeptics say otherwise, here is the real question … why do we have to prove it?  Well, let’s just weigh this question …
This was two years ago; I hope Caddo Lake gets a bunch of
snow soon ... and it freezes all that friggin' giant salvinia!

     As much as I’d like to prove it, so far I’ve come up zero!  Four years of scoutin’ and maintainin’ five game-cams in the area of Our Encounter have so far been a bust.  No tracks, no pictures and no video.  Them sloughs & woods around Caddo Lake definitely ain’t sparse … even if you just narrowed-it down to the specific area where we happened upon this critter.  It would be comparable to findin’ your contact lens in an Olympic-sized swimmin’ pool; it can be done, but you’d be pretty-dang lucky at best.  And considerin’ the elusiveness of the quarry, bein’ overwhelmed by the vast area to search and your stick-to-itiveness to find it … it actually is a possible task if you are patient and persistent.

     I can honestly say that I really don’t believe in "Bigfoot".  Really.  I do believe, however … that I know what we saw.  Even though we couldn’t readily identify this animal … it was real, it was there and we experienced it.  But sad to say, we have no physical evidence to prove it.  No video, no photos and nothin' material; sh¡t happens ... oh, well.  So now, let’s weigh the other side of the aforementioned question: can the skeptics actually prove that this animal doesn’t exist?  Nope.  They can’t.  How can someone prove that there cannot possibly be some large, intelligent bipedal hominoids thrivin’ somewhere in the thousands upon thousands of forested, uninhabited acreage on this continent?  Haven't there been many a folk (includin' those of us who have witnessed this mystery animal) who've made a concerted effort to try and prove its existence?  Sure … there’s actually been quite a few.  But I’ll bet you that there ain’t really been much of an effort made by the scores of skeptics for positive proof that it doesn’t exist.
     So can anyone prove it?  C’mon now, y’all remember … folks were once skeptical of gorillas, right?  And I ain’t tryin’ to beat a dead horse, but none of them skeptics have yet to definitively prove that the subject of the Patterson-Gimlin film was a person in a costume.  Now, they’ve attempted to debunk Patty … but none of ‘em has fabricated any sort of costume or suit that looks anything like a livin’ critter!  So … exactly who’s fabricatin’ what?  If the skeptics are gonna say that somethin’ like this can’t possibly exist … then I say that they need to prove it!  Show me the costume or gorilla suit used for the so-called money shot.  No lame attempts, no second-hand hearsay … and no antagonistic costume maker turned carnival-barker tryin’ to make a quick buck.  And since when was Patty a red-head?  Good God ... at least get the friggin’ hair-color color right!
     I’ll admit that I was semi-skeptical of this mystery biped until I witnessed it for myself.  What’s “semi-skeptical” mean, you ask?  Well … let me try to explain.  I’ve been huntin’ & fishin’ since I was six, and until June of 2009 when I actually witnessed one of these critters in the wild … I was pretty much-well on the fence whether I’d been sharin’ them woods with “Bigfoot”.  Now, in my defense … I never thought the existence of such an animal was impossible.  After all, I had witnessed all kinds of different critters, and I ain’t talkin’ ‘bout watchin’ ‘em on National Geographic specials, Wild Kingdom with Marlin Perkins or Jack Hanna’s guest appearances on The Tonight Show.  I’m talkin’ about runnin’ ‘round out there in them woods and seein’ all manner of nature. But mystery bipeds?  They just weren’t somethin’ I’d ever seen ...
     But I was also one of them kids that had seen almost every kind of science fiction & monster movie ever made.  I collected fanzines ‘cause I wanted to know exactly how "the masters” created the make-up and special effects for these film creatures that I had idolized.  Now, can anyone out there name just one featured-creature that looks anywhere near as authentic as Patty?  I can’t.  The closest I’ve ever seen were them primates in the “Dawn of Man” sequence of 2001: A Space Odyssey.  And 37 years later, even though I loved Peter Jackson’s King Kong, it was CGI.  So, when someone tries to tell me that Patty was a person in a suit … I simply say, prove it.  Really.  And good luck with that ...

     People like myself have been labeled as Bigfoot believers, Bigfoot enthusiasts, or just recently by our friends from across the pond as “Bigfootologists”.  Really?  Well now ... the noun ology is an informal word for some unidentified branch of knowledge.  Hmmm, that’s sort-of interestin’ … I might just take that as a compliment.  Let’s see, I'm kinda informal, and I am seekin’ knowledge on somethin’ that’s definitely unidentified ... cool!  Hell, I kinda like it!  But the fact is, I’m at least tryin’ to figure-out what this critter is.  So I guess that I really don’t mind bein’ labeled … just as long as I ain’t bein’ labeled as a skeptic.  At least I ain’t cynically peein’ in someone’s Cheerios by sayin’ that these animals simply cannot exist!
     Now, if I actually believed in that sort of ideology, I’d at least try and definitively prove it!  “Bigfootologists” are tryin'; but the fact is, the skeptics can’t.  This ain’t some Miracle on 34th Street scenario; Kris Kringle ain’t the one on trial here for believin’ he’s Santa.  Come to think about it, most folks may agree that Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer might just be a little far-fetched.  However, I’d be willin’ to bet y’all that Yukon Cornelius might agree that The Bumble may have been based on somethin’ a little more ... tangible.  So as far as I'm concerned, them skeptics can say “Bah, humbug!” all they want; but first … they ought to at least have to prove it!
     So, I say to all of the amateur field researchers and fellow “Bigfootologists” out there … kudos, y’all!  Given enough time and effort, one of us may soon be able to prove it.  That’s right … definitive proof that what folks have been seein’ for the past couple of hundred years out there in them woods is just an animal.  Proof perhaps, that this critter is simply just a species that we haven’t yet been able to document.  And just because it ain’t yet been documented doesn’t mean that it doesn’t or cannot exist.  And I say to all of them skeptics … y’all just need to grow a pair and get out there!  Really ... actually sweat a little and do some time in the grime to at least attempt to prove to us that it doesn’t exist.  Seriously, if that’s what y’all believe … then get out there and friggin' prove it!  But then again, I might be a little skeptical to think that y’all actually could
To all of you and yours, whether you just believe ... or for those of us who actually know, I hope and pray that y'all have a safe & happy holiday.
Good luck to y'all in all your future endeavors in the upcomin' New Year!
*The photo titled, "Frame 253 ..." is obviously a hoax, and was created while havin' some fun with Photoshop.  The image used of Bluff Creek was found on Google Images, and was obviously taken by someone else.  One would have to assume that it is obviously the iconic frame 352 taken by Roger Patterson, which in all probability is not a hoax and is subject to Copyright.  The Bumble, however, is mine ... posed in the iconic Patty stance ... and photographed by me.  I just wanted to be perfectly clear that The Bumble was not harmed in the process, and currently resides comfortably perched upon our bar ... enjoyin' some holiday cheer!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Fixin’ …

When flats happen; does it hafta be at 11:30 P.M. in the middle of nowhere?
Always carry tools ... always go prepared and always expect the unexpected!
     Hey, y’all … hope you and yours are havin’ a wonderful holiday season.  I’ve taken some time off of work, but it really ain’t been much of a vacation.  Instead of lazin’ ‘round the house or ‘round the fire pit … I’ve been doin’ a bunch of fixin’.  On top of all my other responsibilities, my main job in this household is fixin’ all the stuff that breaks.  Don’t worry … Dad can fix it!” is like some kind of challenge I get from my family on a regular basis.  I don’t quite know if they’re just tryin’ to give me somethin’ to do ‘cause they feel sorry for me, or if it’s some kind of sick game they play to keep me outta their hair.  Let’s face-it, if you’re the outdoors type … you’re constantly fixin’ somethin’.  Whether it's a flat on your trailer or the lock on your spare that disintegrates as you turn the key ... it's always somethin'!  I don’t care how much it costs or how good you think you’ve taken care of it … at the most inopportune time, it’s eventually goin’ to break.  Whatever the case, I’m beginnin’ to think my main purpose in life is fixin’ sh¡t!

     The perfect example was the spare tire lock which I routinely kept lubricated that fell apart when I really needed my spare tire at 11:30 P.M. about 45-minutes south of Marshall!  I really think that some things are purposely built cheaply to begin with.  It’s like there’s some big marketin’ conspiracy to manufacture junk so you have to go back to the store and buy more.  Take for instance “waterproof” trailer lights; good God, whoever come up with these has to either be a sick & twisted sumb¡tch or a marketin’ genius!  First of all, you go to your local sports & outdoors store or Y’all-Mart to replace a $15.00-$25.00 “waterproof” trailer light, and you come outta there with $150.00+ of other sh¡t you didn’t really need ‘fore you went in there!  And let me tell y’all somethin’ … there ain’t no such thing as a “waterproof” trailer light!  Every one of ‘em either has a drain hole … which also lets water in, or uses such cheap materials that after three or four launches, they corrode and short-out.  Hell, I even unplug mine before I back the boat in, but it don’t matter.  I’ve tried sealin’ ‘em with silicone, sprayin’ a corrosion inhibitor on the interior parts & contacts, and even use heat-shrink butt-splices to make my connections … but nothin’ works.  And it don’t matter that you’ve checked everything beforehand, ‘cause as soon as you leave to go pick-up your fishin’ buddy at 4:30 a.m., the first thing he’s goin’ to tell you ain’t good mornin’; it’s goin’ to be, “Hey man … you got a trailer light out.

When critters attack: financially gnawed,
I also used this opportunity to re-carpet.
     This may just be a useless rant, but anyone who owns a boat knows that it’s just a floatin’ hole to throw money in.  I don’t care how hard you try and take care of it … somethin’ always needs fixin’!  Navigation lights don’t go south near as often as “waterproof” trailer lights, but you can’t legally navigate without them; I always carry spare bulbs.  And screw wear & tear or the elements; sometimes, it’s nature that bites you the hardest!  One year, I had either squirrels or rats chew-up and short-out my main wirin’ harness, which was inside of the starboard gunwhale of the boat … to the tune of $1,700.00 worth of damage!  Thank God for insurance and that I always checked everything well in advance of goin’ sloughstalkin’.  Then there was the time that my steerin’ locked-up.  What the Hell?  I’d pumped grease in the zirt on the steerin’ cable on a regular basis.  I was later “schooled” by my buddy in Uncertain that the zirt I was puttin’ grease into was for the tilt, not the steerin’ cable.  Really?  Then why in the Hell would Yamaha put that zirt on the steerin’ cable?

     Then there was the time that I was headed to a tournament at Sam Rayburn … and my friggin’ trailer axel snapped at the spindle on I-10 near Anahuac.  I just happened to notice white smoke in my driver’s side-view mirror … ‘cause I damn sure didn’t feel anything.  The tire & wheel was lodged in the fender-well … or I’d probably have had boat damage or caused an accident!  What the Hell?  I had installed Bearing-Buddies and pumped grease into ‘em on a regular basis as well.  Nine hours later and $425.00 lighter (tow, axel & labor) … I showed-up at my destination with a new axel and the galvanized fender-wells torched off the trailer.  Any port in a storm; the only axel I could find was 1½” to 2” too wide for the wheels not to rub the fender-wells.  And on that same trip, the friggin’ trollin’ motor was actin’ up ‘cause of a faulty switch or connection.  Really?  It’s kind-of hard to bass-fish in a tournament without a reliable trollin’ motor!
     Sometimes, the tow-vehicle wasn’t immune to such misgivin’s either.  I had a 4x4 Suburban with a 454 under the hood; I called it the “Red Sled” … ‘cause it could tow a house and pass anything but a gas station.  One evenin’ I was headed to my local sports & outdoors store to purchase another “waterproof” trailer light and God knows what else … when the beast suddenly started acceleratin’ on its own!  This wasn’t no Toyota … it was American muscle goin’ all “Stephen King” on my unsuspectin’ ass!  I stood on the breaks and then simply turned-off the key … coasted to a stop and started it again.  The tires smoked as it rapidly accelerated again before I turned-off the ignition and coasted into the parkin’ lot of a buddy’s garage.  When I popped the hood, I noticed that the steerin’ cable got frayed and had knotted-up … causin’ it to stick at ¾ throttle.  Again, I found myself fixin’ sh¡t before I could go onto my next soughstalkin’ adventure.  Not only did I have to re-wire more “waterproof” trailer lights, I had to track-down another accelerator cable for the Red Sled as well.  I lost a day of fishin’ out of that trip, but at least the incident didn’t happen with the boat attached, or … God forbid, while I was drivin’ through Houston or out in the middle of friggin’ nowhere.
     The oddest thing that happened to the Red Sled was after an entire week of sloughstalkin’ when I was leavin’ Uncertain for home late one Sunday afternoon.  I was on I-59 South at the Carthage Exit when I noticed I had no power breaks.  And, as an added-bonus … I then discovered I had no power steerin’ either.  Try maneuverin’ that train-wreck while pullin’ a boat!  I eased into a truckin’ yard and popped the hood, and noticed that my serpentine belt was missin’.  Hmmm, no problem … ‘cause I always carried a spare.  Always go prepared, and always carry tools, ‘cause you just never know when you’re goin’ to be fixin’ sh¡t!  While tryin’ to put the spare belt on, I discovered the original belt, which had been thrown into the firewall.  Upon inspection, that belt was intact; but to my horror, the idler pulley was nowhere to be found!  I was loaded-down with gear and pullin’ a boat, but dead in the friggin’ water … so to speak.  I immediately called my buddy in Uncertain, asked him to grab an idler pulley assembly from Marshall, and I’d pay him for his time & travel.  When he got there, we discovered that the new idler pulley assembly was not really an assembly at all!  There was just a pulley and bearin’; no bolt or the bushin’ that was needed to assemble this fustercluck that I was now in …
     But have no fear, ‘cause a country-boy will survive!  Upon further inspection, the much needed carriage bolt was also miraculously located lodged in the undercarriage of my vehicle.  My buddy just looked at me and said, “You have got to be the luckiest sumb¡tch I know!  There still wasn’t no bushin’ … and no washers … but the much needed bolt.  My buddy just happened to have a ½” to ¾” pipe couplin’ … which we substituted for the bushin’.  It was just the right size for the idler pulley’s bearing to slide over.  I had extra washers of various diameters in my tool kit, and we spaced-it out to where the pulley was aligned for proper belt placement.  Talk about yer Shade-Tree Mechanics 101!  This was only a temporary fix, but at least got me back to Uncertain for the night.  I hit the parts department at the Chevy dealership in Marshall first thing the next mornin’ … and after 15-minutes under the hood … I was finally headed back home.
     Two of the worst things that can happen when you’re sloughstalkin’ are gettin’ caught in a storm or havin’ engine problems.  Well, I just wouldn’t be me unless I got to experience both of these scenarios simul-friggin’-taneously!  A buddy and I was fishin’ the back of Smith’s Slough before a front was comin’ in.  We had to access this area from the Carter Lake side, ‘cause the water was too shallow to run all the way down Smith’s Slough.  We were havin’ such a great time catchin’ bass, that we waited ‘til the very last minute to haul-ass back to Cypress Village.  Shortly after I got the boat on plane … the engine alarm come on.  I had to shut-her down … raise the engine and clear all the duck-weed and other vegetation from the lower unit and intake.  As we waited for the engine to cool … the wind, rain and lightnin’ commenced to whippin’ our asses!  Before we finally got onto Big Cypress, my buddy got clocked with a fairly decent sized branch, and the engine alarm came on again.  As it was rainin’ sideways … again, I shut-her off, put the trollin’ motor down and finally made it to the far bank.  We found someone’s dilapidated boathouse to hide in.  We hunkered-down ‘til the lightnin’ passed, and limped back to Cypress Village.  A new impeller was needed, and all was well again.
     I really wasn’t plannin’ to spend the majority of my Holiday vacation fixin’ sh¡t; however, I’m fixin’ to take the boat to get checked and get the engine tuned.   I’ve also been goin’ through all of my Baggage to make sure I don’t have any surprises to deal with in 2014.  I’d rather concentrate on sloughstalkin’ and spendin’ my time in the grime … and not gettin’ grimey from fixin’ sh¡t.  I’ll need all the concentration I can muster so I don’t end-up getting’ friggin’ Lost!  It’ll be a new year, with new territories to explore and new (mis)adventures to experience.  Oh, and at least a couple of more trips to Y’all-Mart for some of them new “waterproof” trailer lights!  Y’all be safe, and happy holidays to you and yours!