Monday, August 28, 2017

Letters to Jim #1

I see that I have not been here since Feb. Read 2 things below to see why.  I had a thought though.  
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For those who don't know, I lost my brother Jim 2 weeks ago to lung cancer.  I'm not looking for sympathy or anything like that.  
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Over the past couple of weeks I noticed a certain void, if you will.  Jim lived a good 2 1/2 hour drive from here.  It's not like I would see him every day.  But, I would email or phone or whatever on a regular basis.  If I received a SPAM of funny interest, I'd forward it to him, and he would respond or send me another back.   If I had a political comment, it would be sent & visa versa.  For a while we played online poker together for a lengthy time. He is much better at online poker than I; but we played and talked daily like that.
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Now, he is not here.  I can't send him notes or snide remarks.  He can't complain back in my direction and make fun of my stupid puns and comments.  I am missing that. Sure, in time, this too shall pass. I will move on - hopefully not too far.   I am 76, and that is getting up there.  I don't have far to move to.

So I thought I'd write a series of blog entries titled "Letters to Jim."  They would be short and to the point - nonsense or nay.  who knows?

When you see a Letters to Jim, you'll know it is stuff I might send to him.  There won't be any of that mushy stuff and crying and wailing...just general stuff.
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Therefore, right now, here is 
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LETTERS TO JIM, #1
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I have these 2 big red, 5 gal. gas cans that I use here at the house for lawn mowing, etc.  They are fine cans - red - heavy when full.  The trouble has to do with the spout. Both spouts are somewhat broken and leak when used.  If I put gas in the mower - well, I am putting gas on the concrete.  I try to limit the amount of spilled fuel - tough job.
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Heading to town today - I decided to stop at Walmarts and buy a new can.  Red, hopefully, 5 gals, with a working spout.  Walmarts  (yes, I know it is Wal*Mart) has no 5 gallon cans.  They have a slew of 1 gallon but no 5 Gs.  Wellsir, our Walmarts is remodeling right now - maybe they just haven't put them out.  
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I leave.  My next stop after a delicious meal at CiCi's is our Home Depot.
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I looked and looked.  There are no 5 gallon cans in H.D.   a MOST helpful attendant drifted by with the "can I help you find anything?"  I asked about the 5 gallon cans.  They had a slew of red one gallon cans.  He said, "We had a run on five gallon gasoline cans."
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I marveled  (but didn't mention my previous stop at Walmarts).
"Why," I asked, "why now; it's almost the end of the season."


"Down South," he projected.  "They are getting them to go South."


Yep, that makes sense.
Houston and area is being swamped by Hurricane Harvey.  The people heading home are taking an extra 5 gallons of gas home - just in case.
later,
m
a little P.S.   HEB does not have any of my preferred cheap sandwich bread.  None.  I figure it is in a truck heading for Houston.  I bought a hunk of garlic bread instead.  I am looking forward to warming it up in the oven.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

O Mister Moon

Feb 9,2017  (2nd post of the day - shorter than previous one)
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I was raised in Levelland for most of my life.   My wife & I met in JHS and have survived together for all the years since then.
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Levelland was a fairly large high school in those days.  Actually, it was fairly small, but we thought we were big.  We had band and choir.  I was in choir my 2nd half of my senior year.  And, I was in choir during other years.  Our director was Ralph Benningfield.  He was a nice gent with a great deal of patience.  The choir was probably okay.  Who can remember??
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I do remember that he decided to do a musical each year.  One year, we did Captain Crossbones.  A story about a sea captain, his henchmen, and "getting" the girl.  I had one line.  It had something to do with calling him "Chief" and so forth.  I froze up and barely got the line out.  Brother Jim was one of the other henchmen.  That pretty much is all I remember.
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Another year, Mr Benningfield decided to do a variety show to "showcase" the choir and other school groups.  The 3 M's performed something.  (Metze, Metze, & McKay)  One particular scene and the reason for this post was in front of the curtain.  There was a backdrop created which had little round windows.   Two rows of gray folding chairs were put by each window - Imagine, if you can, an airplane, a passenger airplane with little round windows.
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Using this as a prop, different individuals or groups of individuals would rise from the passenger seats and sing something.
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I cannot remember the kid's name.  He was a skinny frail little kid who did not run with the popular crowds at all  - this kid stood up, looked out the fake window and recited his line,   
"I see the moon."   At this point I got up and sang a song about the moon.  I think it was "Oh Mister Moon, Moon, Bright and shining moon"  Maybe not.
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Well this kid, who still goes unnamed by me,  had a speaking problem.   Everytime he said his line, it came out,    " I Tee Da Moon. "   Snickers abound.  There was no compassion.   He was really a nice guy and respected enough that nobody made any loud comments.  Well, the 
"I Tee Da Moon" has stuck with me all these years.
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I have often wondered why Mr. Benningfield didn't change the line to something like,
"Look, the Moon."
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added note:  Mr. Benningfield was our church choir director at the Methodist Church.  He nursed the adult choir through many a Sunday morning song.  We had Sunday night services in those days.  The Youth made up the evening choir.  We would have a youth meeting, then go down the hall for a 30 minute rehearsal.  Imagine taking teenagers and learning a new song every Sunday evening.   Afterwards, we had what was called "After church recreation"  over at someone's house.   Kum Ba Yah seemed to always make its appearance at that time.
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When Mr. Benningfield died, it just so happened that I was in Levelland as well as my 3 brothers.  We all sang in the choir at his funeral.  All of a sudden they had a strong bass section. One of his two sons came by and made nice comments later.
It was good.
mtz

grand grand grand reasoning

Feb. 9, 2017
Me thinks I have figured out why I don't write more here.
1.  I never get feedback.  I write to myself?  Sometimes my daughter Laura makes a comment to me - she is always nice about it.
2A.  When I finally croak, what happens to the blog and the previous writing?  I read in yesterday's paper that the odds are 1 in 2 billion of living to 116 years old.  That's not in the cards I rather think.  
2B.  Originally, I mused - thought - pondered - that I was writing to my grand girls and their children so they would know their grandfather (and grandmother).  Now, I believe that is not the way it will work.  I croak.  The blog goes unseen; nobody ever visits it.  The money doesn't get paid to continue it.  Poof.  Magic.  Zipper. All gone.  Memories cease.
3. I am writing this to myself right now.  My opinions don't really matter, especially if your opinion is different from mine.  I am not going to persuade anyone to take my suggested pathway.  Why should you?  
4.  My little Sadie is on the back porch right now in 50 degree weather barking to come back into the house.  She turned one year old a couple of weeks ago.  Her voice is heard.   Her voice is being ignored.   I shall pause to let her in.  She's a good girl - a bit of a she-devil, yes.  But, her voice needs to be heard when she thinks it is important.
(paused)
5.  I let her in.   I asked Oscar if he'd like to come inside to the warm too.  He looked at me; he looked over his shoulder and saw a squirrel.  He ran after the critter with Sadie bounding after - following his lead.  You see, while her voice needed to be heard, she only says a few things.   
"In," "Out," "Eat," "Oooo another dog," "Ball," "Gotcha," "Bye-Bye," "Who me?" "Cookie," "Chew stick,"  "Pit," and/or "SQUIRREL!!!"  Most of her words sound the same.
6.  A local banker was featured in the our newspaper last week.  He has written a book about his life in banking and growing up in small town Oklahoma.  He recites that the book was written for his grandchildren's grandchildren.  
         This guy gets it - or being FRUM Ok-lee-homa, he GITS it.  A blog doesn't do the work.  It cannot do the work.  He has a website I think called something banker dot com.
7.  What to do?  I would like to be remembered by someone.
8,  I could print all of my blugs and bound them with future unwritten bluggys.  I could pass that on to a grand child - maybe print hundreds of copies bound in bright blue leather.  Sell them on Amazon.
9.  Ask yourself this - unless you are one of the few special folks - what did your great great great grandfather do?  How did he live?  From where did he come?  There must have been a wife and children?  HERE'S THE GOOD ONE:  did he own slaves?   was he a slave or indentured servant?  did he rob banks?  did he burn witches in Salem?  was he in the Civil War -  or better, did he fight with Napolean?  did he pal around with John Wilkes Booth?  So many questions and no answers.   
10.  I can tell you right now, he did not write a blog, nor did he print out hundreds of copies of his autobiography encased in a beautiful bright blue leather binding.
11.  Reading this week in the February copy of National Geographic, there is a lengthy article on booze and its beginnings.  They can take it back 8,000 years B.C. and find residue of beer.
If there are 3 generations of people per every 100 years (hypothetically) and you go back 8,000 years,  you had a grandfather drinking beer from a gourd.   
12.  3 times 8,000 is 24,000 grandfathers who have come since then (many drinking beer) in order for you to pop Miller Light - I don't drink, so I have a slight problem relating to this.  They did not have diet Coke 8,000 years ago I would surmise.
Now I could sit here and type in the word "grand" for you 24,000 times.  No, I won't.  
grand, grand, grand, grand, grand, grand, grand, grand, grand, grand, grand, grand, grand, grand, grand, grand, grand, grand, grand, grand, grand, grand, grand, grand, grand, grand, grand, grand, grand, grand, grand, grand, grand, grand, grand, grand, grand grandfather...
Isn't Copy/Paste wonderful.
It boggles the mind.  Your and my grandparents survived all those years, climbing down from the trees in Africa, moving across the middle East, journeyed across Europe - unless of course they turned and went to China or Australia or the good ole USA.  ALL THESE YEARS.  And I sit here writing a blog for my own grand children that never will be read.
13. No I am not depressed.  I am hungry.  It is almost noon.   I have done my part to regurgitate the human race for future beer drinkers.  My process of thinking will figure out what to do for my grandgirls.   Perhaps, you have a suggestion.
14.   Had to write a #14; couldn't stop on unlucky #13.  My boys Oscar and Bruno turned 8 years old yesterday.   I cut up a bit of smoked meat for them (and the other 3).  We howled "Happy Birthday To You" as the meat disappeared.  It should reappear in the Pit today.  It was a  GRAND" time and nobody worried about tomorrow.
See ya guys,
Mtz

Friday, January 6, 2017

so cold

Jan 6th  2017

It is soooo cold outside.  The dogs still have to go outside to do their business.  And, being a good father figure, I wear my big coat outside to encourage each one's participation.   So Cold.  Cutting Wind.
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I might add that it is 25 degrees here south of Dallas.   Amarillo has 17 degrees.
My wife's little bro lives in New Hampshire - It is 29 degrees up there.   It is warmer in New Hampshire than it is in Texas.  Go Figure.
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Obviously it is time for a big pot of homemade Chili...
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Or, a cauldron of Green Chile Pork Stew...
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Or, a nice big bowl of Beef Stew...
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Or a big helping of chocolate ice cream with chocolate syrup and nuts.
Comfort Food.  

(With a shout out to bro Jim who prefers cherry vanilla.  another "Go figure")

 

Sears washer

Jan. 6, 2017

[ Short note to my immediate family --- looking for sympathy here ]
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Over a week ago, the washer went "BANG" and quit.   This week, I made one trip to town and did a couple loads of laundry.   Laundramats  (yes, I spell it with the word "Drama" in the middle)   Laun"drama"ts   locally cost $2.75 for a normal load -- $3.75 if you want the bigger washer.
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I ran 2 loads:  whites and dog blankets (thanks to Liesl's leaking)
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We set up the Sears Repair guy to be here Tuesday.
On Monday we get the notice that our HBO - no, HMO - Homeowners org.  would be paving our street on Tues.
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We called Sears and re-set for Thursday.
The road was not paved on Tuesday;  too cold.
Sears guy show up on Thursday afternoon. 
I loaned him a tool to get the lid off the washer.
He had to call Sears to get advice on our problem - he connected washer to laptop and called Sears.  They put him on hold, not once, several times.
Eventually, the Sears home office told him what was broken -
Our machine has 2 computer boards.
One board has to be replaced.
The repairguy, a nice feller with a full beard and about 30 years of living under his belt, turned to me and said,
    "I'm not going to order this part unless you want me to."
    "How Much?" I questioned.
    His reply, "With installation and all, $900."
    "I can get a new machine for that," I quickly responded.
He agreed.  He told me that the Sears Repair main office acted embarrassed when they said what it would cost.   "Are you ready" the main office asked?
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We denied the offer to order the part.
I paid him his service charge fee  ($79)
oops
wait.
He could not take a check or cash.  He had to have a credit card.  He says his company said it was too dangerous for him to have funds with him. 
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I gave him a credit card.
He had to call Sears to get the amount approved and taken care of.
ON HOLD  over 10 minutes.
Paid, shook hands, got my tool back, he left.  Nice kid.
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We got into the car; drove to our local Sears; and ordered a new washer - cheaper than the repair and an improvement over our previous model.   We have had the old washer for 8 years, never a problem.   BAM!!!  That's it.  Over.  Done.  Poof.  Kazowski!   Putin did it.
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Built-In obsolescence.
Broken belt?  I can fix.  
Bad filter?   easy fix.
Fried computer board, not fixable in this household.
Hope we make another 8 years.
Dryer is fine  (for now)
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Now, where is that sympathy?

m3   

Saturday, December 3, 2016

cookies

3rd for the day:

this notice appeared on my blog from my blog hosts:
now that is interesting.   I guess I need to start using cookies

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obit plus

Here it is Dec. 3rd - of 2016
I don't write here consistently enough.  You might say I don't write consistently when I am writing.  It could be because I believe I am writing to myself - which I am.  If you are reading, that is nice.  I thank you.
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Today is a miserable day.  Not a heavy rain, but a drizzle keeps oozing from the skies. I think I'd rather have a full blown hard rain and be through with it for the rest of the day.  Oscar feels the same  (dog).  He is unhappy because I won't go outside and play ball in the rain.  Sweet dog.
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BUT, back to today's topic:
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In today's Corsicana paper was an obit which I found had an historical / social-type comment about politics, this is, politics of yore.  Now, before you roll your eyes at the "politics" word, wait for just a moment.
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I was born on November 4, 1940.  This is the day that President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) was elected to his 3rd term of office.  Prior to this, no president had served more than two terms.  For the historical illiterates, FDR was elected later to his 4th term prior to his death and reluctantly turned the White House office over to his vice president, Harry S. Truman of Missouri.
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Our local obit was for an 84 year old guy "Red" Carroll.   [ side bar:  I wonder what color his hair was as a younger man? ]  His newspaper portrait shows a fairly bald big, nice-looking guy in a suit.  As far as I know, I never met the gentleman, and he has never met me - or cared to meet me.  Who knows?
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Now for the politics.
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Red was born on November 1, 1932.  That would have been - give or take - 4 or 5 days "BEFORE"  FDR was elected to his first term of office.  Knowing this fact, I am saying that Red's parents were very, very strong Democrats.  follow this now....
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Red was born before FDR was elected.
I believe and state that his parents would have been planning to vote Democrat and for FDR.
How do I know?
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The rest of the story.
Red's full name was   Franklin Delano Carroll.
His parents named him after FDR before FDR was elected to office.
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I think that says a lot about the political climate of that year.
The question, which I hope NOBODY answers, is:   would you name your next child Hillary or Donald?  And if you would, would you have used that same name (remember to utilize the middle names too) before the election was held?
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