Brian Combs

Online marketing pioneer Brian Combs talks the issues of the day.

Random Thoughts on the Longhorn Season Thus Far

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Four games into the season, Texas has beaten one bad team solidly, lost badly to two mediocre teams, and squeeked out a win against another bad team. What does that make the Texas Longhorns?

It makes them a bad team as well, although one with a bit more heart than I thought before yesterday.

The K State game was badly officiated from top to bottom, but the last few minutes were ridiculous. It really got the crowd fired up, however. …

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September 22nd, 2013 at 10:38 am

Notes from the Austin Longhorn Club – Darrell Wyatt

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The attendance was down a bit at today’s Austin Longhorn Club, but not as much as I had expected given the team’s showing (or lack thereof) the last two weeks. The featured speaker was wide receivers coach and co-offensive coordinator Darrell Wyatt.

Notable attendees included DeLoss Dodds and Ronnie Brown. I talked to Ronnie briefly afterwards, and he’s really slimmed down since his playing days. He’s working for the Longhorn Foundation now.

After the usual opening festivities (opening prayer, door …

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September 19th, 2013 at 2:33 pm

Notes from the Austin Longhorn Club – Major Applewhite

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The mood was a bit grim walking into the Frank Erwin Center today, after the embarrassment in Provo. Hook ‘Em worked the crowd, trying to discourage negativity, but he didn’t have a whole lot of success.

The scheduled speaker was originally to be Manny Diaz, but he obviously had to be replaced. While we would have received very interesting answers to our questions from Coach Diaz, they sent Major Applewhite instead.

I anticipated lots of hard questions for Coach Applewhite. …

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September 12th, 2013 at 4:36 pm

Notes from the Austin Longhorn Club – Mack Brown

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I attended my first Austin Longhorn Club lunch today. It’s held the Thursday before every Texas Longhorn home game, and features a speaker from the coaching staff. This week, it was Coach Mack Brown.

The event is held at the Erwin Center. On the way in, I asked how many people were expected.

The man at the name tag table hemmed and hawed a bit. He said that it’s usually 250 to 300 people, and usually about 500 when Coach …

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Sieges at Raby Castle

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One of my favorite castles is Raby Castle in County Durham, England. Raby is a reinforced manor house from the 13th Century. It was the ancestral home of the Neville family, to whom I have relations through my Conyers line.

I’ve been reading a book on the design and technology of castles, and I wondered if Raby had every been under siege. Naturally, the first place I looked was Google.

I found references to a siege at Raby in 1648, …

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August 7th, 2013 at 2:08 pm

Posted in Conyers,Genealogy

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Sorry Texas A&M – Johnny Football Is Just Not That Into You

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Here’s a little something I’ve been working on for the last week or two:

I’ve been trying to decide when to put this out there, but with today’s news that Johnny Manziel is under investigation for signing autographs for a fee, I realized that now was the time. It’s possible that JF won’t be an Aggie too much longer.

On the other hand, it could all blow over. Perhaps Manziel is innocent, or perhaps he’ll return the money he was …

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August 5th, 2013 at 3:02 pm

Thoughts on Vancouver, BC

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We decided to stay in Vancouver, British Columbia a night before and a night after our Alaskan cruise. Traveling from Austin, Texas to Vancouver and rushing to get on a boat in the same day didn’t sound like much fun. Neither did doing the opposite on the home.

And a delay in a flight out could mean missing the boat.

As it happens, the airlines know which days are departures and arrivals for the cruises, so the flights were much …

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August 5th, 2013 at 2:30 pm

Posted in Travel

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Thoughts on the Disney Wonder

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As you can tell from my last few posts, the Wife, my 20-month-old daughter and I went on an Alaskan cruise with Disney last month. The seven night cruise started and ended in Vancouver, British Columbia, and included a day sailing through Tracy Arm Fjord and stops in Skagway, Juneau, and Ketchikan.

This was my second cruise, having been on a short Bahamas cruise with the Wife on Carnival. She has been on several other cruises, and it was Aubrey’s …

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August 4th, 2013 at 10:08 am

Posted in Alaska

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Photoblog: Juneau Whale Watching

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The next shore day on our July 2013 Alaska cruise was Juneau. This was the day I’d been waiting for, as we were going on a whale watching excursion.

For years, seeing whales in the wild had been on my bucket list. We’d gone on a whale watching excursion in St. Lucia, but did not see any whales (although we saw a huge number of dolphin).

Knowing the huge number of humpback whales that feed in the Stevens Passage, I …

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August 3rd, 2013 at 9:42 am

Posted in Alaska,Photoblog

Photoblog: White Pass Railroad

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The White Pass and Yukon Route railroad is a narrow gauge railroad between Skagway, Alaska and Whitehorse in the Yukon. Riding the line is a standard excursion for cruise ships porting in Skagway.

On our July 2013 Alaska cruise, we chose an excursion that took the train from Skagway to Fraser, British Columbia, Canada, and then took a tour coach back. This allowed us to differing scenery each direction.

The entire excursion took about 3.5 hours and was well worth …

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August 2nd, 2013 at 8:11 am

Posted in Alaska,Photoblog