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.