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 problems...by 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 table....no 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,

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Jan 2

January 2nd of 2019 is winding down.  My dogs are in bed except Greta, of course, who is waiting to follow me into the bedroom.  We had rain all day.  It wasn't hard rain, just rain.  The rain gauge shows about 1 3/4 inches for today.  Miserably cold wind from the north raining down on my parade.  But, overall it was a pretty good day.  Pizza for lunch and left overs for supper.  What a way to go.

I have installed all of my 2019 calendars - the Daily Calendar of Dachshunds setting on my printer, the wall calendar of dachshund puppies hanging on the door, and the weekly desk calendar of dachshunds on the kitchen cabinet.  You can't have too many Doxies.

Mail was rotten today - lots of advertisements and special offers to avoid.   $10 for a yearly subscription to Saturday Evening Post.  Another $10 for a magazine about long ago - Americana.   I believe that I related how we went to the motorhome and winterized it over the weekend.  I thought you'd like to know that I have not heard from the EPA YET.

We didn't make it to town today...HEB will just have to wait to rake in our dough.  With the weather as it is and living in the wilderness, it is best that we stay home in this weather.  I did drive up and get the mail - Karma hit again - the "check engine" light is on.  I figure we'll take the car into the shop on Tuesday.  Why push it?

My wife showed me a text from the Navarro County people.  It was a list of - give or take - 20 different Farm to Market roads in our county which are under water.  US Hwy 287 has water over the southbound lane at one point.  We are taking in a lot of water.  It's wet out there.

I record stuff on my TV box.  Eventually, I get around to watching the programs.  Today I watched "Christmas at the Kranks" for the first time ever.  That show could make you nervous waiting for the next disaster.  But we kids watched it until the very end.  When it was over, I deleted it and returned to regular TV to catch the end of an episode of Last Man Standing.  Tim is in both shows.  So there.

Earlier we watched an episode of Monk where he is an assistant basketball coach.  He has a whistle which he blows and blows.  At this moment, my little Sadie popped her head up and started watching TV.  The whistle got to her.  I love to watch Monk.

see ya soon

1st day of 2019

Listening to the radio, I heard a commercial.  Before you hit me with a "duh" let me explain.  The announcer starts talking about some guy.  He gets up in the morning, brushes his teeth, eats, breakfast, drives to the station, takes a train to town  (actually I don't remember exactly what all the guy did that morning), went to work, ate lunch, took the train home - and so forth.  The point is that a description is given of the guys common everyday events - then he goes to bed unaware that an F5 tornado will strike his town that night.
What is implied is that he did all the common mundane things he always does not realizing that this was his last day to be alive.  I assumed the F5 tornado took him out.  When you get to my age (78) this type of thing hits home - to me.  I never know from one moment to another if it is the last moment - or (morbid thought) if it is the last moment of my wife, children, grandchildren.   It is just what it is.

One should live as if it is the last day.   Enjoy life.  Give up smoking - cut back on the drinking - drive a tad bit slower - what's the hurry? - enjoy foods that are good - play with the dog more - the list just continues.

I was loving on my Sadie tonight talking into her ear as if she could understand.  Sadie snuggles.  She puts that little furry head right under your chin and pushes  up to get closer and closer.  I stroke her and talk to her ear.  And I get a bit despondent...sad, if you will.   I wish I could go back to all of my other little critters and children and hold them again, talking into their ears as if they could understand my babbling.  I remember that "Jill" use to sit on the step of the den (converted garage) looking into the rest of the house just waiting for someone to talk to her. 

I could write this for another hour I believe.  Let's move on.
Today, January 1, 2019.    I was up around 9 - Greta was up about 9:35.  I took her to the dog pit for relief.  Sweet girl.  I watched the Rose Bowl parade marveling at the different enormous bands.  They are all so very good.  The band from Japan with its fine playing and cute little dance steps is a highlight for me.  Sometimes I believe I could watch bands 24-7.  Then, other times, not so much.  I really loved the parade today.

Lunch was our traditional Ham and Black-Eyed Peas.  Today we added BBQ sauce to the ham with sliced onions.  Good.  Yum.  3rd course was macaroni and cheese.  I have to limit how much I eat of certain foods, but when I get to enjoy them, I do.  

While my wife napped the afternoon away, I worked on my finances in order to put 2018 away and start the new year fresh.  I have a box ready for all 2018  receipts - IRS is looking over all of our shoulders.   

Not that any of you might really care, I have a method to help me with finances.   Several years ago I had some money problems.  I developed this method to keep me on the straight and narrow.  

First of all, I get a big spiral notebook from Walmart - each new year a different color.   The Walmart thing is not a part of the system; the notebook is.  2018 was bright orange (certainly not burnt orange) 2019 is bright Yellow.

I make an index at the front.  Then, each page of the book is dedicated to an existing account.  
Page 1 = Water Bill;  Page 2 = electric bill;  Page 3 = Propane company; Page 4 = AT&T - and so forth.  Each credit account is given a page whether I am using that credit account or not.  I have a page that list medical expenses - payments to any charity / church - Everything that I do which needs a paper trail.  One might have a page for House payments, another for house taxes due - I could go on with this for another few hours.

As I pay something, I notate it in the book...date, amount, check #, acct details.  This way I can check to make sure that all bills have been paid.  You might think this is overkill - and it is.  I even have a page which explains the kind of tires to buy for my Marauder....how the sprinkler system is set up....which rooms of my house have LED lights...yep, a bit obsessive.   

One thing I haven't got squared away is listing what medicines - shots the dogs need.  This bit of nonsense is really too much.  I don't understand the Vet's system.

Another reason I got into this is that at one time I worked at a place that paid me every other week.  You have to be organized to make sure everything gets paid in a timely manner and with which bi-weekly check.  I don't see how people survive that system without a plan - or even worse, what if you are paid weekly?  Gads, that would be a problem for me.

I remember that I use to pay my car insurance once every 6 months. Boy, did that not work out for me. We were teaching in Oklahoma and barely made it to the end of the month with any extra cash.  And, of course, at least one child got sick monthly.  It never failed.   Then, that dreaded insurance bill would arrive in the mail.  It was almost too much to handle.

That is what makes living fun.  Trials - can't spell Tribulations - Try-bu-lays-sions.  I got three pretty good kids out of the ranting and railing though ... so, let's move on to January 2nd and see what happens next in my future mundane happenings.  I do believe we may go to the grocery store tomorrow - always an adventure doing that.