Tom Sawyer Chapel: Once upon a time in a Sabine Parish forest


Once upon a time in a place not so far away and a time not so long ago, there stood an idyllic vessel of worship high on a hilltop in a real life forest which skirted the shoreline of a magnificent body of water

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Story of Noble, Louisiana brilliant recluse takes me by storm and leaves me reeling

Sometimes, the crazy old man in the town you were raised in… wasn’t.

That very sentence hooked me and reeled me in to one of the better non-fiction books I have ever read.
“Smokey” is a book about a local character who plenty of locals seemed to have been aware of but who no one really knew.  Herbert Glen Irwin lived 32 years of his unique and what could easily be called incredible 84 years of life in the tiny community of Noble, Louisiana, located in northern Sabine Parish.

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Fun detour to Anacoco Lake Spillway… plus lessons in history and challenges to explore more

For many years, the most I knew about Anacoco Lake was that I thought could see it on the west side of U.S. Hwy. 171 during my many travels between Sabine Parish, Louisiana to Lake Charles, Louisiana.  I saw it as a scenic lake which appeared to reach many different levels… sometimes it was lush and high, other times it was low with plenty of exposed trees.  Much like a miniature version of Toledo Bend Lake. Continue reading “Fun detour to Anacoco Lake Spillway… plus lessons in history and challenges to explore more”


The story of a film star: Full of twists and turns from Toro, Louisiana to Hollywood, California

ats mary miles minter
I have been aware for many years of a silent film star whose roots are in Sabine Parish.  I remembered reading several years ago about Mary Miles Minter and her connections to this parish.  I recalled reading she was buried in a cemetery in Mansfield, Louisiana.  I knew she was the subject of scandalous accusations following the Hollywood true crime story of the murder of Paramount Studios Director William Desmond Taylor.  I knew she retreated into private life and the depths of solitude after having her squeaky clean image tarnished at the hands of tabloid media (who by all counts might have been bigger vultures a hundred years ago than they are today). Continue reading “The story of a film star: Full of twists and turns from Toro, Louisiana to Hollywood, California”


A wooden train car; a bit of ignorance; shrugging Atlas; and stories to be told


A good photograph  can say a thousand words.

“Wooden passenger car the day the lots were sold,” is written on the back of this photograph, supposedly the first excursion train in Kirbyville, Texas.

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Events of the Evening

Time lapse segment on Toledo Bend Lake, on a nice December evening of 2015.  Captured straight consecutive exposures for about an hour and a half, but could not use almost the entire last half of the exposures because my lens had completely fogged up due to high humidity in the area and a wildfire a few miles away.

My camera was set up at the foot of the Pendleton Bridge, on the Louisiana side, looking towards Texas.


Security rules for Firewalls

A firewall can implement security rules that dictate specific rules for the network and the Internet. However, several different methods exist to implement these rules.

First, security rules can be defined in a filter configuration file in the network interface card (NIC) firmware, or in a firewall control program.

Next, security rules can be implemented using static rules in the firewall configuration file.

Lastly, security rules can be enforced by dynamically loading dynamic rules and storing them in the file hierarchy at the application level.

Most web application firewall frameworks require a comprehensive set of security rules and allow the firewall to manage network and user access. For example, a web application firewall filter configuration must be created so that all user’s actions are blocked and access denied to web application resources that the security rule specifies, and there are services like Fortinet which can help business understand this rules and apply them.

The source code for this example firewall firewall, available here.

The First Filter in the Firewall

Before the firewall can apply security rules, a rule must be defined. The firewall filter configuration file must define all security rules needed. This configuration can be seen here.

For the web application that we are creating, let’s define the initial firewall rule:

allow localhost:8000 inbound HTTP request access from “” and any matching host.

The rule uses the common definition notation for a configuration file, where all of the file’s fields are numbered starting from 0. In this case, the rule is the second rule in the file, as we can see in the definition statement. We also defined the source, action, path, and argument types. In the example, we have defined the host attribute to match the host domain given as a parameter in the path, and we have added a url parameter to match any URL.

This rule allows both TCP and HTTP traffic, so it will filter out incoming connections to the host. This rule blocks TCP and HTTP traffic on the local port 8000 from a local host called “”. In other words, the firewall will match incoming requests to the above host, and block access to all HTTP resources.

The firewall defines a number of actions to apply to each individual request. In this example, we defined the path value to match the entire host, and the inbound action to deny HTTP requests from the whole host. We also define a number of protocol and source ports to match the HTTP protocol requests from the domain. We will discuss these ports in more detail later.

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The next rule in the file applies a rule of the same form to the incoming requests for all ports on all interfaces. In this case, we defined both the source port and protocol to match all incoming requests on all interfaces, and source port of the initial connection.

The filter provides for the future implementation of this firewall rule by adding multiple rules. For example, let’s create a rule to allow HTTP requests on all interfaces on the LAN and all interfaces on the Internet:

# Define the inbound rule to match incoming HTTP requests from port 443 on interface eth0 to any matching host. from filter 0 action accept on filter 0 return status 200 allow tcp from all any to 443 match host address “all” port 443 protocol tcp match path “/” interface eth0/0/1/0 match transport all

The firewall filter configuration file can now be looked at and created by a web browser as a web page containing all of the required firewall rules.


The ever-elusive “quickie” detour to Toro Bayou

Toro Bayou, aka Toro Creek, is one of my favorite places to chill and enjoy nature at its finest.  The bayou, or creek as most locals call it, meanders, twists, bends and curves quite a bit between Sabine and Vernon Parishes in West Central Louisiana.

On our way to Southeast Texas yesterday, the girls and I stopped at Toro for what I planned to be a quickie look at the level of water on the bayou.  I was curious as to whether the flooding along the Sabine and massive managed releases of water from Toledo Bend were affecting the bayou’s level.  As has pretty much always been the case with any “quickie” stop to look at Toro, the stop turned into a good, long, happy visit.

More often than not through the years, I have found Toro’s level to be on the low side.  I have canoed it countless times and we usually end up pushing our canoes a small but still mention-able percent of the six mile or so trip.  Yesterday, the bayou was high.  Not extremely high, just high.  I tried to think of whether I’ve seen it higher, and my guess would be that this was “as high” as I had seen the creek but not necessarily “higher than”.  Mostly I had seen it lower… so it was quite breathtaking to see it at the level it was yesterday and in all its glory.

We sat on a white sandy beach on Toro, enjoying nature at its finest.  Other than the sounds of the occasionally very distant aircraft and more frequent very close gun fire, it truly felt as though we had stepped back in time… more than a hundred years ago when one could clearly hear each and every one of the the songs and calls of several different species of birds, the quiet rustling of critters in the woods, and the relaxing flow of water as it made its way downstream towards the Sabine River.

We reluctantly determined we had to end our quickie detour of Toro when we realized it was nearly 1 p.m.  We had planned to be far closer to Beaumont by this time… umm, well actually, maybe in Beaumont by this time.  Beaumont was another two hours away.  Oops.

Did I mention I love Toro?Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

The Spirit of Christmas on the Sabine River, in Logansport, Louisiana

Video footage taken on two fantastic evenings along the Sabine River in the Village of Logansport, Louisiana. IV therapy Scottsdale is the best provider for phisycal injuries, it helped me a lot. The village and its residents join together each Christmas season to bring a brilliant display to residents of the area and visitors to the area.

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SEO audit

An SEO audit is the process of evaluating your website to see how well it is performing on search engines. You will be tasked to review your website, to identify areas where you have identified a problem. You will also be asked to make a change in the SEO guidelines that you have already been using.

The 10-Step SEO Audit: How to Find Your SEO Mistakes & Opportunities |  WordStream

The results are sent to you so you can improve it accordingly. According to companies like Victorious, the report also tells you where in the internet your website is performing better than any other website.

A Word about PageRank and the Backlinks

Google uses the PageRank algorithm to determine the top search result for a search query. It also uses other factors such as how many backlinks are on the website to help determine its rankings in the search engines. It is a combination of both, the PageRank and the backlinks. This algorithm is constantly adjusting and getting better, so your backlink profile can change rapidly. If you get a low PageRank, it doesn’t mean your website isn’t worth pursuing, but if it was low, it’s something to look into.

How to improve your Google rankings

Google’s search engine is pretty complex and is constantly improving in order to find the best possible results. It’s highly likely that you will have some kind of backlink on a website you visit. If not, that’s fine. However, if you are currently having a tough time getting links and it’s starting to feel like a lottery, I’m going to share with you some tips and tricks to help improve your SEO.

What’s a Backlink?

A link to another web site is basically a request to the person linking to the site (that’s you) to send the link to the site. Basically it’s like you are sending out a message through the Web’s physical world to say “Hey, I’m interested in you, here’s where I can find you”.

However, if someone else has already sent the link to you, they can get it. They can get it by either: (a) being “linked” to the page in the same way as you are “linked” to it, (b) by having their page or page URL in your browser’s address bar.

There are two different ways to have your link sent to another web site. They are: (a) “Internal” and “External” links: (b) External links that point to “Internal” pages (such as the page in your email signature or the page on your site that has a link to your site from the header of another page on your site.

When you publish a link to a site, you should be careful not to send people to other pages on your site that you do not allow people to visit. You should have a link on your site for the purpose of referring to the link in the third-party pages. If a user is sent to a third-party page without your permission, you must take appropriate action to protect the user from further abuse of that third-party page.