Borderline with Gary Borders

Friday at 7:45 a.m.

Each week Gary offers a variety of observations and personal experience in a highly engaging commentary from East Texas. Join us for Borderline with Gary Borders in his new time slot, Fridays at 7:45 a.m.

Gary Borders

We celebrated our nephew Connor’s 10th birthday in a time-honored East Texas manner: grilling hamburgers, pitching washers — and plinking balloons and Diet Coke cans with pellet guns. The clan sat outside on a Saturday afternoon enjoying a rare respite from the incessant rains.

Since the party was at our house in a quiet subdivision, we had to settle for pellet guns and leave the heavy ordnance in the gun safes. Previous family get-togethers out in the country have allowed us to indulge in another Pine Curtain tradition: Blowing Stuff Up.

Gary Borders

The voice on my cellphone was familiar and welcomed, in heavily accented Spanish. “Hallo, Meester Gary. It’s Jaìme. How are you?” I haven’t heard from my compadrè since my birthday in 2010, when he called to remind me I was turning 55. “Muy Viejo,” he joked at the time. Very old.

Gary Borders

April is the season of hope for baseball fans. My beloved Red Sox are in first place, but it is far too early to get excited. Only two games separates first from last place in this nascent season.

A local school district recently hosted a donkey basketball game. Teachers rode on donkeys and competed against their students. I am a former donkey basketball player but have long hung up my riding sneakers. I was roped into doing this while running the San Augustine paper, despite my lack of qualifications to either play or ride a donkey successfully. The company provided both helmets and the animals, which were much better trained than their riders.

Drones make the news quite often lately, both for the large unmanned versions used to launch stealth attacks in places like Afghanistan, and the much smaller ones used for a variety of non-lethal purposes: photography, tracking cattle in desolate places, or trying to catch drug traffickers. The Federal Aviation Administration recently outlined its proposed new rules in what has been a largely unregulated area, such as keeping drones within sight of the operator, no higher than 500 feet or faster than 100 mph. This is likely going to scotch Amazon’s plans to use drones to deliver packages.