Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Frtiz and chairs

Fritz came home yesterday.  He is a new animal.  When he went to the vet, lethargic - wouldn't eat - throwing up - one sick puppy.  The vets at Animal Care Clinic here in Corsicana turned him around over the weekend.  We thought it was the end for Fritz.  What a rebound.  The appetite has returned - he tours the backyard in search of whatever dogs search - he barks - he complains - he is Fritz again.  We are so pleased.
I asked him if he were worth the $311 we spent.  A wag of the tail - an attempt to lick my nose - all says:   it was worth it.
The doc said it is pancreaitis (sp)  - not good.  He sent me home with 12 cans of i/d dog food  @ $1 per.   We are feed this wet food to Fritz for the next week slowly moving him back to his dry food.   We do not want him to flair back up.
When they brought Fritz to me in the waiting room to leave - the room was full of people including dogs which stood higher than my belt line.  I could hear him coming down the hall - jingle jingle.  He was on a leash but was leading the Vet down the hall.   He rounded the corner of the room - strutting as best his 4 inch legs can do.  Cocky.  The room went into a titter - giggles - some laughter - I projected they were admiring the boy as he took over the room.
I went to him and stuck my finger down by his nose.  He sniffed and the tail just started fanning the room and the tongue came out.   I took the leash and he pulled me to the door.  Once outside he dove straight for our car and its door.  How did he know what car it was?  That boy was ready to get home.
The other dogs were outside when he arrived.  My wife pulled up and opened the door.   Short legs make leaping out of the car a minor problem.  My wife put him on the ground and he flew down the sidewalk to the front door - no looking back.  Once he was outside with the other four, the smelling began.  He went about his business and they all took turns smelling him out - so to speak.   Fritz was home and That was That.
Now, where's the food dish!!!
it is good to have the boy home
Our anniversary is coming up next week.  This will be #51.  With my wife's help we selected a nice necklace for her that is engraved  "Grammy" and sports the birthstones of all 3 g-girls.  it is a pretty necklace for sure.  
For my anniversary present - I have been needing a new office chair.  The old one was bought back in the 90s or earlier.  The padding has become equivalent to a piece of cloth.  And you can see through that cloth.  I love that old chair; but, it had started making my legs fall asleep as they pressed against the wooden bar across the front.   I now have a new chair....leather - brown leather - nice.
Office Depot got our business.   I spent more than a couple of hours sitting in chairs and looking under them.  I don't know if all companies do this but O.D. rates the chairs based upon how long you plan to sit on it.   A  letter   M   means Moderate, 3 to 6 hours sitting per day.  I had decided on a   M   chair  when in a moment of something I sat in one with  an   I    rating,  6 to 8 hours of sitting.  The padding is so much more than the others - and it was on special -- i.e., cheaper than most of the   M  rated.   It is mine.
One problem:  It is called a  Big & Tall chair.   I looked; they did not have any short and squatty chairs.   So my logic....Big means  squatty.   This gives me half correct.  The kid that carried it out to my car on his shoulders - he was tall.   I had to scoot it into the house - no picking up on my shoulders.   
So that's it.   My behind is pressed deeply into the leather comfort of my groovy chair - brown leather - no, that's wrong - the color is Expresso - and you know how I love coffee.   My feet touch the floor and the seat is wide enough to accommodate both of my legs folded under me on the chair.
I am going to build a box out of 2 x 6 (s) for my wife to use as a foot stool as she enjoys her trips to Facebook.  Everyone should have the privilege of  being able to reach the floor.  Enough for now - time to give Fritz a big hug again.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Fritz update and Marauder update

Update on our boy Fritz.  (see previous post in yellow)  He had been throwing up for over 24 hours.  Listless.  Showed absolutely no desire to look at food.   This is our boy who eats dog poop as a special treat if he can find it in the yard before I do.   ( WAIT!!!  I just reread this part.  He finds the scat to snack - I look for it with my little shovel and pail to throw away before he gets it or the flies plant their little eggs in it - yes, more poop = more flies.   We have been fortunate around here to have minimal flies - I think it is because of my efforts with my deluxe model pooper scooper.  So is that clear now?  I don't eat poop.  I think I had to a few times while I was teaching - when I had the typical poor administrator.)    He does not just eat eat poop, he has certain types that are favored - I'd guess flavored - but that is neither here nor there in the update discussion.  I put one of those bacon treats under his nose and nothing.   Think Shultz  and say  "NOTHING"
Called our vet and got a machine telling us to call their nighttime emergency line.  I did this same thing over 3 hours, never getting through.  Went to the emergency number and learned our Vet was gone till next week.  This was on Monday, all day Monday.
On Tuesday morning my wife called again and got an actual person - his 12 yr old phone answering person who said all were gone till next week.  Didja ever notice these people who answer phones sound like they are 12, maybe 13 - nothing against 12 and 13 year olds.  Without them, where would we get 14 yr olds?  And that is a debate left for another time.
My wife asked the young lady if they rreeccommeennddeedd another Vet while ours was gone. Well, yes they did - the 24 hour emergency pet clinic in Arlington off I - 20.   Look on  your map. That would be a drive well over an hour plus the pain of finding their store.  The suggestion was not met with glee.
The wife called another local vetty with whom we have had a minor dealing -- they were the vet for the dog next door who swallowed one of our fish hooks out on the dock  and  for when their dog was dying of heart worms.  Both of those stones can wait.  Spouse called and got another 12 year old who stated their vet was gone till next week.  They had no suggestions for us.  You'd think the local vets would get off their snooty high horses (so to speak) and help each other out when they go out of town - a servie, you might say, that would benefit their own clients.  I'd think that. Maybe you would too.  But keep in mind - most of these Vets came out of A&M.
Called a 3rd vet - this one has inexpensive boarding fees.  We have been there before.  A father and his daughter and son - all 3 are vets - walk in care, no appointments.  We went as fast as our Marauder tires would allow.  The young man (vet) gave Fritz the once over - quite professional I'd say - and decided that Fritz needed to stay for tests.  Talk about service, about 2 hours later, he personally called us back and gave a decision.  I like that.
His preliminary test indicated that Fritz might have pancreatitis.  can't spell that one.  Pancreatic with the i-tis attached to the end.   pancreitis.  nope that looks wrong too.  Who cares; I don't need to know how to spell the word.  I am retired.   They are keeping Fritz in their hospital over the weekend.  They hope to re-introduce him to food on Friday, tomorrow.  If he is still as sick as he was, tomorrow will be fine.  
Daughter Christine thinks we will have to start feeding him boiled chicken and rice when he gets home.  If that is the case, we will have to ween him off of dog cookies and chew sticks.  That concept is a difficult one for me to fathom.   Poor Fritz.  Y'all think about my boy for me.  Hopefully Monday will bring a revised and fixed boy for us.   I am too young to lose another dog right now.
Marauder stone:  
Took the car into get a window fixed that wouldn't move up and down.
When I pulled up to his shop, I noticed wire sticking out of the front left tire.
Rusty suggested alignment.
I said sure.
In process he pointed out back shocks (with 152,000 miles on them) were very weak.
He pointed out that in the alignment process he had reached his limits with the front tires because        of the condition of the front struts  (with 152,000 miles on them)
I thanked him and went home.  
The following Sunday (this past one to be exact) the left rear window fell down and wouldn't move.
-------some of this is explained in detail below -------
 I bit the bullet - had him fix window plus the back shocks and front struts.
Meanwhile left tire still had wire sticking out.
I put spare on the ground and wire tire in trunk.
Spare and right front not in good shape.
Called Discount Tire in Waxahachie;  they had our tire.
Drove to Wax-A-Hachet and had tire fixed; ate lunch; got a big gulp and came home.
If you don't think I had an expensive last couple of weeks, you are way wrong.   Thanks to our close friend  Master Card - all is well and we are driving once again.
This is an experiment to see how the light blue background looks on the bluggy.
and now we are looking at what color?  This is a test.   Green.  Good boy.
I'll see ya guys soon - must change the water - it is Thursday, our marathon watering day.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

4 things of interest to me

2 things - maybe 3 - let's make it 4.
#1  a friend / acquaintance of mine of several years writes a blog.  I get a notice every time something is posted [ as, I might add, you can get a notice from this blog too - if you choose ].   His blogs are usually filled with a bits of drama and his own studies of relationships - he has had exploits through the labor of life and a recitative of his adventures going to concerts, meeting people, and y'know:  what an unmarried young guy can go through at different times.  Some of the blogs make my eyes roll and others can be quite insightful.   It is in the eye of the beholder - or reader, if you will.
      A few months back he cut back his blogs and began doing a talking thing - can't remember what they are called right now - you find them and listen to someone talk for a half hour or more.  His dealt with relationships between guys and gals - and I suppose other types of folks too.  I rarely listened because of time constraints - I need to be doing something all the time.  The site is called   LOW or Life of Wilde.  If someone wanted to do a PhD dissertation on his life and times - might be different.
      Wilde and I worked together in the U of TX football stadium for several year - I'd bet it was about 10 - 12 years or so.   It was a change of pace for me going to UT football games and seeing all that burnt orange.  You probably didn't know that burnt orange will warp your eye's retina if viewed too frequently without a break of red and black infusion.
     Last night I had a notice that an entry had been made to LOW - I dutifully journeyed through the computer to see this entry, it had been quite a while.  Did I mention that Johnny has a secretary who seems to be quite proficient at getting things done.  Back to LOW.  His blog said that Maria (sec) would be taking over the talking thingy and she would be putting in the blog info too.   Maria , apparently young, refers to "Mr. Wilde" throughout the entry.  She put all the above info on the blog in the 3rd person.   At the end it said that Mr. Wilde appreciates that people will give him his privacy at this time.
      So here are my questions.  What have I missed?  Since I have been his sounding board over the years and know more than I should  ==> Should I keep quiet and not find out what is wrong?  Is he sick?  Did one of his parents die?  Is he on a Honeymoon?  Did he wreck his truck:  The Black Beauty?   Did he rob a bank and is sitting in jail?  Has he run off with his lawyer?  I'd want privacy if that happened for sure.  You can give me a response below in the comments.
     If I call, I am not abiding by his blog's stated wishes.   If I don't call, I am unfeeling cad.  I just don't know - almost too much drama for a retired guy with a ..... (see below #2)
#2     My boy Fritz is sick - (dog for those who are new - see many of the previous posts for more dog stories than you'd ever want to read).   Fritz is my eater.  He will eat anything that he can get his mouth around.  Sometime after - let's say midnight - Fritz emptied his stomach on his bed.  It was mushy and really dark colored - not bloody, just dark.   My wife, bless her heart, got up about 4 a.m. to put the dogs out in the Pit.  Fritz was lethargic and slow to move.  Goop was in several piles in his bed.
       My boy is sick.  His stomach is doing flip flops.   I carried him outside after someone woke me a bit after 4, bless her heart.  Fritz did his wetting business, not with glee but functional.  All dogs came back into the house and returned to bed.   I collected Fritz's dirty bed stuff so it would not be eaten.  He threw up again.  Poor Baby.   
      All day long he has been drinking water and throwing up.  He has no interest in eating grass as I have seen other woozy dogs do under similar circumstances.  And food has no purpose or interest for him.  In the afternoon, he refused his daily chew stick and a fabulous doggy cookie that he would have killed to get yesterday.  That boy is sick.  After a few more throw ups, I called our vet.  Out of town for the rest of the week - vacation, I suppose.   We are trying to make it on our own.  
      Fritz drinks water - has wooed  and  has weeeeded at different times of today.  It is a watch and wait.  Maybe my boy will pull through this "RUFF" episode.  I have a tough time focusing on other people's problems when I have one sick puppy.  
# 3   My Marauder has been sick.  In the past week two different electric windows have had to have their regulators replaced.  In the olden days, a regulator was something akin to a sheriff.  A little side drift here - I have always had trouble spelling sheriff.  I don't know why - just a learning disability in the spelling window.
       Now we have had the rear shocks and the front struts replaced to a hefty price tag.  I've written often about the mechanic I use.  I like and trust him.  That may be dangerous and not too smart; but, it is true.   In the process of front struts dying, the front two tires started wearing badly.  I looked at those tires closely in late May just before the car's inspection.  The front two tires were excellent.  In two months time, bad news.   The front left even has wire sticking out.   I'd bet the big tire guru in the sky would think it is time to make a change.  Next job:  2 new tires for the front end - you might not know or care - on the Marauder the front and the back tires are two different sizes.  Because they are Z rated - high speed - they wear out faster than normal tires.
Looking for sympathy here folks.
#4    We will be having our Grammy Camp here within the next couple of weeks.  All of our 3 kids will make appearances around here during the week long camp.   Last year I had my oldest g-girl write a guest blog.  I thunk ah will do dat agin.    Maybe one of the younger girls will make an entry too. That should be fun.   If y'all have any ideas of things to do with a future 8th grader and her younger elementary aged sisters, I am willing to listen.  Being entertaining to a wide variety of ages is a difficult mission even if it is only one week in length.
      I had thought of paying them $X.XX dollars a day as an incentive to do little tasks around here like picking up doggy doo, washing the wee off the back porch,  picking up rocks off the yard,  playing ball with Oscar.    Thought we might spend part of one day to go to the Fish Hatchery over in Athens.  They have an interesting place there - and you can fish.   I think you can keep the caught critters.   No alligators.
Mowed the acreage today and I am tired - yawning as a matter of fact - gonna go check in on Fritz. He is such a sick puppy.
over and out
Mtz, the happily retired adventurer and lion tamer.  

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Bruno, my boy

Short dog stone.

Review:  We 3 have 5 dogs.  3 boys and 2 girls.  The girls get along with everyone.  Bruno gets along with everybody.  Fritz and Oscar have a dislike.  They have fought more than once.  Continuing.  Fritz wants to eat at all times.  If he gets within 4 ft of Oscar and his bowl of food, growling.   Bruno likes to eat too.  He is more laid back about the whole thing.  Oscar and Bruno are twin chocolate doxies.
Oscar and Bruno eat in one area - the girls eat in one area - and Fritz has his own area.  For Father's Day Christine gave me a dog food bowl that has protrusions.  These make the dog eat around corners and slows him down.  Instead of gulping, Fritz has to work at getting the food out of the dish.
Now the short stone.  I did not see this; thanks to my wife for the stone.
The dogs were all eating the other morning.  Bruno finished his bowl of dry food.  Oscar is the slowest eater we have.  He putters around with his food till it is gone.  Sometimes he takes food out and lays it in a pile to be eaten in a moment.   
Bruno finished his.   He looked around a bit and studied Oscar eating.  Bruno stood up and walked over to Oscar.  He reached down and grabbed the bowl by the rim - picked it up and walked off with the whole bowl of food.  Oscar didn't care, so Bruno had an extra bowl of food.   My wife, the killjoy, reached down to take the bowl and Bruno didn't let go of the bowl.  She had to pry his mouth off the edge of the bowl.
Returned to Oscar, the food was finished properly.  You may not think that is funny.  I can tell you I think it is.  Bruno is so innocent.  So if you ever come to visit, protect your bowl.

windows and rain


It has not rained in North Texas in over a month.  I cannot remember the last rain we have seen.  This bothers me since I have to water the yard to keep the grass working. The rains came today.  Albeit not much rain as it seems - we got a quarter inch of a slow misty rain today.  The best kind for grass.  But - I ramble.
Today, Sunday, up and dressed for church choir.  We walk out of the front door and drive away in the Marauder.  A small amount of mist gathers on the windshield.  I have to use the intermittent wipers at the lowest setting.
Our newspaper is left up by the font gate of the development.  Keep in mind - it hasn't rained in over a month - I pulled into the slot, lowered my window, grasped the paper, and pushed the button to raise the window.   Nothing.   The little motor is running but the glass has fallen out of the tray. This use to happen to me way back when I could reach inside and fix it.  Not with a Marauder.
There we are sitting at the paper spot with a broken window and rain is coming.  How long has it been since it rained in North Texas?  Just long enough to wait for my window to default.   Go Figure.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Songs of Company 252

If you missed the previous post, go see.   This will be short.

Here is the list of titles of  the songs in the Company 252 songbook.  If you would like to have the words of any of the songs, leave me a comment below, and I'll take care of it here.



2.    WE ARE THE BOYS OF "252"

3,     HAPPY DAYS   (are here again)

4.     GLORIOUS   (Glorious, Glorious, one keg o' beer for the four of us)

5.     PACK UP YOUR TROUBLES (in your old kit bag...)







12.    PARLEY-VOUS   (C.C.C. words)






18.    THERE'S A LONG, LONG TRAIL (awinding)




22.    THE MAN ON THE FLYING TRAPEZE  (see words in blog below)

23.    TAPS

Fading light dims the sight, and a star gems the sky, gleaming bright.
From afar drawing nigh, fall the night.

Day is done, gone the sun, from the lake, From the hills, from the sky;
All is well, safely rest; God is nigh.

Then good night, peaceful night, till the light of the dawn shineth bright;
God is near, do not fear, Friend good night.     

and goodnight to all of you,  Mtz

The Man on the Flying Trapeze

This is the entry I made last week that the computer  (sometimes known as puter) (or pooter)  would not publish.
Purple Font today.  Looks black, but it is purple.  Get in close to the screen.  Closer, closer, closer - this is where I have programmed a ugly witch to appear on the screen and scream bloody murder.  Did you see her?  Well come closer....closer....closer....
Obviously you don't know me well enough.  I don't have the slightest idea how to program a computer to do squat.  Get your nose off the screen.  Let's move on.
About a couple weeks ago, daughter Laura came to visit.  She likes to fish off the dock and contemplate the Universe.  Daughter Christine wanted to come visit but wanted to go camping at the same time.  In the near future she is meeting Son Roger and his daughter Megan somewhere west of Austin to go camping with his church group.   Alarm going off.  Be right back.  Have to change the water - we get to water on Thursday and Sunday.  This is Thursday.  figure it out.
We searched for a park that had septic hookups for the motorhome and one could camp in a tent.  Christine wanted to practice b4 her adventure with those church going campers.  Mission Tejas State Park is a great place to camp out.  Nobody is there because they don't have one of those exciting water features or other attraction.  For pure-D campin', this is a good place with big loblolly pines and trails to spare.  The park was built back in the 30s by the C.C.C. - Civilian Conservation Corps.  More on that later.
We had several nice park rangers to guide our adventures.   One morning the young park ranger gave a talk on the C.C.C.  We attended along with his wife and her parents.  There were plenty of empty seats.    This park had over 200 young men working and sweating and slaving to build the park.  When they got off work, there was no place to go - 20+ miles to the next real town.  The bosses created amusements for them.  The one that got my attention - as you might expect - was singing, group singing.  They would gather under the group shelter in the evening and sing away. Times were different then.
As a display, our guide showed a Xerox copy of their song book.   23 songs in a book.  I am leading up to giving you the words to some of the songs.  Of course the book had no printed music, just the words.   I ask the guide if I could buy one of these up in the park store.  Nah, just take the one in your hand.  They missed a bet there.  Time to eat.  I'll be back in a different color.
And so I am.   Green.  Had a delicious hamburger and turned off the water for the hot part of the day.
Camp members were given a printed book of song words.  They were told to take them home when they leave - an aside here - C.C.C. required you "enlist" for 6 months minimum.  You were paid $35 a month and $30 was sent home to your family.  You kept $5 for you monthly expenses.  Times were different.   You will find this to be a different blog today.      The cover of the book says:
                       of Company 252
                         Published By
                    C.C.C. Company 252
                        Camp T.V.A. 16
         LaFollette,                    Tennessee

The inside front cover had a

     There is probably no other single agency that promotes good fellowship and good morale as effectively as group singing.  Not only when we all get together in the recreation hall for that purpose, but riding to and from work, in the barracks and the many other places where it is appropriate to start a song and have others join in.  It is hoped that the publication of this little book, "Songs Of Co. 252", will help keep the morale of this camp high and afford many hours of pleasure to the members of the Company that like to sing.  After you leave company, we also hope that you will keep this little book as a treasured souvenir of your days spent in Co. 252.
A. M. BANKS       Commanding

On to the songs.   My favorite is # 22  THE MAN ON THE FLYING TRAPEZE.  (read to end - we live in a different time)  (I'm spelling things like they did)

Once I was happy but now I'm forlorne
Like an old coat that is tattered and torn
Left in this wide world to weep and to mourn
Betrayed by a maid in her teens.
Oh, this maid that I loved she was handsome
And I tried all I knew, her to please
But I never could please her one quarter as well
As the Man On The Flying Trapeze.   Ooooh!!

He floats through the air with the greatest of ease
the daring young man on the flying Trapeze
His actions are graceful, all girls he does please 
And my love he has stolen away.

He' play with a miss like a cat with a mouse
His eyes would undress ev'ry maid in the house
Perhaps he is better described as a louse
But still people came just the same.
He'd smile from the bar on the people below
And one night he smiled on my love
She blew him a kiss and she hollered "Bravo"
As he hung by his nose up above.  Ooooh!!

                      (Repeat Chorus)

I went and I whimpered, I simpered for weeks
While she spent her time with the circuses freaks
The tears were like hailstones that rolled down my cheeks
Alas and alak and Alaska.
I went to this fellow the blackguard and said
I'll see that you get your deserts
His thumb to his nose he put up with a sneer
He sneered once again and said "Nertz".  Ooooh!!
            (Repeat Chorus)
One night to his tent he invited her in
Filled her with compliments and with gin
That started her off on the road to ruin
she made the supreme sacrifice.
But even tho' I loved her I aid "Take my name
I'll gladly forgive and forget"
She rustled her bustle and then without shame
she said "Maybe later, not yet".  Ooooh!!

                  (Repeat Chorus)
One night I as usual went to her dear home
Found there her father and mother alone
I asked for my love and soon 'twas made known
To my horror that she'd run away.
Without any trousseau she fled in the night
With him with the greatest of ease
From two stories high he had lowered her down 
to the ground on his flying trapeze.   Ooooh !!

                       (Repeat Chorus)
Some months after that I went into a hall -
To my surprise I found there on the wall
A bill in red letters which did my heart gall
The she was appearing with him.
He' taught her gymnastics and dressed her in tights
To help him live at his ease
He'd made her assume a masculine name
And now she goes on the trapeze.  Ooooh!!

She floats through the air with the geatest of ease
You'll think her a man on the flying Trapeze
Her actions are graceful, all girls does she please
And that's what's become of my love.

later all


Made another short trip.
Explanation:  I wrote an entry last Saturday.  When I hit "publish"  it wouldn't do it.
This is an experiment to see if it is worth my time or if I have a problem.
Then, I have a cute (I think) entreee

It did publish this, so I move on to next one - unless the alarm goes off and I have to change the water again.
Or lunch.  I would stop for lunch too.   I would stop for lunch before I stopped for water changing.   Enough of that.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

eating out, misc

There are some who might say that kids have it better today over what we had 50 - 60 years ago.  In some aspects, they are right.  It is just angle you choose to use for viewing.  Take the bit about playing video games or messing with computers all day instead of going outside - or, those who are now involved in ORGANIZED sports all the way from 1st grade on up - or, MP3 players or thereabouts - or, well that is enough to start.   
As a child we played outside - chase, hide, seek, throw, fall down, you pick the verb.  All of that might be fodder for future blugs, but not today.   I love the way "spell check" cannot handle the word "blug."  Blog, on the other hand is perfectly acceptable.  Why izzit?  Bug, Bog, Lug, Log are all fine words for sure.  Why accept BLUG?
As I type, I have just had a great idea for a blog,  oops,  blug someday.  I write a paragraph with my hands moved one key to the right. Then, give a prize to the first person who figures it out.  mpe jpe snpiy yjsy?
Eating out:  There are so many places to go now-a-days.   Do you want mexican food?  I bet Corsicana had 5 to 10 easily available.  Chinese?  I know of 4....or maybe 5.  Chicken?  You can peck your way to a fried feast at 8 different joints.  Dairy Queen, sandwich places, chain restaurants like Denney's and Chili's - Last week Corsicana got a Schlotskys.   We have our favorites.  Our Kentucky Fried Chicken place closed and was replaced by a Golden Chicken....not the same fine taste (original please). To me it was absolutely no surprise they folded.  When you went in the local KFC, it was like a circus - the hired help constantly yelling and playing around and being unprepared - happened every time I went in there.
Reminds me of a Whataburger store in Austin just south of the 290 split.  Those people were clueless to what was going on.  I think the manager had a valid excuse.  They seem to hire mentally retarded help.  Not making fun here.  There were always 2 or 3 mentally challenged people working on each shift.  T'was an interesting place to visit.  You have to admire a leader that will put his success on the skills of mentally challenged folks.  He must be a Saint.
Back in my h.s. days in Levelland, we had limited places to go.  As with everything, if you never had something, you don't know you missed it.  You might hear about a particular thing and THINK you miss it, but you don't know for sure until you have tasted the pie.  Take color TV for instance. We had black and white TV for years.  We didn't know how great color was.  Then we had color but did we have a remote control?  Now that was fine...remote control.  And color too.  As I remember it, when we lived in Crete, Nebraska, about 20 miles from Lincoln - that would be about 1949 ...  Lincoln had color TV on some programs.   We had a black & white set that was about 5 inches across.  What fun.  Then we moved to Odessa - no TV.
Remote control:  My father took his 27" B&W TV set - the biggest in town - and installed a motor on the tuner.  We only had 13 channels on the dial and only 2 channels that worked:  11 KCBD  and 13 KDUB   (named after the owner Dub something).  Later Tech channel 5 came in to play.  It wasn't strong enough to reach Levelland from Lubbock.  So we would have to get up and rotate the tuner left or right.  So Hard.
But with his electric motor on the tuner - it had a cord that ran to his recliner - flip switch and the tuner ran around to the proper channel.  He was innovative.
You might ask, what does this have to do with restaurants above.  Frankly, if  you can find the connection, tell me.   
that's enough for now.  We will discuss Levelland eating establishments in a later BLUG.  Go spell check, Go.

Only Greta

Originally I thought of this post as being a 2 sectional thing - but, something irritated me and I may add a 3rd at the end.  If I settle down, then, no 3rd part.   Politics make me uptight.  Some might say I have always been uptight.  Politics wires me up a bit too much - thus - I try to stay off politics on this page.
#1   So we made a trip to Louisiana and had a good time with the 5 dogs and our Jamboree motorhome.  It was a good trip - willin' to go again soon.  The plantation was interesting;  the city was interesting; the travel countryside was interesting.  We elected to not go to an Alligator farm.  They were advertised as alligators and petting zoo.  I voted no.  Spouse gave no immediate argument.  I dislike alligators much like I dislike snakes.
#2  Already I have stretched this to 3 things prior to politics.  Our dogs have different personalities and different levels of intelligence.  At least we think they have different levels.   Liesl, the white, seems to be smarter about lots of things.  We have a mechanical device which puts out food if the handle is pressed down.  Liesl is the only one who has that figured out.  She is afraid of thunder and loud booming noises.  The others could care less.  My theory:  She is smart enough to be afraid of the noises.
Our little Greta, the snake killer, has a personality which is quiet and reserved until riled.  Barking  huskily at big birds flying overhead - she does this with passion.  Greta gets confused sometimes.  She knows certain things but gets them confused with others.   "PIT" we call out to get the dogs to go to their fenced area late at night - they take care of business and come back in, not worrying too much about stray owls or bobcats.  Each gets a cookie after the PIT.
However, sometimes Greta gets confused and heads for the wrong door.  Or, she may take off for a particular bed to wait for her cookie.  And, so forth.  3 dogs went to the vet for rabies shots.  We have the new tags for their collars.  My plan:  take collar off, replace rabies tag, reinstall dog collar.  It worked like a jewel for Oscar and Bruno.  When I took off Greta's collar, she was headed outside to water the grass.   She came to the back door when finished.  I reinstalled the collar.  All seemed fine.
She started a high whine and bouncing around the floor.  The other dogs soon picked up on the behavior.  High whine and barking - followed by more bouncing around the room.  She isn't too big at 10 lbs so that is a lot of bouncing.   I couldn't figure it out.  Then, a revelation.  I opened the way for her - Greta bounced to the front door.  She whined and messed with the door.  More barking and bouncing.
Revelation:  she was ready to go bye-bye - scram - hit the road - go walking - travel to Louisiana - you name it.  The collar.  When I had messed with her collar as we will when attaching a leash, that triggered the response - Time to go on a trip.  Let's go.   bounce, whine, bark -- By this time she had all 5 worked up.   It took a bit to calm her down.  She still is ready to go though.
I think I will let the other things wait till later.
Oscar needs to go outside and play ball.


Thursday, July 4, 2013

Marathon #2

One of my favorite read over the years was  TRAVELS WITH CHARLEY - Steinbeck  I admit that I don't read enough.  Try Charley if you haven't.  So, we travel.  Should I name my posts  TRAVELS WITH GRETA, FRITZ, LIESL, OSCAR AND BRUNO,  Left the wife off the book title.  Surely she won't mind.
Natchitoches is a pretty town.  Downtown has the brick streets and the lore of a town established by the French prior to the Louisiana Purchase.  A beautiful river/lake runs through the center.  It is a really nice place.  A National Park Ranger comes to town daily and gives a 2 hour lecture while walking the streets.  A tour of the old town if you will.  Around 10 a.m. the next morn, this lady led us through the city.  Nice person.  The information was good and the company was fine.  Two ladies were there from France making the tour.  Par-lay-voooo
I had the question why the National Park Service would have people in Nak-a-tish.   East of town is an old slave - type plantation that was in working order before - well way back when.  It escaped destruction during the civil war and descendants of the original owner lived in it though the 1990s.  The slaves were gone - freed, if you will.  The owner gave it to the National Park Service rather than letting it die on the vine.
That tour was interesting too.  It was not a mansion filled with gold.  It reminded me of a rather large farm house.  The slave quarters reminded me of where my grandparents and great grandmother use to live.  Shabby, to say the least.  If you get near the joint, go see.  A picture is worth a thousand words.  I have a picture in my mind; now, you go get one.
Little aside.   One bedroom in the house had two 4 poster beds for the daughters.  There was a closet with a trap door.  The "mammy" who took care of the children lived under the house in an unfinished basement with rock walls and clap boards.  Remember this is before the Civil War. When the girls needed something, she would enter through the trap door.   We were told that a couple months ago, a lady came on the tour who was a grandchild of the "mammy"  The tour guide took her under the house to see where her grandmother lived.  She was quite touched.  Times were different then.  People did not think as we think today.
Another thing was in the dining room - long table with 10 - 15 chairs.  Hanging from the ceiling was a device.  A slave boy, say about 10 yrs old or so, would come to meals and use a rope to make the device swing back and forth creating a breeze for the eaters - and it helped keep the flies off the food.  As the child got old, they "let" him work in the fields instead of the dining room.  What a joy.
Downtown Natchitoches has a hardware store.  This store had been in continuous operaation since the late 1700s/early 1800s period.  The owners had plenty of merchandise to sell but had turned the place into a bit of a museum too.  It was a fun store to grapple through.  One of their big things were coolers of Cokes  (soft drinks) for sale.  It was a system where you put the money in a box and got your own coke - just like the good ole days.  The cokes were the small 6 oz type bottle drinks.  Sdaly, they were out of diet drinks.  I would suggest that everyone travel through this town  someday and plan to spend a day or two.
When we left, we headed north towards Shreveport and reentry into Texas.  Our last night was spent in the Tyler State Park just outside of ....where? ... guess .... T Y L E R.   It is a beautiful State Park.  I love it.  We've been there twice, and both times were impressive for a camper.  The next day was spent in Tyler  touring a downtown Mansion - free admission yet - and the city museum a few blocks away - also free.  The museum was housed in one of the old Carnegie Library buildings.  If you don't know anything about Carnegie  (think Steel), that is something you should learn.
My next entry - soon - will be another trip - this time to Mission Somthing State Park created by the CCC.

As I think of other things from the Louisiana trip, I'll make more entries.  Y'all be good now.


PRE=NUP BEFORE THIS IS PUBLISHED....I have been trying to write more, and something always gets in the way.  I wrote the following (uh, see below if confused) over a week - plus ago.  My intentions were good.  My efforts failed.   So here it is, as is.  If I don't get this done now, how will I ever catch up?   He asks?  Simple answer:  he won't.  So here is what I have at the moment.  I do have some better and longer stuff coming.
Date: a couple weeks ago

iT HAS BEEN A WEEK - OOPS - cAP bUTTON IS DOWN - there, now that is better.   We start again.  It has been a week plus since my last posting.  We have been busy in retirement - not out seeing dead people but active in retirement - if you get my drift.  This may take more than one blog space, thus the title #1.  You should read #1 before #2, if there is a #2.  #1 and #2 remind me of a joke from Junior High - probably should just let that humor fade away.  I believe it was General McArthur who said,  "Old  dirty jokes never die, they just fade away  (until the next crop of Junior High age boys)."
Off subject, but related to first paragraph:  I spent grades 6 through 12 in Levelland, Texas (good name for that town).  One might say I am a product of same.  6th grade was in South Elementary school, a low one story brick with a large un-grassed playground.   The boys would go off and play some sport type game and the girls would congregate on the south sidewalk where they played jacks.  I seem to remember them playing a lot of jacks.  Gave my hand a try at it a few times - when we weren't playing manly games - and I can fer sure say that I was terrible at jacks.  But enough of that.
Then I entered JHS a 2 building complex near downtown - formerly the JH and HS building, now just the JH bldg.   7th grade was housed in a one story bldg. with an auditorium of sorts.   9th was found in the old 2 or 3 story red brick.  The 8th grade floated between the two.  Once I made it into HS, I only had to take P.E. for one year.  In JH I can only remember one year of PE too.   Picture this if you can.  You are standing in the street facing north.  There is one city block in front of you.  This city block is equivalent to four or more regular city blocks.
On the far right, a vacant area for athletes to train.  To its left is the one story 7th grade bldg.  Next comes the 3 story 9th grade bldg followed by another big brick known as East Elementary.  Levelland had 3 elementary schools at that time:  East, South, and West (Brenda's Alma mater).  My mom was teaching in East.    To the left of East Elem was an old gym - one with the rounded roof, yellow brick, minimal equipment.  Out back were cement slabs holding basketball goals with no nets.  Before I continue with this stone:  Behind East and the 9th building were yellow dog buses.  This was the bus storage lot.  Behind but offset on the far left was a low wooden building holding the shop.  Most of us took at least one semester of shop - a different stone for later.
Across from the big empty athletic lot on the right, across the street that is, was a low wooden barracks of a building of lesser construction, wood floors, pillars in the middle holding up the roof...this was the band room.  I spent many a sorry hour in this band room.  Many times it was merely a place of "seek and destroy" rather than a refuge for the creation of beautiful music.  I should put JHS band down as a future stone.
In the 7th grade, we all took P.E.   The coach would go sit somewhere and we were on our own.  Some stayed inside, some straggled out back, nobody knows for sure where the others went.  We guys would venture out back and play horse.  As with jacks, basketball was not my forte.  I found that I could make free shots if I used what I call the granny stance throw...grasp ball near your knees and lob it forward and high.   I don't think I ever won a game of Horse.  Ever.
When we tired of Horse, we sat in the shade of the building and told jokes.  Most of these were hinting at dirty jokes - of which I understood only a portion - but I laughed dutifully with the others at the end of the recitative.  Day in, Day out, we told jokes sitting against the back of the gym on the bare earth.  New jokes were few and far between, so we told the same old jokes over and over laughing at the punch line each time.
The only joke I remember had to do with prisoners sitting alone in their cells.  A new prisoner was slammed into his private compartment.  As the days go by, he hears the other prisoners call out a number:  "#22."   Everyone would laugh heartily; then, silence.  Another prisoner:  "#14."  All would guffaw.  Over time the new prisoner learned that jokes had been told so often that the prisoners numbered them.   Someone would yell out a joke number - all would remember the joke and laugh - it saved time.  The new prisoner, wanting to fit in - if you can imagine that - decided to give it a try even though he didn't know any of the jokes.
"#5," he yelled out.   Complete silence.   He waited.   "#12," he shouted.  Silence again.  Another prisoner yells,  "#42."  Pandemonium breaks out.   Confused, the new prisoner asks an inmate in the next cell why his numbers met silence.   (NOW THE PUNCHLINE)   
"Some people can tell em; some people can't."
Yes, behind the gym on most afternoons, that one joke was told hundreds of times.  Each time we all laughed.  I never took the chance to tell it - I was afraid one of them would turn to me and say, "Some people can tell em; some people can't."  
Insecurity is a marvelous tool.
Moving on...
I forget the exact date - 2 weeks ago Sat. seems right.  The Spouse and I loaded the 5 dogs (the kids) into our motorhome and we set off to the east.  Our aim was Nachitoches, LA.  It took most of the day on smaller roads traveling cross Tejas, but we made it around 4 or 5...and only one tank of gas.  We were in Palestine, TX by 11-ish and ate at the King Buffet (oriental food).   Not bad and cheap - over-ate as usual.  If you care to get a map you can plot our travel from Palestine to Rusk and points east.  
Didja know there is a train that runs from Rusk to Palestine and back pretty much daily?  There is.  I think it is overpriced for a 30 minute one-way trip and the return.  But it is the Texas State Railroad run by the State Parks system.  They even have an RV Park - which we have never tried.   I do believe it would be a fun thing to do after I inherit my next Million.
Further and farther and further and farther we drove East.  Loblolly pines grew thicker and thicker as we journeyed east.  As a graduate from the land mass in the Panhandle, I never seem to tire of pine trees.   I drove.  We stopped and let the dogs have relief.  I drove.  Somewhere around 3 o4 4 our journey ended in Nachitoches at the Nak-a-tash RV park just off the interstate.  It was a very nice park with a very nice lady running the show.  If you rated parks by stars, this might be a 3 star park, maybe.  It had a nice area for walking the dogs, water, electricity and a sewer connection.  It was fine.
Nachitoches.  How is it pronounced?   Wellup, no Nach-i- toe - ches like it is spelled.  Not on your life.  Nak-a-tish.    We were in Nakatish not Nachitoches.   Gonna close this one right now.  More to follow.  Maybe today, y'never know.