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.