Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The End

I was reminded tonight that:

One year from today -
12 - 21 - 12
the world ends.
My question { so that I can plan my meals properly } : what time will that happen?
Now, is that Eastern Standard Time? Central Standard Time? Mountain Standard? Or Inca Daylight Savings Time?
Inquiring Minds Want To Know.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

2 quickies

2 things of interest to me.

#1 I cut this out of the paper.  Lewisville has a concert set Monday through Thursday at MCL Grand Theater of the 3 Redneck Tenors.   The paper shows their appropriately dressed publicity shot. 3 Redneck Tenors -- Billy Billee, Billy Bob and Billy Joe as they prepare for their
"Spec-tac-yule-ar" series of concerts. Y'all go see.

#2 In yesterdays paper a photo of a train after it had hit a truck pulling a trailer loaded with a car. The truck driver has critical injuries of course. This happened in Hutto where Laura teaches. Hutto is about 15 away from Austin. In the background are 6 great big ole yellow dog school buses and a line of people. The AMTRAK train was enroute from San Antonio to Chicago.

What about the passengers? Yes they were loaded into the yellow school buses. Then, they were driven to Fort Worth to board another train. The crime is the 4 hour school bus ride from Hutto to Ft. Worth. They could have gotten the charter blue buses - but, no, loud, bangy, uncomfy, hard seat (you add your own words) -- school bus trip from Hutto to Ft. Worth. Now, THAT, will be a trip to remember.

take care now


Friday, December 16, 2011

Why Izzit that..?

First of all, I want to say "hello" to my followers.  Heaven only knows why one follows (and Heaven may not know for sure).   This is NOT good enough, I need a million followers who don't know why.  I'm old and need a stroke now and then - wait - what I mean is:  not a stroke (heart related) or a stroke (pat me on the head) but a stroke - a smoothing stoke  -   I suppose it is close to a pat on the head.  Nevermind.

This starts a new series - probably only one entry, still a new series - on why is that?  or
Why is izzit that?  A series should have more than one entry.  This is the first step. 

A friend once asked why izzit that if you turn the faucet on in the kitchen sink, there will always be a spoon directly under the spigot?  That came from a friend of brother Marshall.  The guy went by the name Bad Bunneeeeee - lived near Univ. of Okla. and was so far left in the political spectrum, he could run for President of China.   Boy did he get mad about political stuff.   You might notice I used the word  mad  not   angry.   Mad = Crazy.   So he was Mad Angry.  I'm sure he was a nice feller if you stayed away from politics.

But - that was a sidebar.  You have a izzit - post it in the comments (i'll steal for sure)

We acquired a different motorhome last October:  A Fleetwood Jamboree 31M.  Nice Coach.  In debt we be.   We had it for 3 weeks before any journey.  Our first time out, clothes got wet beside the bed, both sides.  I had a pair of sloppy jeans on the floor.  The carpet was sopping wet.  Not good.  Off we went back to Ancira Motorhome in Alvarado.   Of course it took nearly 2 weeks to get an appointment.

Motorhome went into shop.  They could not replicate the problem.  That is the question.   Why IZZIT that when you taken a broken item into the shop, it works perfectly.  Our coach did.  Sighing, away we drove a few days later.

About 2 + weeks later we drove to Round Rock (TX for those who don't know) - near Austin - and stayed at the Rd Rk city part across from Dell Diamond (that one you can look up).   NO WATER LEAK.   We were quite pleased.  Came home.  Coach into storage.

The frist  of this month (make that "first" of this month) we went to 1st Monday Trade Days in Canton.  Now this is a side creek I should paddle down.  If you have never been to Canton, go.  They have more than you can see / do in a day - a dog town area with all sorts of critters -  a mountain with shops sprinkled up the side with boardwalks - several different main areas of shopping - and a Chinese Restaurant across from WalMarts that is inexpensive and has fake susshi.

We planned to stay Friday and Sat. nights. . . come home Sunday - wife had the monthly Corsicana Quilt Guild Meeting on Monday.  Got there - hooked up water - went to see some sales.   Got back about 2 hours later and all seemed fine.  Next morning my jeans were wet.   This time I took photos.  both sides of bet had spots of water.  Outside water was dripping off the side of the coach.  I won't prolong this - (too late, Roger would say) - tried it with water on and off.  Water leak.  Tried it with two different pressure filters.  Eventually, water was turned off.

Two week wait.  Back to Ancira Motorhomes.  Again, they cannot replicate the problem.   I called Fleetwood's main number and talked to a nice guy.  We had lots of laughs.  He made suggestions - nothing new, but good honest suggestions.

We plan to pick it up early next week and try it out again.   Bring your rubber boots.

Why izzit that it leaks water everywhere but at Ancira?
(also had a refrig door prob that only failed away from Ancira, go figure)

later guys

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Animals, our wards

Pets are a part of my life.  Are they a part of yours?  Don't tell me;  I'll just think they are.  This bit has to do with my animals - past and present.  You are welcome to add comments at the end and tell me of yours - I'll read it, will be duly impressed, and say "Awwww."

As a kid we had many a dog and cat - no snakes or amphibians.   Those will remain for a later bluggy.   Primarily, this is a stone about our pets since marriage.   Might add the wife had a few pets as a child too - even chickens and cows.   The first one I knew was Cam, a love-love-love-able big ole blond dog ... was it a Lab?  I forge.  Her animals will come later too.

After the ceremony - and other FALL adventures, we settled into Lubbock to finish Tech.   We found a duplex on the north side surrounded by families who could only afford what we afforded - not much.  Our rent was $50 a month - I do think that was with utilities paid.  It was a one bedroom with kitchen/L.R. - park on the street and a fenced in front yard.  We wanted and bought a Siamese cat - $15 - no papers.  This was a nice cat.  We'd wake up in the night and she would be perched above our heads on the headboard looking down...yes.  It might startle a more aware individual.   We named her  MICE  ( pronounced  Missy ).  This cat was all over that place and moaned like Siamese will moan.

When we moved to Sudan, Mice made the trip.  We had a big back yard with a fence.  We were so afraid she would get hurt or lost.   We never let her roam.  After a period of time, my father took Mice away.  He said that he had found her a place on a farm in a barn with lots of real mice.  I don't know;  he may have lied to us.  We missed her; but not her bizzarrrrrr behavior - sometimes referred to as being a "cat." 

In 1964 we made a trip to New York City to visit brother Marshall and see the 1964 World's Fair.  That is a different stone for the future.   Driving home we spent the night at my Uncle Junior and Aunt Mary's house in Oklahoma City.  They were always excellent hosts.  That afternoon we drove over to an area known as West Minster or maybe Westminster.  What do I know - that was 1964.   We bought a registered Pekinese, black.  She spent that first night in a box with the blessings of Jr. & Mary - have I mentioned they were always excellent hosts?

The Peke has a mashed in face.  Jr. suggested it be named   (oriental voice)  No Chin Taw  (for those who have to have an explanation, that would be No Chin At All.)  She had no chin.   We named her No Chin Taw Abby  (Abby because of the Westminster Abby connection)  Sometimes I even amuse myself.

Abby was a good dog but crazy.  I blame that now on our Parenting skills.  She would bolt for the door when it opened.  More than once I journeyed into the dark to bring her back home.  She had no sense.  One of those times, she was hit by a car.   I buried her on Sudan ISD school grounds.

Time passed.  Children were born.   And, we bought Jill, a black and tan dachshund.   That was one of the nicest animals ever.  She lived with us in Ardmore and made the trip to Amarillo.   My memories of Jill are only good.  She burrowed under a blanket to sleep.  She stayed in assigned areas.  She growled when told "Go to bed;" but, she went to bed.  She was a great dog.

As she aged we bought her a companion Maisy - a Scottish Terrier.   Likewise, Maisy was perfect.
Mandy died in her sleep one night.   I still remember daughter Laura coming to the bathroom door as I shaved and telling me that Mandy died.  Still I tear up losing her.  She was with us 15 years that morning.

Maisy was given a companion Mack, another black Scottish Terrier.  They had pups which were sold  to some lovely people.  I remember the last one went to a tall, old, black man from the other side of town.  We thought that puppy had found a wonderful person.   Because of circumstances, Mack and Maisy were given to a young couple as we moved out of that house.   I miss their spirit and happiness.  Scottish Terriers are not for people who want to rest quietly.

As time progressed, we ended up with 4 more cats - cannot remember all their names, so I won't write any.   Over time our college kids either took them or they died...Ben, (there I go using names) was a blond big ole boy who had liver or kidney problems.  Polly Patches was the last to die.  I found her in the Town East Shopping Center, Mesquite, one afternoon.  I was there with my kids.  We had to look into the pet store window.  There she was.   She had a FREE sign.  You can guess where the name Patches came from.    I used a pay phone and called my wife.   She said bring it home.  We did.  Polly was fabulous and lived with us even as we went to Pflugerville years later.

Meanwhile we found a red dachshund - Mandy.   Mandy lived with us for 16 years.  This was the only dog we had to put down.   I frankly cannot talk about it to this day.   Mandy lived in the country with us and was fierce.   She was bit on the nose by a snake.  After that her voice changed when she saw a snake - We could hear that sound and joined her to kill the varmit.   Mandy demolished a skunk on our front porch.   Another adventure we cannot forget.   As time went on she became weak.  She stopped eating and drinking.

But before she died we bought her a companion, a tiny blond (wheaten) wirehair doxie we named Greta.   Greta had a twin sister who was bought by one of my Manor students...Harmony.   Harmony died this last year.   Greta will be 11 in the near future and still rules with an iron fist.

What we think we have learned over the years is, dogs need companions.  They can be left alone for hours on end.   So we buy pets for our dogs.   Greta was not alone long.  We drove to a little place near Hearne and found another wirehair,  black and tan, Fritz.   Fritz joined us and life has never been the same.   That boy and Greta were a team for so long.  He has reached 9.

One day, we drove back to Hearne.   There was this beautiful white and tan, spotted wirehair - little girl.  Liesl joined our dual....and then there were 3.   She is just one love-me dog.  Liesl gets nervous with loud sounds and strangers.   She has nipped at a few.

Forever, we wanted a chocolate wirehair.  They were unfindable.   A trip to Canton's First Monday - Dog town - there was a pile of chocolate wirehairs, dapples, etc.   The lady put the chocolate boy in my arms.  My wife asked to see a chocolate dapple.   I asked her if we should get the 4th dog - the chocolate.   I don't remember the exact words,  she said, "I would take them both."  And we did.   Oscar is the choc -- Bruno is the dapple.   They ARE a pair.  We have had dominance issues between Oscar and  Fritz.  Things seem to settle down, then, WHAM, a brief encounter.   Those 2 boys don't like each other.  Bruno doesn't care either way.  He is a hugger;  Oscar wants a ball thrown 24/7.  

Now we have 5.   I looked down at them yesterday - Five beautiful faces looking up at me  ( I want a cookie ).   5 dogs.   5 different personalities.  They know things.  They are naive about other things.  If you have one dog, that is a shame.  If you don't spend time with that one dog, you are being cruel.  

That's it.  I think I'll go out back and fill the bird feeders.
p.s.  I did not edit this nor will I -  you edit your copy with my approval

Sunday, December 11, 2011

a math question

Some things never cross my mind.

There is no reason for me to consider them.

Reading my August copy of Scientific American, I came to the "last page" thingy. Actually this edition seems to have 2 of these "last page" thingys - y'know, where they write a page about something meant to be cute.

In this one the author Steve Mirsky was rambling on about little kids and how they must understand much more than credit is given.

He told a story of a math problem given to a kid - he calls it a legend about young Carl Friedrich Gauss. (never heard of him). His teacher gave him the problem of adding all numbers from 1 to 100. Within moments the kid announced the correct answer. He did not add 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 etc. to get the answer.

The author says to search WEB using the terms GAUSS and SERIES for how he did it.

This problem never crossed my mind till the moment of reading. So, knowing there was a simple solution, I worried for a couple of days and finally came up with a process - however it is not a formula AND some might argue it is not simple. I don't know how the kid did it. But, I have come up with my solution.

So the question: all you math geeks out there, did you know there was a simple way to do this? A formula? A process? A what?

My brain used a stairstep to calculate the answer. Bottom step is 1 - next step is 2 - all the way to the top step 100. I'll leave it there.





the correct answer is 5,050

Go Figure. I did.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The great Pot Pouring

Sometimes I am so humorous (French spelling) that I just can't stand myself.  As you may be aware, if you have to explain a joke, it is not really very funny.  Over the years I admit to having a problem spelling a word.  So, to cover this ignorance I started just saying Pot Pouring....the word, you ask   ( because you didn't understand my poor humor )   is potpourri - pronounced  "poe poe-ree."   Thus the title of this work of art. 

This is going to be one of those blogs  (I prefer to say blugs).  My plan is to make this go on and on and on.  If you choose to stay with me throughout, then I must say that I admire you.  You be a prize.

Numbered yet:

1.  One of the things I do is write notes to myself - lately on my phone - under the Memo heading.  Then, I go back and write about the memo.  The trouble is that I never go back, and, when I do, I forget what the memo was talking about.   that is wehre I am right now.
2.  On June 6th in my phone memos I wrote:  "Rainbow study bible on TV  866/904-7776  $129.95"       I suppose I saw an adv on TV and thought this might make a good present for someone...that is, until I saw the price.  Few of my friends or relatives will ever get $129.95 out of these cold stanky hands.
3.  Last July I wrote  "Bells of vienna wind chimes"   don't have the slightest idea why. 
4.  In September I wrote "Holly Hawkins in Holland, TX restores all ceramics no matter the problem.   I think I remember seeing that on Texas country Reporter on TV - a show you watch when you can.
5.  Alton Brown is making fruit cake on the food channel - brings up Corsicana's own Collin Street Bakery which is not located on Collin Street.  They were at one time.  This place can be found on the internet.  Great location for buying candy/cookies/fruit cake of course/all sorts of bread and rolls/yum place.  They have the original store downtown on hwy 31 coming through town - a new store on I-45 just after exit 229 - and an exact duplicate store in north Waco on I-35.  Worth the visit.

6.  While you are there (I-45 store) go down the block to the Candy factory and their factory store.  In the back are cheaper boxes of candy.  It is a marvelous place to see - chocolate everywhere - owned by Russell Stovers.  Yum visit place.
7.  Comment on Candy Bars.   I love Snickers.  I have not had one since the Diabetes diagnosis even though I don't seem to be in sugar trouble for over a year.  Snickers are God's gift to the Candy Bar world.  Sure you may love others, but Snickers rule.  Unless you happen to have peanut butter cups or rolos or Peanut butter sandwich cookies or butterfingers - Use to eat Baby Ruths for breakfast back in college.
       When I first went to college in the fall of 1958, I roomed with my brother Jim in Gordon Hall, room 232.   For a college dorm this was as good as any.  The rooms were larger in Gordon than in the new dorms across campus.  On my first day of dorm life, we went down for breakfast, included in our rent.   I ordered up scrambled eggs in the cafeteria line.   My first bite of eggs had shells.  Can you imagine shells.   Not being aggressive, I threw it away and walked to the music building.
      Down stairs in a hallway between the band and choir rooms was a coke and candy machine.   You could buy an enormous Baby Ruth for 10 cents and a coke for the same.  I ate breakfast for 20 cents.  It was a good plan, and there were no shells in the Baby Ruth.
8.   Last entry for this Pouring.  When I was in high school, my parents took summer vacations.   Mom was a teacher.  Dad worked for Standard Oil of Indiana which was bought by several folks until it became Amoco  (which in years past was bought by BP of Gulf Oil Disaster fame.)    One particular summer we visited by father's grandmother, known as Grandma LeBarre.  She was a full-blood Indian....a stone for a later time. 
     This particular trip found Grandma Lebarre  (who lived to be 101) living about 3 blocks away from downtown Lawton, Oklahoma.   It was hot in Lawton.  Being teen age boys, Jim and I were given permission to walk to town - yes, we had to cross the tracks to get to town.  My great grandmother was not a wealthy individual.  She lived in older digs.
         Now my wife and I were childhood sweethearts.  I was an 8th grader when she was in the 7th grade.   It really was a good match in so many ways.   On this particular trip I wanted to get her a present to take back to Levelland.  I was not wealthy either.  Jim and I went to town and did some shopping and looking and killing of the time.   I think Jim bought a whoopie cushion and some itching powder (really did make that part up - but it is what he would have bought).   I, on the other hand, wanted a good gift.
        I saw something which I had never seen before.  They are quite common now.  Back in them thar days in downtown Lawton, a novelty they were.   After much thinking and worrying and fretting, as I am prone to do when making a decision, I bought a Magic 8 Ball.   Ask it a question.  It gives you the answer.  This was a good present which was presented in due time.
       I never really knew if she appreciated it.  I liked it.   She would have been too nice to not give the illusion of liking.   That Magic 8 Ball is still in our house today.  Agreed it answers question very slowly now.  The liquid is a bit gummier - good word "gummier."  It is out in the garage.  I just hope it never explodes out there especially if I am traveling through the area.  I'd hate to be killed by a flying Magic 8 Ball and have the words "You can count on it"  imprinted onto my forehead for my funeral.

The next edition of Pot Pouring will follow.  Be good and keep your head down if you get near my garage.

Mikel E.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Not all drips are jerks

We have this newer motorhome.   As with any vehicle, once you get it and drive for a while, you can take it back to the dealer and have a couple of adjustments made.  The stone follows.

We took the machine back to Ancira Motorhome in Alvarado  the 3rd week of October.  On our first trip out, I woke up the first morning and slipped on my bluejeans which I had thrown on the floor beside the bed.  The first thing you must do every morning is walk the dogs who have been caged up all night.   They are not full of patience.   Barking - shaking - howling - you name it, these dogs know all of the tricks to get you movin' in the morn.

So I grabbed the jeans and slammed my bare legs into the slots.  That was an eye waking experience.  The jeans were soaked.  The were on the floor and soaked.  When the dog trip was completed, the floor was checked.  The carpet was soaked and almost dripping.   Outside water was dripping from under the coach. 

We had to wait 2 weeks to get in at Ancira.  Their highly touted repair system  (highly touted by the sales staff) turns out to have only 2 guys doing the work - so are they getting behind?    The machine went in - we got a call a few days late - all ready EXCEPT they couldn't make it leak.  That's what the repair guy said.  He did find the outside shower had a small leak.  I accepted this as an explanation cause I had no choice. 

A couple weeks later, the M.H. took us to Round Rock where we stayed at the RV park attached - more or less - to Dell Diamond.  Water was hooked up.  No leak.  Still we were uneasy as one should always be when dealing with ... surely you have all been there before.

Took a trip this past weekend - first since Round Rock.   Hooked up the city water - yep, within an hour or two, I found a wet spot on the carpet.  Didja expect less?  By the next morn, water dripped outside, and carpet was slowly soaking.  Turn off the city water supply - use water from the coach's water tank.   The drips stopped.

Called Ancira this morning.  Taking it in this week....but, as always, it is over 10 days before they can get to it.  I figure it is better up there - maybe, just maybe (I dream a lot) they will take it in early.  I would indeed like to make another trip soon.
==========================trip stone to follow===================

wind !!

just an aside thought.

The wind has been blowing here for what seems like forever.  It is coming out of the north today...the lake has waves.

I sm so very tired of the wind.  Maybe I should just move back to the Panhandle so I can experience a bit of calm.


Friday, December 2, 2011

crime did not pay all that much

after I wrote that last night - about 11 ish or so, the phone rings - it was my neighbor lady --- (see previous bluggy)

She and her husband are in their pickup chasing / following a pickup truck pulling a trailer.

After the theft, the owner came down and left lights on. The theory is, these guys were coming back to pick up the stuff left by the back door. But, the lights inside scared them away. Well, from that location, their only choice was to drive straight ahead and make a U turn on my cul de sac.

Sue - the dog next door told everyone - the neighbor looked out the front door and saw the pickup and trailer. They both ran out of the house and jumped in their truck, following the pickup. They were both barefoot, had no identification, no money, and left their house unlocked.

I got a call to watch the house. I suggested they might want to call da law. She did. I went next door and lowered the garage door down some - and checked the front door so their little dogs wouldn't get out. I was barked at. Sue came out of the garage and loved on me.

bottom line - they followed over several different F.M. roads = got the police - the pickup was pulled over. They called the owner of the trailer (someone who lives in Coppell) who said, that if anyone has his trailer, they took it without his permission. 3 guys in pickup. One had a felony warrant out on him.

in their pickup were cotton gloves, plastic gloves, masks, night vision wear, various tools - they were arrested and taken to jail. The neighbor came home and we all went to bed. The arrested people were from a down 60-70 miles away (and not coppell). Coppell is like halfway sorta between Dallas & Ft Worth - actually closer to Dallas by a lot.

forgot to add -- the neighbor's truck was from a car lot.  It was low in gas.  As they chased the guy, the low gas light came on.   Before it was all over, they had to borrow $20 from a sheriff deputy to get home.   The neighbor talked about walking into a corner store, barefoot - etc. with $20 to buy gas.   The counter guy was unimpressed.

that's it. Nothing new tonight. going to bed.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Crime does pay

We live on a lake.  Most houses in our subdivision are lived in daily.  A few just get weekend visits and 2 week vacations (or whatever).   It is a quiet subdivision.

Last night a house 5 houses down was broken into - door kicked in.  The place was emptied except for some things left by the back door for later pickup.   His next door neighbor had to take puppy out for a bathroom break at 3:30.  At that time he saw a pickup and another car take off.  

In the morning, he checked it out.  Also missing was the guy's fishing boat.


It is 11:00 p.m.   My next door neighbor just called and asked me to watch their house - they were chasing a small pickup pulling a trailer that took off when the neighbor drove up.   It will be interesting to see if the cops learn anything.

I told her to call 911.  Then, I went next door and pulled the garage door down and talked a while to Sue.  Think I will go check again.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Empty Nest

Sunday:   All of our children have gone home -- {  oh, yes, and the grandgirls -- (oh, yes, and the dogs)  }.

They came in waves starting Wednesday night until Saturday.  Food was plentiful and tasty.   We had all the traditional things of the season.  The weather was not a pleasure.  First of all, the TV  GUY S   all said Thursday would be a good day with rising temperature.  Well, folks, they were certainly wrong about them apples.  The pleasant day was Friday - then the rainstorms came Friday night.  We had almost an inch over night.

Now we are blessed with the north winds - Saturday afternoon the came,  making it tough to be outside... that would be for man  or  our beasts.  Thirteen, count them  1-13  thirteen dogs were here in this house.  That is a lot of dog.  Can't complain since 5 of the dogs are mine.   You might wonder this:  10 of the dogs were dachshunds.  One was a white peke  and the other two were rescued from the pound - not big dogs but bigger than a doxie.

Snoopy had it good at suppertime.  He even had time to sing a song.  Maybe I should list those lyrics here someplace.   When you have 13 dogs - 7 of which are males   (that would be 6 females for those you who are math empaired  (thought it was funny to missplel "empaired") - Male dogs have different brains than the females; now, that might be true in some of God's other species as well.

Daughter Laura left her crackers on the bedroom floor Saturday night -  Sweet little Liesl barked her "thank you" for the midnight feast.   

I have decided that I am clearing part of the garage (stuff to the attic, the kids can clear it out in future years) and I am creating a "Man Cave" for me.   Clear the stuff - Insulate the walls - Install air and heat - Get big chair and TV [ I have seen those man caves on television ] - Establish a computer desk, and Place an enormous lock on the main door to the house.  This here house ain't big enough for 2 grandparents, 3 children, 3 grandchildren, and thirteen dogs.  I need space.

Other than that revelation, it was a good weekend.  We even saw Puss-N-Boots at the local emporium of visual pleasure, though I didn't get to play any video games after the movie.  And, I close.  I have TV to watch;  it is time  (5 pm) to feed Fritz; and my big tea glass is empty.  Stay busy guys.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Cellophane, Mister Cellophane

I enjoy the Broadway musical  Chicago.   In a previous blug I mentioned the song Politics and Poker from the musical Fiorello.  I like that song too.

Here are lyrics to one of my favorites from  Chicago  (website at bottom)


hope this doesn't break any copywrite rules


The Original Broadway Production Chicago the Musical - Song:   Mister Cellophane Lyrics


If someone stood up in a crowd
And raised his voice up way out loud
And waved his arm and shook his leg
You'd notice him

If someone in the movie show
Yelled "Fire in the second row
This whole place is a powder keg!"
You'd notice him

And even without clucking like a hen
Everyone gets noticed, now and then,
Unless, of course, that personage should be
Invisible, inconsequential me!

Mister Cellophane
Shoulda been my name
Mister Cellophane
'Cause you can look right through me
Walk right by me
And never know I'm there...

I tell ya
Mister Cellophane
Shoulda been my name
Mister Cellophane
'Cause you can look right through me
Walk right by me
And never know I'm there...

Suppose you was a little cat
Residin' in a person's flat
Who fed you fish and scratched your ears?
You'd notice him

Suppose you was a woman, wed
And sleepin' in a double bed
Beside one man, for seven years
You'd notice him

A human being's made of more than air
With all that bulk, you're bound to see him there
Unless that human bein' next to you
Is unimpressive, undistinguished

You know who...
Mister Cellophane
Shoulda been my name
Mister Cellophane
'Cause you can look right through me
Walk right by me
And never know I'm there...
I tell ya
Mister Cellophane
Shoulda been my name
Mister Cellophane
'Cause you can look right through me
Walk right by me
And never know I'm there
Never even know I'm there.

Hope I didn't take up too much of your time.

Chicago Song Lyrics

Friday, November 25, 2011

Bird-day comment

The day is over.  Had a pretty good time.  Food was plentiful.  Watched the Macy's parade today and made the comment:   It would be nice to see a parade and not a floor show.   I miss real parades without all the extra stuff and lipsync stuff.

The refrigerator - you could hear it breathe a little bit easier as the contents were slowly removed and eliminated this morning.   And, as left overs were returned, It yelled something like  "gimme a break."

The biggest surprise to me is:  I received some puzzles from daughter Christine for my birthday.   Bucky Balls  or   buckyballs - whatever.  You can find them on you tube.   Little round magnets, strong magnets.  Everyone here seems to fight over them - they are a hit.

I broke my rules and ate a sliver of Pecan Pie this afternoon.   I have not had that type of stuff since 2008.   I love pecan pie.  And, yes, it should be capitalized -- Pecan Pie.

Rest of family will be here Saturday - may it be a pleasant day.


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Bruno aftermath

wanted to point out - after pulling the dog (Bruno) out of the septic tank -- by his neck.   Measured Bruno today and that little dachshund is three inches longer.   It did help to give him a bit of a waist.


RV black water tanks

My cousin Barbara read the RV & Sewer bit on the previous bluggy.  Terrible, just terrible.  

She sent this reply:  (for those who don't know, modern motorhomes ( or RVs )  have 2 different water inlets.   One goes straight into the vehicle and fills the water tank or connects to the water system.  The send goes straight into the black water tank.  When you empty the black water tank (sewer), you can flush the tank with this inlet.  You must keep the sewer hose open and connected to city sewer connection, or water just fills the black tank.  Question:  when a sewer tank is full, where does it overflow?  Read below.

You all have my sincere sympathy. I'm sure that was not a fun day for you or the pup. And since you still have your MH, here is a great story. We met 2 couples who often camped together in TX. One couple had a MH, the other had a fifth wheel. They set up camp and went to eat dinner. Before leaving they hooked up the elect and water. BOTH hooked up the water to the backflush inlet instead of the fresh water inlet. Of course, they turned on the water. And of course, the black water tanks began to fill. And of course the valves were closed, or this would not be an odd story You know by now where this is going. One couple's tank was empty and fairly clean, but the other was about half full. When they returned from dinner, the "clean" tank had filled all the way up the vent pipe and "clean" water was spilling down the side of the coach. The other one had clogged the vent pipe and backed up into the potty and covered the floors of the coach about an inch deep. If that sound bad, don't forget the central heat vents are in the floor. And these were experienced RVers.


Back to me now.  When I was just a little pup, freshly married etc.  We borrowed a travel trailer from parents to make a trip.  I was not really too smart about certain things.  After we got home, I parked the trailer in our front yard ( a nice little rental place in Sudan ).  I climbed under the trailer and opened up a 4 inch thing - nobody knows why I opened it;  I just did.  The entire black tank emptied on that yard.   Some of us have to learn the hard way.

Tuesday Long Stone

2 things. I put paragraphs in this & the computer keeps taking them out. I forget the 2nd thing.

How did you spend your Tuesday? [ this may be too long but the ending is a beaut ]. Hope you can stay tuned for that part.

Before I begin - first thing I heard on the radio was the reminder that this date was the anniversary of Kennedy getting shot.  Where were you?  I was in class in Sudan - teaching band.  A kid came in between classes and said something - which I "poo-pooed" as nonsense. I was wrong. Someday I shall bring this subject back up. Weird week that was.

1. Let's start with #1. Morning is too light compared with night since we had the time change. The sun streams into my bedroom making it difficult to slumber. it has nothing to do with the dogs barking or the wife taking a shower right next door; it is the streaming sun. Shine Baby Shine.

Last winter lovely daughter Christine knitted me a stocking cap for winter. I keep it in a drawer by my bed - next to the gun and torn T-shirts. When it got cold last winter, I slept with the knitted cap pulled way down over my ears. It was a live saver since the wife has this thing about reducing temperature in the house at night in the winter (or for that matter raising temperature in the house at night in the summer - but no stocking cap need for that - just a sponge and a towel).

It came to me this morning at 7 a.m. - pull the cap down over your eyes. I did. Slept till 8:15 when above mentioned spouse opened door and suggested it was time to join the world. I struggled into the kitchen; had my traditional bowl of Grape Nuts and fake sugar; and crawled back into the bath area for an early morning dip.

2. Out at 8:59, I turned on Live with Kelly (formerly Live with Regis and Kelly) and her guest host for the week, Jerry Seinfeld. I did not want to miss today because Jerry was bringing his new dachshund Puppy "Jose" (named after a NY Met baseball player) to the show. Eventually it was introduced, a long hair black and tan. Gads it was cute as it ran across the stage to leave. Jerry's wife waited in the wings to scoop it up. Doxies have a recognizable stride when they walk fast. So very cute.

3. All of our dogs were corralled into a play area-holding pen as the spouse and I made our way through the front door. We left.

4. First Stop: You won't be able to tell it here - but as I type - it is 5:15 pm. Our dog Fritz needs to eat before his stomach takes over the Continent. When I return, it will be after Church choir practice (Tues instead of Wed because of Thanksgiving - stay tuned, I promise an exciting exit to this trip.)

5. Home from church (had to do some major stuff here and at town) so it is 10 p.m.

6. Where was I? Ah, I remember. We put dogs in the cage and headed to our motorhome. Now I don't talk much about the motorhome cause I just don't like to. But in this case... When we moved here, we put it on a lot attached to a bunch of storage units. When it rained, we sank in the mud. It was bad. I would put boards under the tires and on and on an on. It was bad.

South of town on I-45 there is a guy who sells mostly travel trailers and does RV repair work. I needed some stuff done & talked to him. He fixed my stuff fine. Noticing he had an enormous lot with nothing on it, I asked if I could park the M.H. on his paved lot for the same $$ as the mud pit. He liked the idea. We moved in.

Our neighbors have a 5th wheel. They told us about a place where they leave it - covered space. Three, maybe four months ago, I dropped by the place and was told they had no empty spaces and all tenants were paid up for a year.   Left my name and number.    Wife goes by there on Monday coming home from the grocery store (had to buy for Thanksgiving)(another stone in that). The guy said, "We have a space." She whipped out that checkbook and we were tenants.

That's what we were doing. Moved the M.H. to the covered space. In the process I had to tell the Camper Depot that we were leaving. It sorta broke my heart cause I really like him. He sends me political emails. We bond.

7. Parking over - we head to town. Not that I would want to talk ugly about anyone - but, I will. My wife, bless her heart, called on Monday and made a Dentist appt. for me on Tues. to get teeth cleaned. I did not approve. I went. Had a lovely time with the girl cleaner and the dentist. It was okay and over. Headed home.

8. Walked in the house; some dog had torn into a dog cushion and green stuffing was everywhere. sigh. Outside they went.

Got home - dogs out - cleaned up green stuffing off floor - phone had a message - listened to message - it was the septic system repair guy - called him back - (Chad) he'd be here after he finishes present job - nice guy, younger, loves Texas Tech - we have things to equally complain about - and so forth.

Back to septic system in a moment. The wife bought one of those biscuit shaped packages-things at the store which, when popped open, revealed an uncooked pizza dough. She fixed up a pepperoni pizza which was actually quite good. The dough worked fine. I believe it will become a part of our staple food items.

Septic History: The guy who installed it - went away. We couldn't find him if we wanted - then, we hear. The guy has liver cancer. He died. Now, we really can't find him. His installation was less than pristine. He passed all tests and county / lake rules. The system works. One day on the other side of the back fence, there was water on the ground.  I called a bunch of people until  !!!!!    Finally found Chad to come fix it. Chad works for his father and repairs systems. He did a good job for us and I was happy.

About 9 months later, more water coming up. "Hello Chad." He came out and fixed the leak - this time he brought a guy to help dig the hole. I like Chad. Does good fast work and doesn't stick it to me $$.

Over 2 months ago, before we had any rain and the ground was hard as a rock from being dry. I noticed wet ground in the same general place. The problem had returned. I ignored it.   One month passed, still moisture. Second month passed, new moisture. We had a couple of rains. Last week the water was running not only in my yard but into the neighbor's. It is not good to let your septic system drip into the neighbor's yard. Called Chad.

So Chad shows up and we go back to the place. Dig, look, dig, look, dig, look - water seeps up. Chad thinks this doesn't make sense. We go to the main septic unit. For those who don't know, the septic system has an enormous concrete tank divided into 3 big sections. It could hold about 1500 gallons. One part collects the stuff, the next section puts air into the goop to clean it, the third section collects the cleaned water and empties into little plastic lines that are located under my entire back yard.

Chad took the green top dome off the tank and pulled the pump out to study. It was covered in dirt....mud really. This is not right. That third tank - according to the manufacturing folks - that third tank contains water good enough to drink. Wrong, in my opinion.   { Remember 1500 gallons }.   Let me finish this. The concrete tank has a vertical crack which is letting in dirt. The dirt is pumped out into the yard and has plugged up the lines. He says I probably will need new lines - his father will come out and survey it next week. In addition, the tank will be pumped out and a concrete sealer will be put over the crack. We are talking money here.

But now the kicker. We are sitting there talking worse case senarios. It dawns on me to pick up the green cover and put over the hole. We talk. Out of the corner of my eye I see a brown dachshund walk over and step on the cover. It flips and the dog goes straight down into the tank.

All I could see was a tiny head above water and little feet paddling. I reached. Chad reached. Chad's arm makes contact with the water and the electrical connection. He got shocked. I frankly don't know how bad. I could not reach the dog. Finally, I laid down and stuck my entire shoulder down into that system and touched his head. He swam away. I reached two more times. The last time I felt his nose and grabbed it.

Doxies have long noses. This is where you can say, "Thank the Lord." I pulled on that nose and grabbed for his collar. It was like Lord of the Rings trying to reach Frodo. A finger went under the collar. I pulled straight up. The boy was pulled straight up out of the water by his neck collar. I was afraid the collar would come up over his head - long noses, small heads, big collars.

It didn't. I lifted him straight up and got my other hand on him. I flipped him to the ground and yelled "STAY !!!" That dog didn't move. I picked up that sewer soaked fully covered in goop puppy by both hands around his chest and up against my body and headed for the house. I climbed those back stairs and stopped. My heart was firing on 375 horses. . . it was pounding.

I yelled into the house. BJ met me and we took the dog to the bathtub. She started washing and washing. The dog shook spraying the wife. It was terrible. I am so sure she would have another way to describe it. The puppy was just scared to death. He didn't move other than to shake.

At this point, I pause. For those who have met my brown bombers, guess which dog went into the septic tank. Go ahead and guess.

Yes, from the time he fell in - I was yelling at Oscar. I carried him in yelling at Oscar. When he hit the tub and water was applied - it was NOT Oscar - it was the sweetheart, scared loveable, so wonderful Bruno. This dog will not enter a room without an engraved invitation. He is so polite. Bruno, went into the tank. And, Bruno now knows how to swim.

This whole thing has just devastated me. All of the "What ifs."    I was ready to jump into the tank after him. Can you imagine? We were all so lucky. It bothers me to just talk about it. Later I sat in my chair and just held him, talking softly into his floppy ear. He laid on my stomach looking into my eyes. I do not know if Bruno truly understands how close he came tonight. And, sweet Chad, may have come extremely close too. Electricity and water are not friends.

So I close. May you and all of yours and all of your puppies be fine and healthy for many years to come.

G'night.  Mtz


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Bro's eyes

my brother Jim has gone through 3 weeks of having 2 cataract surgeries where the lens was replaced in his eyes.   Jim has had glass since early elementary years - like 1st / 2nd grade or so.  His eyes got worse and worser and worstest as time went by.   I would guess his glasses were 1/4 inch thick. 

Operation over.  He has measured 20/20 in both eyes - even though this may change over time.   No glasses after 60 plus years.

I am a believer in this process now.

Digestive news

touch of crude insight into my life.

Played my trumpet with the local little theater  (Warehouse Theatre) in the King & I production.  It was pretty good.  I was in the pit and saw NO acting at all - but rave reviews everywhere.  There was not one thing that seemed to go wrong from my standpoint.  Well  -- except the very last performance as we were play the music for bows -- and they finished the bows -- and the curtain closed -- and the guys in the back booth in their eagerness to end the show - shut off the piano sound.  She carries the show.  Good Piano Player.   So, we just stopped in the middle of the song.  Nobody in the audience noticed.  What?  You think they had the musical score in their laps? 

I know how my digestive system works.  Sometimes it can be very prolific - other times, not so much.  We'll come back to this in a moment.

When you play in a Pit Band - and there is actually a Pit in front of the stage - you are put back in the corner below the audience line of sight.  Our pit was like that except the ends (sides) were covered with more stage.  So I sat under the stage in the Pit.  Air does not move freely in a covered pit.   As they say:  what happens under the Stage in the Pit - stays under the stage in the pit.

I told my wife before the first rehearsal  a week ago Sunday,  "Wife,"  I said,  "I must be careful what I eat this week.  No beans or anything which might make problems."  This would include all types of beans,  blackeye peas,  prunes - surely you get the picture by now.

For the entire week, I limited my intake and all was fine.  My first meal home - wife opened me a can of Ranch Style Beans.   I was in Heaven; and I left nothing behind in the Pit.  Y'all take care now.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Fraser on Leno

Politics -  one of my all time favorite songs comes from the Musical Fiorello.  Y'all rent that musical and watch it.   fun stuff.   The song is   "Politics and Poker"    Love that song.  Even sing it out loud at times.


FRASER is on Leno show.   Accidentally saw it since I never seem to watch Leno anymore.  (Kelsey Grammer)

anyway it was discussed about him (Kelsey) going into politics.....

then, I learned, he is a conservative. How bout that. Rare breed for sure.

Leno asked his take on the present Republican field. He made brief statements. When he got to Romney, he pointed out that it was interesting - in the last series of elections, Romney was the only one who had only been married once -- a Mormon. A Mormon had the fewest wives. Now, that does make you stop and think.

(not whether having wives - one or more - is actually a prerequisite for being a great politician) Nuff. Some people get all too upset about another's religion in these races. )
so I close.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Retirement ??

there is an old adage...that retired folks get "more" busy than - that should be enough to get the idea across.

When I was teaching, I would get certain days off.  You just don't take a vacation from retirement.  Today,  as an example, I was up and out most of the day doing errands - taking stuff to town - getting stuff in town - going by stores -- playing my horn -- and so forth.  You don't want to know all the details.

But  I got home fairly late tonight - dogs hungry - frankly my boy Fritz is beside himself with hunger.   Tomorrow?  not much different.  I have some things I really need to do in town - then, I plan to work in the back yard until dark-thirty.   If all goes well, I will be really tired and want to go to bed early.  If it works out.

Starting Sunday, I am getting to play trumpet for the local little theater (Warehouse Theater) production of King and I.   I have not gotten to do a broadway show in such a long time.   It will be fun, and I am excited.   Rehearsals go for the first part of the week.  Performances happen the last of the week.   If you are looking for me - give it a break. 

My wife and daughter are  in Houston at the Houston Quilt Show.  If you have never seen this quilt show, you are missing an experience.   You can walk around the entire day looking at quilts and not see them all.  They have quilt exhibits - they have stuff for sale that will ruin a whole day - they have classes going on for 5 days.   It is quite the thing.  And cheap to attend.

I decided to stay home and take care of the dogs - practice my horn - and get some biz done.  I'll prolly go next year. 

That's it - just it.   See ya in a week.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

QUICKIE: New Hampshire POWER struggle (electricity)

My wife's brother Ernie (and wife Judy) live in New Hampshire.  I know they can live there in the summer (beautiful weather, strawberries, coast, lakes, mountains) ; but I cannot understand the winter unless one is a winter sports fanatic.  It snows there.  No, it REALLY snow there.  

They have had a surprise winter snow in October - messed up Halloween for many a child.  The authorities up there call it   "Snowtober."  I call it "a reason to move south for the winter."  We call them thar folks:  snowbirds.

Because leaves were still on the trees, the snow was extra heavy, breaking branches and trees.  Ernie had a maple split in the back yard and end up against his house/roof.  We haven't heard how that turned out yet.

So over 350,000 people - or houses (who can tell with all that snow) lost electricity last week.  Thousands are still without power, including Ern/Judy.  Luckily he has a gas generator -  Luckily the local gas station has power to keep the generator perking.  It is a wonder if you ask me.  

I have a solution.  It follows below.  Use my philosophy of going to college to get ahead in the world.    If you take one class now, you will have completed at least one class by the end of the year.  If you do not take one class now, where will you be in a year?  Same place you are now.  Always do something.   Never tread water for a year.   Believe in this philosophy and you will improve your life.  Enough.  My solution for New Hampshire.


Ignore the Presidential election, starting tomorrow.

I wonder what it would cost -- if they started in one corner of the State and just slowly started putting all electric lines under the ground.  

dig a ditch.
drop that line under the ground.
cover the ditch.
move over 10 feet.

That area would never have elec. shortage problem again -
WAIT !!!!   Don't start at one corner of the State.
Find an electricity power plant and start there.
Move out one mile a year.
How big is New Hampshire anyway?

Year one:    you would have gone 1 square mile.
Year two:    that would be 3 square miles total.
Once they hit the ocean, double the efforts in one other direction.
I am sure that certain mountain areas could be skipped over or around.

You have my permission to copy this brilliant idea and forward to proper authorities or local newspapers.  You may even give yourself credit for the idea.  I don't care.

Thus endeth "Save the Hampshire" campaign 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Birthday ramblings

I seem to be dwelling on the future birthday lately.   Maybe turning 71 does that to you.  And that is new to me - not just the turning 71, but the discussing of a birthday, mine.

My students - if they were really close to me - knew that I never talked about my birthday.  Most of the time I would tell everyone that it came in July - July 11 to be exact, my brother Jim's birth date.  I always could remember that date - wanted to appear like I could remember the date.  

Y'see, being a high school band director, I was usually on the marching field the first of November.   Students, bless their hearts, look for any way to short circuit a class.  If they can spring a birthday surprise on the teacher - then, all work stops for the day.  I can tell you that most marching bands are not interested in practicing the first week of November - we are tired of the field and wanna go inside - now.    [ won't even mention what 7th graders might do ]

So, I never talked about birthdays.  My wife never did - my children never did.  It was a family secret.  I have always appreciated their assistance in this matter.

A sidebar about being a kid....I could always remember my brother's birthdays - all 3 of them.  January 17 (Marshall),  July 11 (Jim), and April 6 (Pat).  Didja ever notice that?  When I was a kid I knew these dates so very well - and looked forward to them.  I could NOT tell you my own parent's birthdates...or, perish the thought, their anniversary.   Somehow we'd get these figured out in time to acknowledge them.  Never had any money to buy presents anyway.  so be it.  I do know those dates now though.    "Hey Mom, give me $2 so I can go buy you a cheap bottle of perfume for your birthday."

The "why" is so so simple.  You know your siblings birthdays because there will be presents, a cake, goodies - and possibly a small family party.  Contrary to today's youth, we didn't have birthday parties - at home or McDonalds ( there were NO McDonalds in my days of youthful splendor ).   Today's kids get birthdays and presents; they go to parties all the time.  It is, as if, to not have a birthday party would be as terrible as wearing non-designer jeans.  Poor babies.

BACK to band stuff.   When I taught in Amarillo one year - I learned a valuable lesson.  I smarted off that my birthday was April Fool's day.  It seemed like a good enough joke to me. 
KID:   "When is your birthday?"
MTZ:  "I was born on April Fool's Day, yuk yuk."
If you are paying attention, you should be one step ahead of me by now.

There I was on the podium, April 1st, doing what we do.     

"Listen to your neighbor; trombones find 5th position; quit talking; tune tune tune; stop rushing; look at me;  Drummers!!!;  clarinets use the alternate Bb;  that's F# you tone deaf ......"       

The door of the bandroom swung open and in romped a clown with balloons.  Lots of bbbaaaalllloooooooons.   He comes in singing Happy Birthday to "Ace."   It seems one of my students (I remember her name)   enjoyed that name because I called many folks "ace."  It was what I did.  "Howdy Ace."  "Whatcha doin' Ace?"  " Get your music Ace."    It is okay in a school setting to use the word "Ace"  while you are thinking  Donkey.  ( Nobody knows )  Anyway, in he bolts.   Class was disrupted.    I accepted the attention as best I could.   A boy, first chair alto, apparently had the nickname ACE from his friends.   He was up and about thinking someone was playing a joke on him -- that part is somewhat fuzzy in my memory - we do blot these things out at times.

Never again did I use April Fools Day.   I went back to July 11th and lived with it until the end.  Nobody ever came to my house on the 11th and broke up my rehearsal.  It was good.  So that's it.  Never talked about the actual birthdate or the actual age.   One more short stone.

In Ardmore - on my 30th birthday - I remember walking across the courtyard with a small group of students.  That was 1970 - or as we say - the seventies.... Hippies and the like.   The wad of students had no idea is was "the 30th" day.    The kids were all talking and laughing about the conventional saying of the time:  "Don't trust anyone over thirty."   That event made an impression on me ( apparently  )  to remember it for 40+ years.  I can't remember which students were there ... nor should I.  They didn't trust me.

I have spent my birthday - since retirement - with my wife and daughter Christine, most years.  The Houston Quilt show  ( a fabulous event - you should go ) is always during this weekend.  This year I have elected to stay home - take care of the dogs and save $200 boarding costs.  We are trying to save money in order to take a cruise next fall - it will be the 50th anniversary.  But, let us talk about that next fall.  See ya guys.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Keller news blip

When you open AOL there is a news bit.   Below is one of their news stories.  I have a copy of the actual recording but do not know how to put it here.  It is a MP3 download....oh, well.  Surely you can google it.....the aol article has a photo of him in a 20 gallon hat.  Cute.
====================================================Crockett Keller, Texas Gun Safety Instructor, Refuses To Teach Liberals And Muslims

Store Bans Obama Voters and Muslims A controversial ad for a Texas gun store warns 'non-Christian Arabs' and people who voted for Obama they should go elsewhere.

Store Bans Obama Voters and Muslims

A controversial ad for a Texas gun store warns 'non-Christian Arabs' and people who voted for Obama they should go elsewhere.

Owner's reason for refusing service:   For Crockett Keller, the customer is always right -- or at least right-leaning. That's because the Texas firearm safety instructor refuses to teach liberals.

In a radio advertisement that could cost him his ability to teach concealed handgun safety classes, Keller made it clear that an Oct. 26 course at Keller's Riverside Store in Mason wouldn't be open to people who voted for President Obama and Muslims.

"If you are a socialist liberal and/or voted for the current campaigner-in-chief, please do not take this class," Keller says in the advertisement, which is described as "controversial" on his own website. "You have already proven that you cannot make a knowledgeable and prudent decision as required under the law."
"Also, if you are a non-Christian Arab or Muslim, I will not teach you the class. Once again, with no shame; I am Crockett Keller ... thank you and God bless America," the radio spot concludes.

Keller's restrictions could infringe on the rights of Texans seeking to acquire concealed weapons permits, but the 65-year-old told KVUE that he is just trying to protect his rights as a teacher.

"I call it exercising my right to choose who I instruct in how to use a dangerous weapon," Keller said, according to the news station.

"The fact is if you are a devout Muslim then you cannot be a true American," Keller reportedly added. "Why should I arm these people to kill me, that's suicide."

The Texas Hill Country businessman told The Houston Chronicle he has received many calls from neighbors who are supportive of his stance. Attempts to reach Keller by phone and e-mail were not returned by Huffington Post deadline.  A spokeswoman at the Texas Department of Public Safety, the agency that certifies Texans to teach classes on concealed handguns, confirmed that the agency has launched an investigation into Keller's business practices.

"The department became aware of the statements in question yesterday and has begun an investigation into the matter," she said in a prepared statement. "The department will take appropriate administrative action based on the findings from the investigation."

It was a message intended to bring in some extra business, a radio ad for a concealed handgun class at Keller’s Riverside Store in Mason, located in the heart of the Texas hill country. view full article

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Kindergarten and a birthdate fib

A friend of mine from high school - Richard Shirley - sent me an early happy birthday noting that he was unaware I was so young.   He was 71 in January - I turn same in about a week.   It reminded me of a stone that I could relate.

First of all, let me say - I believe that many of my problems going to school - what there were - came because I started to school a year early.   My maturity level never did match many of my classmates even though my grades held their own usually.

I was born on November 4, 1940 - that was the day that FDR (Roosevelt for those of you who get confused)  was elected for this 3rd term.

My mom taught school.   We were living in Dodge City, Kansas, of Gunsmoke fame, when I was 4.  I was cute with my precious ears (FYI).   Kindergarten in Dodge was a half day class for little kids.   She was teaching Kindergarten at one elementary.  We lived in another elementary area.

In Dodge City, during those years, you had to be 5 by November 2nd - or you waited another year.  I do think Kindergarten was a volunteer offering.  I don't know that.

My mom took my birth certificate and a bottle of clorox.  She put a small drop on the birthday - November 4, and with black ink wrote in a "2."  Thus, since I had no idea about anything, my birthday became Nov. 2nd - it remained that way for many years to come.   Eventually she became honest and brought me up to date.   Since then I have celebrated the 4th - bring on the gifts. 

I have the original birth certificate in a safety deposit box.  You can look at the "2" and see the faint lines of a "4" beneath.   So I went to kindergarten in the morning in my mother's class.  In the afternoon, it was kindergarten in the other school.  I don't remember much about either class.  My mom said that I was not an ideal student - taking advantage of mom being the teacher.

In the other class I remember having a special rug for taking a nap.  We all laid down for an afternoon nap.  Mine was one of those rag rugs with multi multi colors - rows of colors.  It was wonderful.  That's it.