Sunday, March 3, 2019

Sunday plus

Sunday - 6 days after the last post - March 3rd.   March comes in like a Lion and leaves like a Lamb - so they say - and it is true today.  The cold front is almost here and the wind is howling - make that - "uh-howling" - water is spraying over my seawall (big waves).
       We spent part of yesterday trying to wrap my one plum tree with appropriate blankets.  Who knows why it decided to bloom last week.  But, it did.  We have 3 of those weather blankets (10 x 20) wrapping it.  I have tried tying it down - where there gaps in the cloth, I wasted my time by stapling those together this morning.  Still it bellows in the wind.
     Thus - a trip to Dollar General where I bought 2 packages of 50ft. rope.  I only used one to criss-cross over the top and try to hold the blankets down in the wind.  Just considering the $4 worth of rope, these are going to be expensive plums if they survive the next 3 days.
    Totally unrelated - why does the tab key work when I am using this program?   To make a paragraph, I have to "space" over 5 spaces.  No tab.  When I hit tab, the cursor goes away - I know not where - it just goes away - I guess maybe to Tab Heaven.
I did not go to church today.  I am so tired of the weather and getting out in it - I just hate the thought of dressing up, driving into town, and sitting in the choir today.   (of course - AND YOU DON'T need to mention it - I did drive into Dollar General).  Our church has a very nice Flute Choir.  Lots of the ladies played flute in their youth.  The church even bought a bass flute to round out the sound.  The group is directed by Rodney - nice group.  A couple of ladies from across town come over and play the performances - one of which I believe use to be a band director somewhere.  The flute choir is playing today for the service, so the actual singing band was doing no special music - just hymns - which, at times, can be pretty special .... but not a featured bit on the program.
Dressing up for church is another subject entirely.  I realize that many people are wearing jeans and cut-offs and flip-flops to church now-a-days.  That is not me.  I believe that church deserves a bit of respect.  Others can do what they want.  I don't fault them for that.  It is just not me.  And, yes, I agree that no deity judges you on your costume - probably.  It is just a touch of respect from me when I am losing much of my respect for the entire institution lately.
Speaking of church - and memories - we were speaking of them, yes?  We moved to Levelland when I was in the 6th grade - South elementary.  Brother Jimmy was in the 7th grade at Jr. High.   Nobody did middle schools back then. 
My father liked to read the Sunday Daily Oklahoman.  I enjoyed the comics.  On Sunday, we 3 boys would go to Sunday School and church ... Marshall had not gone away to college yet, a Senior at L.H.S. After a few Sundays of this, Jim & I tired of hearing the preacher preach.   All he did was tell us how bad we were and where we'd all end up eventually.  That's not true.  I never listened to his words back then.  He could have been praising Putin; I'd never know.  What 6th grade boy pays attention to a sermon?
Our Methodist church had a balcony.  That is where the teenagers all sat.  I remember the hymnals up there were old. Kids would go through the hymnal - select a page - write "Go to page #?" - then, they'd go to page #? and write "go to page #??" - this process would continue until the final "go to" page would have something written on -  not dirty - just something - like maybe a Kilroy picture - or something equally obnoxious.  Every one of the hymnals in the balcony had these written maps to stupidity.  As I said, the teenagers and elementary kids sat up there with no supervision at all.
After a period of time and when it was warmer, Marshall would go to church.  Jim & I would walk the 5 or 6 blocks to Upshaw drug store and buy the Daily Oklahoman.  I suppose we got some kind of a treat - other than missing the sermon.  Then, we'd walk back to the church and sit in the car and wait.  On one occasion, the car was locked.  So Jim & I sneaked into the back of the church and up the stairs to the balcony where we parked ourselves on the stairway waiting for it (the sermon) to end.  Marshall was embarrassed beyond words.  Only once did we climb the back stairs to wait.   Being the older brother to two "infants" was a trial for Marshall.
My cousin Earl just had a birthday.  His parents, my Uncle Jack and Aunt Doris, had 5 boys and one girl.  When they got the girl, they stopped having children.  Vickie was a twin with Victor.   Jack & Doris' oldest boy was Danny  (now known as Jack Jr.).  He was Jim's age.  Earl was their 2nd oldest;  he was my age.  and on down the list.  (Earl was known as Lee back then).  In case you haven't figured it yet, Danny's full name was Jack Daniel...Jr.

Well, Earl just had a birthday.  One of the things that has been bothering me is whether Earl is older than me.  We both graduated high school in 1958.  Using the premise that you have to be 6 to start first grade, that meant that Earl is either 9 months older than me - or 3 months younger.  
Follow this now. When I was 4, we were living in Dodge City, Kansas - a few blocks from boot hill.  My mom taught kindergarten.  There were half day classes for kindergarten kids.  Dodge City had an age cut-off date of November 1st for kids to start kindergarten.  My birthday was Nov. 4th (still is the 4th actually). My mom took Clorox and changed my birthday to Nov. 1st so I could start school early and she wouldn't have to hire a babysitter for me.  I still have this birth certificate with the changed date.  You can see the 4 under the yellowed splotch and black inked 1.
I went to kindergarten in one school in the morning.  Then, in the afternoon, I went to my mom's classroom for afternoon kindergarten.  Yes, I attended class for the full day and loved it.  Nobody said anything - we saved babysitter money - I got to do a lot of extra coloring - and I suppose I had a great time.  How did I get from the one school to the other school?  I don't know.  don't care.  never did care.  probably won't care in the future.  
So, I started school as a 4 year old.  I remember 2 things from then.  One is that I climbed stairs to get to my mom's classroom.  The other is that I got to pick out a rug for nap time.  I had a colorful one made of some type of hard yarn -  Once in a while I still see this same rug for sale in stores.  Rows of colorful yarn tied together to made a 2 x 3? ft area rug.  Sleeps one little kid.
Back to Earl.  His age bothered me.  Was I older?  Was Earl older?  How did we both graduate h.s. in 1958.  Sent him an email finally and asked.    I was born 11-4-1940 in Tecumseh, Okla.  He was born 2-24-1941.  This means I have been 78 for 3 months longer than Earl  I don't show it though.

Remember this was back in ....focus, remember what we are talking about here ....
Times were different back then.  We were just coming off the depression and W.W. II had been  raging.  My mom changed my birth certificate and everyone pretended not to notice the Clorox stain on my birth certificate.  Earl's family attended a small country school south of Yale, Oklahoma.  According to Earl, that school was having problems with enrollment numbers.  So, they let him start first grade as a 5 year old.  I'm sure Aunt Doris was happy to send him off for the day.   Earl was "ALL BOY."  You wouldn't see that type of manipulation today - I don't believe.

We both started a year early.  We both graduated h.s. a year early.  I studied music and taught school for years.   Earl eventually went to work in the oil fields, on oil rigs in the Gulf, worked on pipe lines, and became a very successful person in that world.  All these years, it has been my opinion that I suffered somewhat in school because I was younger than the others.  It may be true.  In some things it took me a while to mature properly.  It could be this is an excuse and I am still trying to mature in most areas.   Maybe I should find me another colorful rug and see if I can restart in kindergarten next fall.  Surely we would still get to take an afternoon nap.

Stop time.
I've put it off long enough.  I need to go send some money to to honor my wife's Uncle Bill.  (see previous bluggy)  Donkeys need love too.

In future editions, plan to see my unkind words about motorhome repair at Camping World -  loud noises in restaurants - loud noises in general - progress on the road up the hill - plum tree rescue results - Ash Wednesday - Methodism according to fruitcake(s)...

Monday, February 25, 2019

Monday, A.M.

Feb 25th, Monday or 2019
Busy past weekend.  The weather is getting a little better but the wind is still pushing it.

Friday night we attended our local little theater, known as the Warehouse Theater - look it up online if you want a bit more knowledge.  They presented Little House of Horrors.  It is an off Broadway story about a plant that wants to eat people.  Singing and dancing included.
They did a really good job - most performers had a good night.  Of course in my position as chief critic of the entire world, I had a few complaints - mostly centered around my poor hearing.  My hearing aids really amplify certain noises way too much.  The Hall is not big and the sound was too loud on several occasions - especially during the singing.  Since it was all Karaoke  (not a live band in sight), they should have been able to do something.   I do not like Karaoke on stage.
Let me repeat that:  I do not like Karaoke on stage.  They should use live musicians and not a tape player or whatever device they have created since I quit learning about recordings.  Each actor had a headset microphone to "project" the sound - Projection in this small hall should not be a problem unless, of course, you have the Karaoke music turned up too loud.
moving on.
Sat. nothing.  chilly but nice day.
Sunday - we drove to Frisco and attended the memorial service for my wife's uncle Bill Whitener.  He was married to her Aunt Ollie.  They lived up in McKinney.  We didn't know till we got there that they had an actual funeral on Friday over in Rowlett.  So, Sunday they had a memorial service at 12 Noon over in Frisco.  We made the memorial service but didn't get to see him buried.  All-In-All, I think we came out ahead on this deal.  The gentleman was in his mid-80s and by all accounts a pleasure to be around.

He was on the Republican side of the spectrum (with me and his wife).  We have a dislike of people who are trying to eliminate all things South - the Confederacy.  I don't think any of us are in favor of slavery or beating up people or even having a lynching or two - That's not it.  We resent the way they are attacking the south.
I went to Canton once and bought a new American flag for my pole outside.  It was in a package.  When I tore open the package at home, it was a Confederate flag.  Since I have no need to inflame  anyone, I put it in a drawer.  Maybe 2 or 3 years later I heard that Bill (see above) was a bit put-off by the flag controversies.  So, as a joke, I mailed by Confederate flag to him.   I understand he proudly flew it ( in his backyard ).  Later, he reciprocated by sending me a new American flag.  I used it until the wind made it die.

Also as a side bit of knowledge, instead of flowers they asked for donations to donkey rescue  (  I didn't even know donkeys needed to be rescued.  Interesting website though.  I can tell you those donkeys have it easy.   It seems to me that donkeys should be spelled donkies.  It'snot!
more later.
time to eat lunch
sauerkraut with frankfurters

Friday, February 22, 2019


Friday  a.m.

Everyone has a different opinion of what is fun.  Some opinions may overlap; but two people never agree on everything.      Do they?

My daughter Chr. is visiting right this moment.  Yesterday we went to the Dallas RV show - they have a different name for it.  SUPERSHOW!!!   It is quite a gathering of  motorhomes - travel trailers - bumper pulls and 5th wheels - and accessories.    I enjoy just walking through them.  Lately, I spend less time in the half million dollar homes.  They are really nice - fer sure.  I'll never own one.  You could get one and spend the rest of your life in it.  Big ole hunks of steel.
My daughter has been looking at travel trailers for some time.  Plans include her traveling more and seeing the world  - perhaps working in different towns for limited amounts of time while keeping her dogs happily with her.  Camping.  She loves camping out.   A travel trailer is not what some might think  of as camping - but it would be for me - see, different opinions of what is fun.
We have a 33 ft motorhome which goes out in the world at times.  It is big enough and sometimes too big enough.  But with the 3 dogs - it is the best way to travel. I could leave the dogs in a kennel and go on a cruise and fly to NEW YORK CITY ... but is that anyway to treat your fluffy children?  There was a young black lab at the show yesterday looking for a new home.   She was the most loving puppy.  I wish I could have brought her home with me.   You can't personally save every dog.
At lunchtime we at Taco Cabana near the RV show.  It still is one of the best fast food places.  It beats Taco Bell everyday.   (Aside:  once had a student who worked at a Taco Bell in Amarillo - clarinet player - tall, thin, nice kid.  We ( or I ) called her my Taco Belle.  Never could figure out if she appreciated the moniker.)
closing - things to do -m

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Tue Shelby's birthday

Rain rain go away.
Wind and rain
dogs want to go outside but none of us can stand it.
My wife's aunt's husband (uncle) died on Monday.  He was lower 90s.  I think he fell.  There will be a funeral on Sunday.  It looks like we won't be able to travel there.  Our preacher had a sermon on Sunday.  I can't remember what he talked about.  I'm wondering if anyone ever remembers the point of a sermon.  He did say one thing that I remember:  We all die.

I say, thanks for that.   When you are 20 or 30, that sentence is just a sentence.  At 78 - uncle dies - it has a different meaning.  But, I shan't dwell.
Today was granddaughter Shelby's 16th birthday.  She took her driver's test and passed.   Now, she has freedom & a car.  We called to wish the Happy Birthday thing.  On the phone it was hard to get her to talk...pulling teeth comes to mind.  Why izzat?

When I was a kid, we never ever ever talked to a grandparent on our birthdays.  Frankly, my parents never had us use a long distance phone.   It was considered too expensive.   My father was somewhat of a miser.  Once in a while he would do something NOT misery.  This was always a pleasant surprise and - if given a chance - I might remember every time.

I think I will go sit in the corner and eat worms.

Friday, February 15, 2019

Friday evening

The spouse & I went to Waxahachie on Valentine's Day to eat lunch at the Olive Garden.  Son Roger had given us a gift card Christmas.  It was the perfect time.  We both "love" the salad and bread sticks.  I cannot believe anyone could not love the salad and bread sticks.   She had a spaghetti with garden veggies and I had the chicken parmigiana.  Both were a delight.  The waiter was nice.
I might add that in some cases the tables are a bit too close.  We two sat at a table designed for four.  Less than a foot to the West was an elderly type couple sitting at another table designed for four.  As I started looking at the menu (they actually have 3 menus  including the one for chocolate and mixed drinks), as I started looking, the lady next to us started whomping on my table and talking to me about the menu not being the lunch I would know.  She apparently had some type of a menu on her smart phone - I think -
Twice she did this.  Twice.
I tried to explain that I  JUST didn't know.  I go to Olive Garden maybe every other year if it is handy and I want to go broke.
The nurse, I mean waitress, walked by after a few long moments - Do you want the explanation?
here it is.   On holidays and special days, Olive Garden doesn't use the lunch menu - everyone gets the full blown night menu - and prices...and portions.  They made money on Valentine's.
We have this chocolate and sugary problem around here.  I try to not give candy to my wife or flowers for that matter.  I don't understand jewelry or flowers.  I understand hamburgers and jerky.  The other stuff - not so much.  So this holiday, I gave her a Snickers Bar  and a bright red new tea kettle which whistles.  Now we can heat water for tea (maybe instant coffee).  It is a nice addition to the top of the stove.

Not much happened today.  Pretty day.  Wind has started to pick up tonight.
Laura dropped by to give some chocolates to my wife.  That was nice.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

another quickie same day

I am editing this -- The guy's name is Michael Strahan.  I looked it up on Google.                      No disrespect is meant.  I like the guy.  I think he funny and his grin is infectious.

I have been doing the ancestry thing.  I go online and look at my tree and the "hints" provided by Ancestry.  Some of these ancestry hints connect me to other people's trees.  From those I can claim their ancestors as mine.   The ancestry lines go together.
The problem is - spoil alert - I don't know what these other people did to prove the connections.  I have proved some of mine from great great grandparents - but I cannot truthfully say that everything on my tree is accurate.  I would hope it is; I just can't prove it yet.
Yesterday I was watching a recorded copy of the TV show about ancestry - public TV - "Who do you think you are?"  some title like that.   I can't remember his name - big tall (black) guy who use to be the co-host with Kelly Ripa - played NFL football (not Kelly played football, what's his name played ) when he smiles there is a big gap between his front teeth.  My brain is working as I type --- got it --- strahorn or something like that Michael Strayhorn - you know who I'm talking about.  I could go ask my wife, but that would be too easy.
After the Ancestry show took him back a few generations to slavery where records stop, his DNA was checked to see if more could be learned.  He is a rather lighter-colored black man.  They found a white guy and were able to show that the white guy was Strayhorn's (2nd?) great grandfather.  the connection I believe was made after the Civil War in east Texas when it was against the law for blacks and whites to marry.   Apparently this white guy was friendly  with the black lady.  Children were born.
Anyway, using this connection, they traced the white guy's lineage way back into Europe.  This guy was a direct descendant of Charlemagne, King of the Franks and Emperor of the West   born 742.  

The TV show creates an impressive ancestry chart for the celebrity.  As they flashed it on the screen, I froze the picture and took photos.   Later I went to my online tree and started looking.  I found an ancestor who was on Michael's tree - By using that info, I was - and am able - to show that my lineage also goes back to Charlemagne, King of the Franks and Emperor of the West,  born 742.

DISCLAIMER:  Until I am able to trace each individual on my tree back into time, I cannot swear that it is true.  But for right now, I am saying:
CHARLEMAGNE, KING OF THE FRANKS and EMPEROR OF THE WEST, Born 742 --- you are my grand daddy and Michael Strayhorn - you are my cousin (several times removed).  I wonder if he can get me a job on his TV show?  

Judy's Sunday School teacher always said:  "Never let a famous relative go to waste."
I'll be back.


warming up outside.  Wind is still blowing - little less now than before
Put orange tree and pineapple plants back outside
Bought some pork chops with BBQ rub on them - should be cooked on the grill outside.   We are trying to cook inside in the oven.   So far we lack perfection.
On the Band director's yellow board website - I posted advice for the Convention Newbee  (first year teacher attending the convention - they always worry about appropriate clothing - where to eat - what clinic to attend - all the stuff  that crosses your mind when you don't want to be embarrassed)   My advice to the Newbee:   "Always check your zipper before you leave your hotel room - XYZ!"

Been There - Haven't Always done that.

I enjoyed the yearly convention once I began to attend.  Lots of good learning opportunities and some great concerts.  Mainly good band concerts to attend.  The all-state groups always excel.  My favorite concerts were the high school honor bands.   Back when I had an orchestra, I would attend the honor Orchestra concerts -they were never as "thrilling" as the bands.
I always looked for a clinic by Dr. Tim  (tim Lautzenheiser  - better check spelling on that one).  He was a good positive, funny, the whole thing - good clinician no matter the subject matter.  
We are not going this year.  It gets to be quite expensive when you can't go on your school's nickel. We always stayed in the motorhome to cut costs for the school. - they never appreciated it.  I could have gone and stayed at a 5 Star hotel and never suffered a bad word from the bosses.
So few of the people at the convention know me.  I certainly don't know them.  The booths of freebees and other advertisers - they really don't want me to come by and steal candy and cookies - Save em for the paying customers who might use the product eventually.

new subj.  Phone just rang again.  This time the machine said that Navarro college was calling me.  Now, this is not true.  Nobody at the college wants to talk to me.  I bet if I had answered, someone would be wanting to help me reduce my interest rates - or perhaps they have a condo for sale in southern Florida.  My favorite is the guy wanting to extend my car's warranty.   
later, mtz

Monday, February 11, 2019

monday monday

feb 11th

Sat. we went with our daughter Laura and hubby Tom to west Ft. Worth and Seaquest.  They had a special price for the weekend.  I suppose we spent about 2 hours walking around that place - an aquarium really with limited critters to view - You could pet some sting rays and other things.  The big ole turtle was big and old - he loved lettuce.   I'd recommend that anyone visit.  It isn't the greatest aquarium in the world - but it was fun.  Even has a pirate...
It is still raining - not hard- just wetter and wetter and wetter.  I am so tired of wet weather and wet grass.  How do people live in Seattle?  We pulled our orange tree and pineapple plant inside before the last freeze.  I am sure they would like to go back outside in some sunshine.

Went to HEB this morning.  Normally we don't go on Mondays...did this time.  It was sorta crowded but not too bad.  The best thing was the lack of screaming and running children.  the old people still got in the way tough.
This week is the TMEA convention (TX music educ. asso.)   I use to enjoy going.  You can hear a lot of good bands - music - legitimate type stuff.  It is getting so I don't know anyone at TMEA..  It was interesting to sit and chat with old friends and other directors. Now, not as many of the old people are still going.  I know it is expensive for me to go for 4 days in San Antonio.  Just the eating out every meal can break you.  Of course, we always drove the motorhome and saved a lot of money with cheaper lodging and breakfast.  [ unless you want to count the cost of owning a motorhome ]

Our motorhome is in the shop.  I broke a door on it.  Hopefully it will be fixed soon.  It's only money.
Our farm to market road to town is being redone.  They are doing 2 miles at a time.  I believe there will be 6 or 8 miles done.  The road is rock now.  In the rain your car changes color to a light sloppy tan.  It will be a year before they are done and my car returns to being red.  I could wash the car - seems like a futile project to me.

rain rain go away
come again some other day
just not tomorrow.

Friday, February 8, 2019

Feb 8

Friday, Feb 8th-
Somewhat not a busy week.  
Cold outside.  Down in the low 30's or upper 20's ... not common for this area.  A band of sleet and snow rolled over us this evening, but nothing fell in our yard.  It is wet out there and cold.  I do not want to spend the night outdoors.
Across the lake from us is this area of grass? I think it is grass.  Often on a Friday or weekend night, you see car lights over there - and other lights - sometimes a bonfire - sometimes I hear music (well, really mostly I hear the bass line booming across the lake).  Usually this happens when it gets a bit warmer.  I figure it is a regular beach party or fishing party with food and beer and lots of noise. 
It is freezing out there right now and I see headlights of 2 different cars.  go figure.  Sometimes I wonder if this is really a marijuana field - harvest at night.  But, since it has frozen earlier, I cannot believe they are harvesting anything.  Nope, it is a drinking party.  Now, I wonder if it is just a bunch of teenagers who have found a place to be bad.

I could walk across the lake and see what is happening - some night.  Even being this cold, the lake won't freeze over.
On Wednesday the Vet called.  We picked up our Greta's ashes.  Now we are trying to find some type of Urn to help us keep all of our dog's ashes.  I don't know why we do this to ourselves.
Today is the 10th birthday of my twin boys Oscar and Bruno.  I think Oscar was a bit disappointed because it was so cold.  Who could play ball longer than 5 minutes?  I couldn't.  He could though.   Bruno has been okay since I have slipped him a couple extra cookies today.  Ten years old.  Dog years would be about 70 years old.   They don't act 70.
I interrupted my typing to have a snack.  Tonight it was a glass of tomato juice spiked with extra salt and Tabasco.  Two boiled eggs topped off the snack time.  Before I ate, I had to give the dogs  an animal cracker.  They like animal crackers, and they are cheap to buy.  
Now I am sitting and watching a CSI TV show while typing and drinking a big glass of Raspberry flavored ice tea.  Lipton's tea.  Raspberry tea after supper;  Peach tea in the afternoon;  and Lemon tea for meals and earlier morning.  In years past I always drank Nestea.  It tasted better to me.  Then, as with many things, my type of Nestea disappeared off the grocery shelves.    I try not to drink tea before 10 a.m. so nobody will think I am an addict.  

That's it
Happy Birthday to Fli --- and Oscar & Bruno!!!
tomorrow should be warmer.

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Groundhog Day

Today =- Sat.
On Thurs, we defrosted the "automatic defroster" freezer that we own.  I planned an hour and it took nearly 3.  I am guessing some type of drain hole is clogged because the ice is beginning to form again on the bottom shelf.  I hate to pay somebody to come out and clean out a hole just because I am too stupid to be able to locate the stupid hole.
We put a blanket in the bathtub, loaded the frozen food on the blanket, covered the food with two more blankets - that worked fine.   I couldn't tell that any of the food had defrosted.   The hair dryer worked the best for defrosting (along with help from a wide putty knife).  I even tried the leaf blower once to see if it worked better.  I think it did.  It shoved cold air out of the freezer cooling down the whole kitchen.  Somewhat noisy though.
I started this project because the ice maker froze up.  Of course that is what an ice maker is suppose to do...just differently.  
Now the freezer is freezing and ice maker is ice-ing.   For a while, all will be well.
We were going to daughter Laura's house today to say Happy Birthday.  Her's is on Tuesday but I figured she and hubby would be doing something special on that day.  Her husband Tom is really great when it comes to dreaming up different activities and celebrations.  They have fun together.

But apparently she and Tom are both sick.  They have a lot of minor sicknesses over there.   I think it is because they won't go see a doctor regularly.  This is the lesson for today.  If you have been coughing since November, something is wrong.  Find a doctor who can help you.  If he can't, change doctors.

I knew a band director that was coughing a bunch.  He didn't smoke.  Once I popped off at him about seeing a doctor.  He died a few months later from lung cancer.  He didn't smoke; he never smoked.  I felt guilty about popping off.  He was a really good high school band director and piano player.  Lung Cancer.  Go figure.
I shall close with this:   The car's check engine light has come back on.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019


Jan 29
slept late - no reason to roll out early.
Wind howled all night - the lake was a furry. 
Now I have a problem.  I think I just wrote Fur-ry  like an animal but I meant FURY.  I suppose spell check doesn't recognize that a lake shouldn't have fur,
Chairs and stuff were blown off the back porch - Dog blankets ended up against the south fence.  Fairly peaceful now except it is cold.
Question:  does Oscar still want to go out and play ball?
I put food in the bird feeders yesterday.  One of them had all the seeds blown out on the ground.  The squirrels have been focusing in on the grounded seeds.   Little Sadie won't let them eat in peace.  That dog loves to bark at squirrels.  In a past episode of this, I wrote about Sadie bringing a baby squirrel into the  house.  Fun Times.
It is almost 3.  Nothing good in the mail except the newspaper, and that would be up for debate. They are still working on the highway.  It is time for them to move on.
one of my joys of life:  I have a calendar setting on the printer.  It is a daily calendar with the rip-off sheets.  Dachshunds are on every page.  365 days of dachshunds.   Not really.  They put Sat. & Sun. on the same pages so we lose 52 pages of doxie photos.   Still, that is over 300 photos of dachshunds.  Today's picture is 4 long-hair doxies sitting and looking into the camera.  All four are different shapes, colors, heights - and probably personalities, eating habits, barking and digging preferences - you get the concept.

Now it is a trifle past 3 p.m.  I will go throw the ball for Oscar after I put on 14 layers of clothes.  That boy doesn't seem to get cold when there is a BALL!!!

How about a P.S. 
My dermatologist asked if a certain bump itched.  I said everything itches anymore.  He asked how often I bathed.  For a moment I thought that was rather rude.  But, I answered daily.   He told me to try every other day (unless I work and get hot and sweaty).  I told him that at my age I rarely get hot and sweaty anymore... Every other day.  Well, sure.  the more water in this climate, the skins dries out and ITCH settles in.  I've tried lotion with little positive results. 
There are two problems with lotion:
(1)  it smells like a girl or a baby.  I bought some "Corn Huskers Lotion" that I remember my father using.  That stuff has a manly title.  It stinks too.  Lotion that doesn't smell - do you suppose bacon grease would work.  At least then, the smell would have good memories.   
(2)  at my size and weight, how many bottles of lotion would be required in a week's time.    Perhaps I could get a really large tub and completely fill it with a lotion.  Then, dip myself in it much like you might use a bug dip on an animal - dip the dog to get rid of fleas.  There might be a potential business in this concept for someone with lots of money.   (Just don't ask me to invest)

Monday, January 28, 2019

Jan 28

Jan 28
fairly uneventful day - weather nicer in the morning - some front is coming through and the lake is starting to get up.
I had my yearly dermatologist appt. today.  This doctor has kids who go to Tech and is a real Tech person.  Pictures of Tech things all over his waiting room and so forth.   And truly he seems like a really nice guy - happy, joyful, smiles, gives good answers.
Results from today are that I am fine.  Go back in another year.  I do hate to go to a doctor and remove clothing.  I never was Adonis - even less so today
I played ball with Oscar three times today - never enough - He is ready to go again but that brisk wind keeps me more interested in watching TV.
speaking of that:  we have a process around here.  it happens every night.  No variety.
Dogs eat sometime between 4 and 5.
I eat near 6 - usually leftovers - what did we have for lunch yesterday?  That is supper tonight.  So green chile stew is up for tonight.  I like green chile stew.  My computer spell check thinks it should be green chili stew - but, that is not correct.  This is a pork stew with green chiles in it.  So, Mr. Spell Check,  you don't know everything!!!
After I eat, Bruno commences to bark one or two times in sequence.  He is sending me a message.  I get up and give them all some type of a doggie chew treat.  Actual hard Chew sticks come at Noon.  Supper treats are lesser, but - in Bruno's mind - still terrific.  The treat is gone;  I refill my tea glass and announce, "Let's go to the pit."  
Off we go to the dog pit  ( I've covered this previously ) We have an area about 20 x 15 with a 6+ high fence around it.  That is where we go at night to purge our systems - well, actually, W E  don't purge, the dogs do.  With bobcats, snakes, and other critters about, I prefer to keep them within arms length when it gets black & dark out back.   When they go to the pit, they know why we are there.
Sadie does her business and the two boys follow along to baptize whatever she left behind.   Bruno will then look for other appropriate spaces to water.

Okay, the pit is done.  Back inside we go.  I say, "Let's watch T V."   Sadie runs for the living room and climbs on the couch.  I sit beside her & help Bruno up.  Oscar either wants help or he will take the doggie stairs to the couch.

My wife and I share some program or two while the pups nap on the couch.  Eventually, Oscar will get down and lay on the hard floor in front of the couch.  Sadie will climb down the stairs and find a cushion.  Bruno has to jump off the couch to find a cushion.  Bruno is afraid to go up or down the stairs.  He just can't handle it.

We watch T V for a while and eventually I retire to the computer room followed by 3 faithful dogs.  Sadie does like to get back on the couch and sleep for a couple of hours. . . I love it when a dog rolls over and sleeps on its back.  Sadie loves back sleeping with her tiny legs sticking straight up.

Something that has been eating on me all day.  I heard two guys on the radio doing a pro-mo for their tomorrow radio show - early radio guys on 820 AM.    One of them starts talking and ends the sentence with "from you and I."    That usage of the King's English drives me insane.  Is it so hard to learn to say "from you and me?"    I'm sure I have some language things that drive others off the wall - well, tough.
enough for tonight.
almost have my taxes figured for 2018.  Waiting for a couple of forms to arrive.
Y'all take care.

Friday, January 25, 2019

25th day of January

Jan 25 - long, long, long week has just passed.
We have spent in excess of $2500 on dogs - I don't begrudge this spending because it was all necessary - well if you are a bit human and love your animal.
Bruno had 2 teeth removed.
Greta was discovered with an enlarged heart (heart murmur they call it)
Yesterday, Greta got up about 6 a.m. - went to the pit and did her necessaries supervised by the wife.  She walked around for a while - ate nothing - laid down in the middle of the kitchen floor and quit breathing.  We knew it was coming, just not the when.
My wife had a haircut in the morning.  I dropped her off at the place and took Greta to the vet to start the cremation process.  As of this moment, I have yet to have a "good cry" that she is gone - I know, I know, it isn't manly to have a good cry.  Maybe this is because I saw how much she was suffering with the enlarged heart and the wheezing and the cough  and the complete lack of appetite.

side note:  I would put a pill in the middle of a tiny bit of frankfurter.  Greta would take that piece and eat it right down - then, no more eat.  I would like to think she knew what was happening.  I would like to think this.  Please don't ruin my illusion.

Bruno returned to the vet this morning to have a gander at the stitches.  He got a good bill of health and can now go back on dry food.  I can tell you that he doesn't want to go back on dry food.  That canned dog food must be really tasty.  I know we ALL love the aroma.

We got the Flex back yesterday.  They installed a new camera in the back - actually, I would imagine that it was a camera module replacement.  It sorta works [ at least the camera picture is no longer upside down ]. 

I don't know anymore about this than I shall recite.  We were sent a text yesterday while we were in town that police were all over our area and to not open our doors to anyone in a white truck.  How do you spell Omminubuss?   Spel chec says "ominous."  
Or in the language of  the Hippy:   "Heavy Man, Heavy."   We decided to have a subway sandwich on the way home.  With that done we slowly motored the route.  On the way we met a couple of police cars and a big black machine that looked like an armored car - let's think SWAT team.

They are working on the main road to our housing development.  Workmen are everywhere including one at our HOA's main entrance.  I stopped and got our mail - then I walked over to the workguy and asked questions about the excitement that we missed.  He seemed to know most everything.   One of our neighborhood men went off the deep end - weapons - barricaded eventually - possible threat of suicide - I don't know which neighbor, but I have a pretty good idea.  Yes, this concept is scary. 

We had a home owners meeting this past weekend - with this guy in the room with all of us.  What if he had lost it at that time?  There might be a lot of black arm bands  and  houses for sale today.

I have heard nothing else.  I have asked nobody anything else.  Gossip is not my thing.  Not True:  I like some gossip.  I flagged down my neighbor (ex-policeman).   I found out that the neighbor only knew what I knew -  it seems he stopped and asked the workguy at the front like I did.   This guy could have made a fortune selling information.

The bonkers guy was taken to a hospital for observation.  I do hope that he recovers quickly and things improve for him.   I worked in a mental health hospital in Dallas for a few months several years ago.  It was quite an experience which I believe helped me to get my head screwed back on a little better.  

Band directors have a website run by a guy - they call it a Yellow Board.   This week, a first year teacher / band director wrote that he had just been informed that he would not be renewed for next year.  That means he will be fired at the end of the year.  His posting was depressing - full of sadness and sorrow.  How will he ever find another position if he is fired?   All is lost.  He even wrote something about this being the end and not being able to cope ... you get the picture.  I read it as leaning a bit towards suicidal.  Postings are anonymous so nobody knows who wrote it.

Immediately other directors responded with helpful ideas - see doctor - how to find new job - you want to get out of that toxic environment anyway -  etc.   I suggested he consider returning to school for another degree or even a change in his major.  New beginning.  Ended up trying to say that this is not the end of the world - just a set back.   I do hope this young band director gets it figured out properly.   

I did know a band director who was nervous with major problems coping.  He was in a terrible school - the band sounded like a train wreck - he had inherited this program (not his fault).  It made me so nervous just to be a positive person.   This guy eventually committed suicide.  Such a waste.  I've known two female directors who left their jobs in the 1st couple of months and were put in hospitals.  Nothing is worth going crazy over - find a new path - move on - there is always a better something out there.  I won't talk about the students I knew who did suicide or tried.  Young minds have a problem processing what should and shouldn't be.

I will pause now.  I'm sure this posting has been a real JOY to read.    We are down to 3 dogs:  Oscar, Bruno, & Sadie.  At our age, to add any more dogs would probably be foolish.  Oscar & Bruno (the twins) will be 10 in another month.  Sadie turned 3 last month.  If Sadie lives to be 13 (10 more years), my wife & I will be 88 years old.  If she makes it to 18 like Greta, we would be 93.  It makes you stop and think - or at the most,  JUST STOP.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Sat., 19th

this is a pot pouring blug:

1.    I was outside with my little dog Sadie, when - as I often do - I decided to call her by the wrong name:  "Shady.  C'mon Shady."  Sometimes I call her "Satan" and other times "Aady."  as in Lady without the L.  Sometimes I just call her to come eat.
I don't know why, but my brain thought of Addie -- Addie Meltabarger, clarinet Ardmore  and her little sister Brenda Meltabaarger.
I says, I wonder where the Meltabarger girls are now?  Married?  20 kids?  Brain surgeons?  
They were sweet girls - some students I remember as sweet - and others as rotten,  Then there were the Odell brothers - a different breed in itself...intelligent...they rode the horse of a different color.    I think of others off and on.  
 I received my Best Buy Credit Card Statement today.  I have not bought anything from Best Buy since (I think) June.  

This statement showed that I bought:  (I quote from statement):
Promotional Purchase    ......    $328.49
Apparently I got a good deal because I have 6 months, interest free to pay it off.
I only pay $27 per month required.  Of course, If it is not paid in 6 months, they will charge 27.49% interest from the date of purchase.
The only problem is that I did not make the original purchase.
I went online and looked to see what I bought.  There it was.
Nintendo - Switch 32 GB Console Gray Ivy - only $328.49.
Why would I buy a Nintendo Switch?  What is a Nintendo Switch?
Where did I buy it:  Store?  Online?  Telephone?
If it were bought mailorder, where did Best Buy mail it?  It never got here.
I have written them a letter.  It goes into the mail tomorrow morning.  This is just one more of those things
that I do not need right now in my life.  Would you?
In closing, do you know anyone who got a new Nintendo Switch on Dec. 13th?
Hey, it may have been Santa Claus stocking up for Christmas morning.

3.    Our homeowners organization had our yearly meeting this morning.  It droned on for about 3 hours.  I was fortunate to escape without being elected to an office.  If things calm down around here, I may try to get elected to something next year.    The meeting was highlighted by 3 men (not officers) no, make that 4 men, who kept talking and talking loudly so we reached no decisions, final decisions on anything.  Some people seem to talk just to hear their heads rattle.   
          Note:  this is totally not related to people who write on blogs just to hear their fingers type.
closing now.
 4.   almost.  got the Marauder back from the shop - no cost - check engine light quit burning in time to save me money.  Flex is still in the shop.  My loaner Explorer is getting dirty.
now, closing.


Friday, January 18, 2019

January 18th

Jan 18
some days it is easier to write.  My attitude at the time reflects what I do.
Yesterday (17th) Bruno had 2 teeth removed - molars.  He is on soft food for the next 7-10 days.  I can tell you that being on soft food is wonderful.  There is nothing better than soft food unless it is piece of meat which has fallen off the lunch table.  Doc said that he handled everything great.
While Bruno was doing his thing, my wife pointed out that little Greta was doing a funny cough.  It was a funny wheezy cough.  I recognized right away that it was not a passing thing.  I called the vet and we went in at 2:30 (got to take Bruno home when we left - he was happy to leave - still had the tail tucked under, but glad to leave).
Greta exam followed by tests - showed that her heart has doubled in size and water was on the right lung.  She is a 9 lb dog  so you can imagine the normal size of the heart is pretty small to begin with.  There is not much room in that little body for much else.
We have pills for her and a liquid.  One is to help her heart work better;  the other is to help drain the excess water off.  She is 18 + a couple of months.  The doctor doesn't give much hope for her heart to continue working for more than 3 to 6 months.  We'll see.  I will hate to lose something that has been part of my life for 18 years.  If she declines too much, we will have to take her back in.
I purposely made that "Stone" a bit short.  I could have droned on for several paragraphs.  It is painful to see anything suffer or be hurt.  We'll see how it goes.
Yesterday was my oldest brother's birth date.  He died several years ago from diabetes complications.  His daughter asked that we share stories (stones) about him and his doings.  Maybe I can come back to that when I am not quite as sad.
more tomorrow.
cold front coming in
temperatures said to be in the 20s.  That is cold for us.
gonna build a fire in the living room.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Jan 15th

Tuesday, Jan 15th - didja think I wasn't coming back again?
Since you last didn't read, things have happened.
As you may remember, the Marauder has gone to the shop.  We have not heard anything from Rusty about the car. This makes me think he is working on higher priority cars.  Setting the priority level is the rub.  My priority is ....  The city's priority for the police car he is repairing is .... Rusty's priority for maintaining business ....  I'll survive the wait, hopefully not much longer.  The Marauder misses me.
Lest we forget, the problem may be that Rusty has ordered parts from Brazil or Peru and they are traveling by slow boat from China.  For right now, no news is good news.  Reminds me of the joke about no Gnus is good Gnus.  That's all I remember of the joke.  You can find it on Google.
Sat. was fairly uneventful, just sitting and waiting and watching TV and eating and playing ball with Oscar.  My little Sadie has shown signs of being a ball girl.  She will chase a ball and bring it back to a  SET  location - she "sets" the location, not me - giving the ball back to the pitcher has not been been learned.  

Her favorite thing is lie in waiting until Oscar rolls the ball down the hill; then, out of the shadows, a black bomber swoops in to steal Oscar's ball.  I don't think she wants the ball at all.  She just wants to steal it from Oscar and listen to him fuss.  And, he does.  And I, the parent in charge, is now thrown into the middle of the conflict.

Do all dogs have different barks for different occasions?  Oscar has a protest bark and a different bark to tell me to hurry and "throw the ball!"  Bruno has a different bark for "EAT!!!!"  He does love suppertime.  Once had a Doxie named Mandy that had a different bark when she found a snake.  I knew when I heard that sound.  She had been bit once on the nose and refused to start another one on one fight.  I miss Mandy.
Sunday was church choir - they remembered to turn on the speakers in the choir loft -  a sermon -  a few hymns  - and home to eat fajitas.   These last several days have been cold.  Cold is described as cold to me.  It is nowhere near Alaskan cold or a New Hampshire freeze.  I hear it will drop in the 20 on this coming Sunday.  Now, that should be cold in anybody's language.
Today was much better.   No sunshine.  No wind.

On Monday we drove the Motorhome to Camping World in Tyler.  It has a blemish on the exterior wall caused by my carelessness and stupidity.  They have it and will fix it.  The service guy seemed confident that it would not be a problem.  I told him about the last disaster we had when an awning was ripped off in a sand storm near Plainview a couple years back.  

Trying to bond, I asked my Camping World service writer guy if he'd ever been in a west Texas sandstorm  (cause it was a bad one).  He said, "No.  I was in one in Kuwait and it was pretty bad."

I cringed inside.  He wins.   I told him that I was glad that I missed that one.  He was a nice young man.  He even smiled pretty big at my corny jokes.   Ate at Golden Corral, stopped at K&J's for a big drink, and home by dog's suppertime.  Because that time is important to Bruno.
Took Bruno and Oscar in for the checkups last Friday.   They have an ear problem of course.  Now we have Scheduled Bruno an appointment to have two back teeth removed. They are cracked in half.
If it ain't one thing, it's another.
I dropped the Flex off at the Ford House.  They gave me a new Explorer to drive until the Flex is ready.  This loaner has 1764 miles on it and smells really nice.  The window sticker shows $43,567  price.  For you, I will sell it for  $43,999.50.  What a deal.   Or, what a deal?

My son-in-law had a bottle of stuff fall off a shelf and hit his ear.  Next morning, some blood showing on the inside of ear.   Doctor visit.  It apparently broke his ear drum.  Medicine.  See if it heals in 2 weeks.  If not, go to Ear doctor.

I always say Karma at this point.  But, I really think it is "jes becuz"
more later,

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Jan 11

Friday, Jan 11th.
Had things to do today.  I awoke before 8 this morning; but, I was able to roll over and go back to sleep.  Knowing that I had to get "after" it, I pulled myself out by 8.  Ate breakfast and did all those early morning things we all do - or should do.
We had 2 reasons to go to town this morning:
1.  the Marauder has the "check engine" light burning.  I had checked the gas cap; not the problem.  Dropped the Merc off at Rusty's. about 9:20 or so.  Thinking that I would try to be friendly and continue our relationship  (I like Rusty) I started off trying to comment about him taking days off work.  He seems to work everyday in his own shop.  Instead of just replying to me, he began a different type of conversation...namely, he doesn't like days off .... and he really does like it when we have holidays.  Certain Monday holidays cause govt. agencies to become slow in paying his bills. One of his suggestions was that Thanksgiving be moved to the 4th Friday instead of the 4th Thursday.  And, perhaps, Christmas should always be on Monday - or Friday - or the weekend.
He seems to have a problem with holidays interfering with work.  This guy sounds like a high school band director.  We need to practice practice practice - we don't need no stinking holidays.  I'm looking forward to hearing what is wrong with the car - and how many millions I will be out.
2.  Oscar and Bruno need shots.   10 a.m. appointment.  Bruno came out at 30 lbs- Oscar 22 lbs.  Naturally when their ears were checked - yep - red - need medicine - Both of them - 6 to 8 drops of  ear drops once a day.  Have you ever held a squirming dog and tried to put 6 to 8 drops into an ear?
Here is a list of care for each dog:  Preventative care exam;  K9 Bordetella Oral; Lepto 4; Fecal Panel; Heartworm Test; Mometamax 15 gm; Nail Trim; Heartgard box ----
All of this for only $410.37.    Visa thanks you.

To make amends to the boys, I opened a can of dog food and mixed it with their dry food.  They do so love that mix.

Bruno has two - count em - two broken teeth - molars.- I see an operation in his near future.  I'm sure that will be cheap.  This brings me back to Karma.
If Karma be real - Me been bad boy somehow - but why punish my wife?  She's never a bad boy.
Whine.   That's my new middle name:   WHINE
see ya,


Wednesday, January 9, 2019

9th day

Well, here it is.  The ninth day of January.  I'm not sure what you are thinking; but, to me, this month is passing way too fast.  Six more days and it will be time to put flea medicine on the dogs again.  That can be a rewarding experience as my dogs look up into my eyes and say, "Oh thank you kind sir for dousing us with that tube of flea killer.  Where would we be without your assistance?"
Maybe they don't say it in that many words,  They want to say it.
Yesterday, I traveled to town and bought a new air filter for my furnace.  They cost near $35 because of their weird size.  20x25x4.5  Walmart has a 4 inch one for $28.  So I order mine from Gilfillan's True Value.  I've done it enough, the people there seem to know me when I walk in.  Go Figure.
I followed that with an HEB trip to buy 3 big sacks of dog food.  Dogs gotta eat.
Finally, a hair cut.  I was about 3-4 weeks late getting this done.
As I was having the ears lowered, in walks this tallish, skinny girl - not really a girl - say upper 20s or lower 30.  She is tattooed almost everywhere except the face.  The face has several rings placed appropriately for someone covered in tattoos.  The sides of her head have been clipped short with a puffy bit of hair on top - all solid black - really really black slick hair, if puffy can be slick.   She asked the barber a question (I could understand it cause my hearing aids are out) - he responds with a "Sure, c'mon in.  Have a seat."  
Almost immediately a guy comes in as well.  He is as equally skinny - normal hair tough.  Seemed like really nice folks and talkative.  The girl just jumps in talking and carrying on conversations.  They apparently have moved out to the Streetman side of lake and are new to the area.
She asked the barber something else which he muttered an answer.  Then, taking a breath, he says, "The second question people ask is 'where is the courthouse?'  followed by 'the post office'."  This must have been their first time to come to Corsicana.   As I finished up and was leaving, she was complaining how slow their golf cart was.  As I exited I pointed out how they could always walk.  Left.
Let's talk Karma.  The Flex (car) has a couple of problems - namely the check engine light has been on for over a week.  Also, the back up camera is flawed.  Sometimes the picture is right - sometimes it is upside down - sometimes I get a message to contact my dealer.  Went into the dealer on Tuesday-the service guy said they are behind and it would be a week before they could do it.  A week.  He said to give him a couple of days to see if they could get me a loaner car while the Flex was in the shop.   We drove the Flex home.
Tonight, I drove to choir practice in the Marauder.   About 2 miles from home, my check engine light flickered on.  I checked all the gauges.  Nothing.  Tomorrow we go to Rusty's to get it fixed.  Now, the kicker:  As my wife left church in the Flex tonight, its check engine light turned off on its own.  I didn't know they could do that.  So Karma fixed the Flex and broke the Marauder.  Sigh.
Tomorrow I plan to cook up some Jalapeno Poppers.  I do so love those.   I used to cut the top off, clean em out, fill with cheese, wrap in bacon.  They were gooood.  I have evolved into cutting the pepper in half, clean out each half with a grapefruit spoon, cover with cheese, wrap in a half piece bacon, cook at 400% for about an hour.  They are just as gooooooood.
over and out.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Sun., 6th

Jan 6 - sunday
Slept late - while preparing to eat breakfast my wife had a problem with her glasses.  The lens fell out.  I dug out my small screw drivers and tried to repair.  I just couldn't make the screw work in the side.   Finally, in despair, I agreed to take the glasses to a real repair person.

After a delightful lunch of Green Chile Stew - off we went to Walmart.  As my wife talked to the eye glass people I took the opportunity to check out Clearance Christmas items - 75% off.   Not much there for the taking.

The repair person said the screw was stripped.  She installed a very very tiny nut and bolt.  It is not too cool looking - most folks would never be able to see it. 

Played ball with the dog.   Little Sadie was walking around the yard looking up at the trees.  She was so wanting to see a squirrel.  It is hard to be a Barker if their is nothing to bark at.  She seemed happy just pacing under the trees looking skyward.  Alas. no squirrels.  Alas, no bark.   Tomorrow will be better.
From my fortune cookie yesterday at the Canton Chinese restaurant:
"Do not seek so much to find the answer as much as to understand the question better."'
BJs cookie:
"If you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thin, you're right"

Maybe tomorrow will bring more than a satisfying bark.

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Sat. Jan 5th

Short and sweet.
We went to First Monday Trade Days in Canton.  In the morning we walked through Dog Alley and looked at puppies and more puppies.  I wanted to buy all of the and bring them home.  My wife said no.  There were 3 different sets of puppies that were selling for only $200 each.  Most of these people price them at $500 to even more.
There was one big blond dog for free.  It seems that it will herd cattle and do other tricks; but, it likes to chase the ducks.  If you want a sweetheart big dog - with a laughing face - go to Canton tomorrow and find the Dachshund store lady.  Maybe it will still be there.
It takes us about 1 to 2 hours to see all the pups.  Then, we go to the Chinese restaurant for lunch.  The afternoon is spent walking around the rest of the trade days area.  Didn't buy a thing.  Saw some interesting products.  My feet are tired.

good night,

Friday, January 4, 2019

Jan 4

Jan. 4th.
Today was going-to-town day.  The rain has stopped;  The sun was bright and beautiful.  There was virtually no wind.   Temperature was in lower 60s.   Nice.
We went to town.  Busy town day:  paid water bill; went by ATT store to ask a question; Walmart to find some necessaries including a new light bulb for our freezer; ate lunch at CiCi's;  dropped by Gilfillan's to order a new filter for my furnace - why does my furnace take a special size (?); ended the outing at HEB where we purchase more food than we need - didn't say want - just need.   As I explained to the spouse, when you're 78, you should be able to have what you want - if it doesn't kill you too fast.
Home - played with dogs - ate leftovers for supper - watched TV - enjoyed a show about the "Wrecking Crew," a TV special about Los Angeles musicians.
The EPA still hasn't found me.  My car's check engine light is still lit.
Before I start this next bit - a little disclaimer.   I am not a Vegan.  I know people who are.  I don't care what they do about food.  It is none of my business.  I do know what I cannot imagine eating.  I am not trying to make fun of others.  If you read this correctly, you will see that I am making fun somewhat of myself and my eating preferences.  Try to see it that way.
Yesterday's newspaper brought a flyer from Aldi's.  One page was devoted to products by Earth Grown.  they called them burgers.  I believe these are foot patties which you thaw and cook up to make veggie burgers.  What got to me was the products in the different patties.   Each package was 10 oz in size.  Here we go.
Black Bean chipotle or Veggie Burger --- Flame Grilled Vegan Soy Protein burger --- Teriyaki or Sriracha Baked Tofu --- Mushroom risotto or Lentil Veggie Burger ---- Asian or Thai Veggie burger ---- Meatless jumbo Hot Dog or Italian Sausage --- buffalo or BBQ chickenless patties --- Chickenless Patties or Tenders --- Meatless Meatballs --- Beefless crumbles or chickenless strips ----- Spaghetti with meatless sauce or Quinoa mix with meatless strips ---- Vegan Mozzarella Style Shreds ---- 
I don't know what to say.  In jewelry we have faux diamonds.   Instead of meatless meatballs, why not just say faux meatballs?  Again, it doesn't hurt me.  It must make someone feel better.  Aldi must like it.  The company is known as Earth Grown - somehow that just me feel like they feel as if  they are saving the Earth.  Just guessing.  

As this blog goes on, more food will be discussed.  I am fairly sure it won't be Vegan.  There is  an old joke about the definition of A Vegan = Bad Hunter.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Jan 3rd - karma

Jan 3rd
Sprinkled / drizzle / mist most of the day.  Water has stopped now but yard is a soaked swamp.  Oscar wants to go out and play ball.  He has no concept of cold - wet - mud.  He doesn't care:  "Throw the ball!"
Mail was weak today. I received a notice from a magazine that I just subscribed to and have never received my first copy.  They think now is the time to suggest I re-up for an additional year at a $1 savings.  Wouldn't you think it would be better to wait until my first copy arrives?  They don't; then, they whine that so much of their budget is spent on notifications.  Also received a catalog from Woodwind Brasswind.  I do enjoy looking through music catalogs.
There was a show on TV several years back about a bad guy who was turning his life around because of his newly learned love of KARMA.  Good things happen to good people.  I've had my doubts about that premise over the years.  It never seems that things get better when I behave better.  Let me give you an example.  Is Karma chasing me?
About a month or so ago, before Thanksgiving, my wife and I made a motorhome trip.  On the last day of the trip I made a stupid mistake and the slideout hit a storage door on its way to being closed.  My stupid error.  The door was okay, but a piece of trim and hardware for the door were damaged.  I figure it will be $1,000 before that part of the motorhome is repaired properly.

We  got home and within a week I had the following the numbers.
1.  Motorhome storage door damaged.
2.  Motorhome trim piece damaged.
3.  Motorhome awning has quit retracting and must be retracted by hand while standing on a rickity chair or ladder with me.

The remainder are home problems:
4.  All of sudden there was water all over the floor of the master bath.  This room is on the north wall.  The sewer line picks up stuff there and exits the building with 8 foot.  Water was everywhere.  The toilet was overflowing.  Even when it was not flushed, water came out from under - where the toilet is attached to the floor.  Now I know there is a wax seal under there, but, apparently,  the water pressure was more than the seal could hold.
     My wife had washed clothes and this water was coming up from below.   The floor of the master closet had to be emptied, all was wet.   Rugs, boxes, you name it - all wet with slimy water.  I am sure you can imagine the mess.  It was everything you could imagine.   What to do?
The house is on a septic system.  The pipe goes out the north side of the house for about `10 feet then makes a sharp right down to the septic tanks about 20 ft or so.  In my mind I could see that the septic tanks had filled and were backing up into the house.  When something like this happens, you can see all possibilities.   I made a mistake.  I flushed the toilet in the other half of the house to see if it worked.  It did fine - well other than crud that was backing up into that bathtub.  All of the sewer lines were full.
I went outside and opened the clean-out cap.  I expected to have water pushing against the cap and a geyser created with crud all over me and the yard.  Nothing.  the pipe showed a tiny tiny bit of flowing water outside.  This meant that the problem had to be between me (the sewer cap) and the master toilet - a 10 - 15 foot piece of pipe 4" in diameter - FULL and waiting.

Years past, I purchase one of those drain snakes which was run with an electric drill.  I began the drilling.  Nothing.  5 feet in - 6 feet - nothing happened to the end of the 25 foot drain snake.  I slowly backed it out.  All of a sudden there was a whosh.  "Whosh" is a word in spite of my computer spell check saying it isn't.  Water and goop came flushing through the pipe as God had intended for it to do.  When the flow slowed, I ran the snake inside again and again.

I'm always afraid that tree roots will invade my pipes.  My machine did not pull out even one tiny twig.  There was something solid inside the pipe holding back all that water.  I don't know what it was.  It would be nice to know though.  The next day I purchased some stuff which goes into the drain to kill tree roots - ya never know for sure.   It cost around $25.  All of the wet stuff cost even more in an emotional toll.

5.  When I drove to town to get the root killer - my car put up a sign that the tire pressure was low on a tire.  I stopped, looked, and moved on.  Later I found the right front tire to be down to 15 lbs pressure.  An annoyance for sure.

6.  Next day I started to weed eat.  I have a good gas weed eater.  Today the starting rope grabbed the throttle wire dislodging it.  I have tried since then to reinstall the wire properly.  Someday I will have to pay someone to fix it.  The machine still runs; it still eats weeds; but gas control is a prob.

7. So I take the big lawn mower/tractor out to mow.  Not 10 minutes into the session, I hear a noise.  The belt has come off the blades.  Nothing mows.  This took me - a real handyman - a couple hours to reinstall.

8.  The door to the bathroom has started to swing.  If it is not shut properly, it swings wide open.  The door to the bedroom as shifted enough that the catch won't catch.   This allows Sadie to open the door whenever I am asleep.   Agreed this Karma is really 8 & 9.  Still just doors.

9.  Our church has a new choir director.  I was on the committee to select.  I think we chose the best one - she has a PhD in music - has done opera stuff on a college campus and other good things.  The Karma thing is that for some reason right at the very beginning of her career here, she set the choir up to go to both services.   I do not do well at 8 o'clock in the morning.  This is a bet of a stretch to be listed under bad Karma, because I believe she is the right person for this job.

10.  Before Thanksgiving, we had storms.  For 2 days our electricity went out.  One day was about 10 hours worth - it came back on  - next day off for several more hours.

11.  I had to go buy a battery for my tractor/mower.  Poof!!  no power.

12.  I wrote myself notes about the Karma so I wouldn't forget.   I went to Home Depot.  As I exited and piled a few items in the back of my Flex, a car drives up really slow and a window is lowered.  Two Spanish ladies in the front a a couple of kids in the back.  The driver starts in asking if I could help them buy gas so they could continue their trip - some type of disaster back home.  These ladies spoke good English.
       When I didn't respond, the driver lady pulled a ring off her finger - flashy ring - and started telling me how it was a heirloom and she'd let me have it if only I could give them $10.   At this exact moment I noticed the other lady slip a flashy ring off her finger and hide it under her dress.  What a con.  The little kids were watching from the back seat.  What a lesson they were learning.  I told them "no"  and got into my car.   They drove slowly away - I am sure they were looking for another old guy to fleece.

13.  To end this, November rolled around.  We went to Canton to see the flea market.   I was wearing my floppy hat and looking at puppies.   A young boy - say 4th grade area - walked up to me and said, "Are you my Uncle Jake?"  What?  I looked at him as he asked again.  He told me that his Uncle Jake wore a hat like mine and had taken him on a trip through New Mexico.  Was I his Uncle Jake?
      Quickly, I looked for the hidden cameras.  Everything seemed normal.  I told him that I was not his Uncle Jake.  We had a couple more words and he walked off to be with family.   Nobody looked over and broke into laughter.  Me thinks it was a legit question by a legit young boy.
With that Karma and I close.
Dogs are fed;  night is nigh; leftovers await my tongue; nighttime TV to watch; and video games to be played.  See ya,