Monday, August 31, 2020


 Yesterday, my sensitivities were offended.  

My "Fancy-Dancy" electric smoker has died.  It has gone to see the great smoker in the sky.  Yes, a new smoker will be purchased - eventually.  On occasion I still would like some pork ribs.  I do love beef ribs as well.  As a matter of fact smoked brisket and chicken and ham and turkey and onions are fine as well.  We have never had smoked rabbit, squirrel, or giraffe.  

Yesterday, we baked pork ribs in the oven  I coated them with some goop, and let them set in the frig over night.  The ribs were put in the oven for 2 plus hours at about 275 degrees.   The broiler was turned on and the ribs soaked up that fire for another 7 minutes.  BBQ sauce was on the side.

I found that my sensitivities were offended when I discovered that we had no parsley.   I watch TV.  I see cooking shows.  I hear them talk.  They always have parsley somewhere even if they merely cache it under their arm pits.  But, we had no parsley.  None.  I discussed this with my wife.  We got serious.  She accurately pointed out that during our 58 years of marriage, we have never served parsley - ever.  So, no parsley.   I cut the ends off a green onion and sprinkled it among the smoking ribs.  I had to do something.  No Parsley. 

                                           -*-                   _*_                     -*-

To be frank (or Joe or Pete), our old "Fancy-Dancy" smoker had problems.  Plugged in on the back porch under my supervisory eye, that smoker would blow the house breaker every time.  I replaced the electric socket twice.  Didn't help.  I learned to plug the machine into a wall socket inside the house.  There is one just inside the back door which was within easy reach of the smoker.  This worked fine.   Well, it worked fine until the machine gave off that one enormous bright light and ceased to heat.  It was much like the fourth of July.

I searched high and low (and on the internet) for a replacement heating unit.  Miine seemed to be a special size.   All I got from the manufacturer was, "We cannot find this model number in our system.  It has been discontinued."  I jumped on that bandwagon and discontinued it from our back porch.  All Gone.  No More.   Need New One.

My next door neighbor was talking about how he wants a new pellet smoker.  Pellet Smoker.  You put pre-processed pellets into the bin and smoke away.  I cannot see how this is better than actual wood chips of different types of trees.   I would love to hear opinions from most anyone.  (It would seem that a vegetarian's opinion might not carry as much weight, even though I have seen some excellent smoked veggies in my lifetime.)

I wait.  No smoker.  No parsley.  

Say hello to somebody for me.  anybody.   well, most anybody.

Mtz, sweating on the back porch.

(Again, I would give credit to the photographer - if only I knew same's name.  This guy is sharp.  I bet he lives in Edwards County.  I betcha his wife lets him sit on his back proch and smoke big cigars and drink regular beer - or Coke, of course.)

Saturday, August 29, 2020

books + adventure update

 Adventure update:  we ate at CiCi's pizza yesterday.  Eating out is just not as fun as it use to be - pre mask and paranoia.    And -- speaking of my new red socks - not one person, zero, ziltz person came up to me and said, "I love your new red socks."   It is as if nobody noticed.  Nobody.  I started to wear them to bed last night, but that seemed somewhat fruitless.  Instead they went into the dirty clothes hamper.  Sad.

I got two new books this past week.  

This morning I finished reading Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson - unabridged version.  I enjoyed the book - well written narrative.  Sure it was written during the early 1900s.  Some language was not 2020 contemporary - it showed that Stevenson understood the different parts of a sailing ship of that era.  The story was fine, easily read.  I'm looking for Kidnapped to read in the future assuming it can be found on the cheap.

My other book is The complete Father Brown Stories by G.K. Chesterton.  A paperback with really small print, it is over an inch thick.   I believe there are 53 different short stories in this book of 797 pages.  This should keep me busy for a while.  The small print should tax my patience to some degree (or I may go blind).

PBS shows a British mystery series called "Father Brown."  He is a lovable small town priest who solves murders with the help of his friends.  There is a local police boss that is always a jerk.  It is set around the time of WWII.   The book on the other hand was written starting in the early 1900s  through part of WWI.  So, you can see that we have a discrepancy in the time line between the book and the TV series.  I understand the TV uses some of the short story plots updated.  We shall see.

I have finished the first short story:  The Blue Cross   which includes Father Brown, Valentin, and Flambeau.  Those who have watched the TV series may recognize the names.

As I awaited for my books to arrive, I decided to re-read my book:  The Far Side Gallery by Gary Larson.  Lawson is a bit of a liberal, but his cartoons can be fun.  I would bet many of our younger readers have never read the Far Side cartoons.

Thanks for reading.  Send me your friends.  I want to be relevant (just to myself actually).


Friday, August 28, 2020

Adventure Day

Today has been designated as "An Adventure Day."

Already, I have had 3 adventures.

1.  I am wearing red socks.   The diabetic problem.  It is difficult to find socks which don't mess up your legs with lines.  I buy mine on Amazon after much reading and deliberation.  Last week I ordered 9 pair: 3 from one company and 6 from another - in packets.  In the 3 was to be a black pair with specks of red.  It arrived and was red with specks of black.  

    My  wife asked if I were going to wear those red socks.  So, today, I am red sock bound.

2.  The trash men came about 9:15.  The dogs lost it.  When the dogs lose it, one cannot talk or even think.   Our trash men come twice a week:  Monday and Friday.  For this service I pay $30 a month.  That is a bargain in my opinion.  They'll cart away pretty much anything I put out there - no leaves or branches - stuff like that.  I can burn those when we don't have a burn ban.  

    Our trash guys drive an old pick up truck of many colors.  The front fenders are two different colors; the bed a different color; the hood another; the right door brightens the world.  They pull a 4 wheel,  really tall trailer.  A driver drives.  A passenger climbs out at each stop and throws sacks of trash over the top of the trailer.  And, my children bark and bark their indignation.   We have have expectations apparently.

I do love "spell check."   I do hate "spell check."  This is the perfect example of a love-hate relationship.  At least on the computer my checker does not automatically change the spelling as My Android does.  Still it can be quite annoying when it nags my lack of correctfullness.  That is a word which I purposely misspelled to see the results.   It gave me 5 quick choices:  correctness, correct fullness, correct-fullness, neglectfulness, and, of course, respectfulness.  

Adventure #3:  Water Sprinkler.  My sprinkler is set for Thursday and Sunday - when we do water rationing, those are my two days.  But, wait, we just had a hurricane hit southeast Texas.  All week the weathermen have been show water dousing our yard.  Hurricane Laura decided to move a bit east of here.  We had a sprinkle on Wednesday night - it was not Laura.  Today, I am watering the yard - manually, if you will.  This means that I go to the controller and set the machine to run each area for "X" number of minutes.  When it quits, I set another area to run.   I have 10 areas.  So far  I have water areas 1, 2, 3, 4, 9, and 10.  5,6,7,& 8 are yet to run.  That is an adventure when you have retired to being worthless.

Adventure #4:  We are going to the grocery store HEB in a few minutes.  While we are out, we may get a bit to eat somewhere. That is always an adventure.  I LOATHE drive-in windows.  I never can understand the little guy at the speaker;  he must not be able to understand me.  Then there is the exchange of money and packages at the next window followed by the surprises as you look into the sack.  What did you order?  What did you get?  I LOATHE drive-in windows.

My wife just had Adventure #4.  I don't have my hearing aids in.  I am really getting hard-of-hearing.  She asked if I heard the airplanes fly over.  I didn't.  She described a covey of planes buzzing our house, LOUD.  I was oblivious.  Just a couple miles south of here is the Corsicana airport.  Housed there are some of the Confederate Air Force planes - WWII models.  They fly them at times.  They changed the name.  It is no longer the Confederate Group.  I believe they are now the Commemorative AF.  Using Confederate was funny.  Now it is just an interesting group.

#5  I am going into the shower.  I never can predict how that turns out.

more adventures soon.  I shall not proff red this before publishing.

Monday, August 24, 2020

Whine + books

Let's get the whine over with.  Ending that sentence with a preposition was not classy.  Let's over with the whine get.   There, that's better.   I always feel so much better after I craft a beautifully constructed sintince.  Don't you?

Whine:  I love writing paragraphs and attempting to connect two thoughts.  Having so few daily, blog readers make me think I could write the same paragraphs on a small Big Chief tablet with as much satisfaction.  Sure, in an effort to attract more readers, I could make the blog better reading.  I could.  

What happens after I am gone and the website goes unpaid?  Simple.  Delete.  No memory of my ramblings exist.  What is the answer?  Perhaps if I did scribble inside a Big Chief tablet, it might remain hidden for 75 years to be discovered by my great great great grandchildren who would publish the tablet - declaring me another Michener or Sir Conan Doyle or even that little girl who hid in an attic writing her diary during the Nazi occupation.  They could make a musical about my Big Chief.

2nd solution:  I could print all additions and keep them in a loose leaf notebook.  Then (of course using acid free paper) they would survive until 2120   to be marveled at by brain dead liberals.

3rd solution:  I'll get all down, unloved, and quit writing again.  Saves ink.


Today's Non-Whine subject is books.   I have been trying to read books for about two years and a half now.  At first I began with Louis L'Amour leatherette books, The Sackets Series.  This is a series going back to 16-1700 in England tracing their arrival in America.  Eventually, the Sackets go west (young man).  I would guess I own about 30 to 40 Louis L'Amour books about various subjects, mostly the old west.  Easy reading.  Mindless to some degree.  L'Amour was prolific.  There are so many book reviewers out there who recite in glorious tones about books they have read - I'm not one of those. 

During last Christmas' grabbag gift giving time, daughter Christine had put in a Robert Jordan book about the Wheels of Time.  Nobody wanted it.  I volunteered trading a piece of slimy candy, or perhaps it was a greasy pencil, to a Grandgirl for the Book.   I worked my way through its myriad reams of paper.  Somewhere in the 1st third of the book, I became aware that Robert Jordan had written this as Book One of the series.  Each year, he would publish the next in the series.  Before he finished the entire series, he died.  Another young man took up the task of finishing.  More books followed until the bad guy was cremated and our hero rode away in the sunset  - this is merely a phrase - not a spoiler alert - what happens in the very last book is for you to read and suffer.  I'm not tellin'.

Fourteen books are in the series thanks to the help of young Brandon Sanderson.  I'd betcha, he could have stretched this material to another 4 or 5 books.  These are big books, 600-800 pages in length.  If you like that kind of sword play, horses, and mysterious happenings, this could be a series for you.  I own all 14 books plus a prequel written - as you might guess - in the time before Book One.  There is not enough shelf space in my computer room for all these books plus Louis L'Amour.  What to do?

I struggle to find more stuff to read.  I am tiring of the Louis L'Amour style.  I started a book named The Mustangs by J Frank Dobie.  It was not for me.   My wife gave me my first Stephen King book, The Outsider.   While it was a fun read and worth the time, frankly, I don't like that type of eerie happenings.  If you have no answer, you cue the strange music - turn down the lights - let a worm loose and - He's Back!!  

I did finish off two James Michener books:  Mexico, a book of history and bullfights,  and Recessional, a book about nursing homes and dying.  Recessional had some highs and lows.  Then came Zeke and Ned by Larry McMurtry, the author of Lonesome Dove.  It's a story of 2 Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma before becoming a State.  The list goes on.  I hate paying big bucks for books - Hate it.  


I started this whole BLUGGY to tell you Civil War Buffs, and I know you are out there, our local Jr College, Navarro College in Corsicana has a museum.  This museum has a collection of letters written by people during the Civil war; there are 4 volumes.   Each volume basically takes care of one year / part of the war.

This may look a bit like an advertisement. Civil War Buffs will love these paperback books which are 11 x 8.5 x 1 inch.  Each letter in the book is typewritten.  Someone else has already struggle with the war- torn handwriting.  Vol. 1 is 265 pages long PLUS an appendix of names and descriptions     and    an Index of names from the letters.   It is well-document and notated.  I believe you will love the 4 books.  I have.

The War * Day by Day   from the collection of the Pearce Museum, Navarro College Foundation. 75110


with that I close.  Tomorrow:   another snake on my back of the downers of living beside a lake.

Luv ya,   Mtz

Friday, August 21, 2020

Phone Spam

 Just had our 3rd phone call of the day from who knows who.  We get them all day.  Usually, there is a phone call about 10 a.m. followed by a noon call.  Finally, 3 p.m. brings the third call.  Sometimes we get two more - about 6  and around 8 p.m.

All calls are either: 1-888 numbers, Wireless caller,  toll free call,  unknown name, Corsicana mattress factory, and my favorite Unavailable.  Sprinkled liberally are names of cities and towns from all over the world:  St. Louis, Victoria, Dallas, Buchanan Dam, Wichita Falls, Mobile - ah, they come fast and furious.  

Finally, unrecognizable names of individuals darken our phone's window.  We've never heard of these people, probably never want to.  Most of the names are not good ole American names like John, Joe, Pete, William, Mary Lou ..... most are strange names like Fredri or Jimm or Pate.  One of my all time favorite calls came from XXXXXXXXXX, TX.   You may not recognize that number - it is a little porn store out on the highway.

I use to never answer any call - I'd look at the phone and leave it nestled on the cradle.  Our phone has taken on a strange ring - it will ring 3 times and shut down.  If we are nowhere near the phone, we never make it on time.  If someone has left a previous message - un-erased - the phone rings once and goes to call messaging.  Sad, but true.

One day a month or so back, I picked up the phone and answered, "Hallow."  I tried to make it sound like a computer answering the phone - in my best imitation  -  Allow or Hallow or Howdy. After answering I sit and wait.   I have found that my answering skills seem to be answered by silence.  No noise.  Then, after 5 to 10 seconds, the phone clicks as they hang up.

Think of the best computer voice you can create.  Say one word, "HELL-ooowww."  No noise, silence.  Once when there was no answer or click, I repeated myself.  With that I followed with,    "It's your turn -  hey,  your nickel; you called me first."   There was sputtering then silence and the click - no message ever,  

The only problem with this method - sometimes a real person calls to talk to us.  Then, I apologize and explain what I am doing.  One lady said she thought I was a computer generated  machine.  Score!

and so we go - 

Nuff for now.  Oscar is calling me to the ball playing field.  It is time to go.


Thursday, August 20, 2020

school starts


I'd give credit to the artists above, if I knew who they were.

They are above average.


Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Wed. my typical day

It has been a typical non-typical day.  Up around 8 a.m, I am greeted outside the bedroom door by little Sadie burying her head in my ankles with her tail whipping back and forth at a hundred miles an hour.  Around the corner, Bruno, hearing the bedroom door open, begins his talking to me - "Daddy, Daddy, come in here and pet me - I'd come to you; but, I'm too lazy to get off this dog bed."  Naturally, I hurry into the kitchen where I am greeted by Oscar with a pink ball in his mouth waiting for me join in the ball fun.  I am Oscar's favorite toy.  Yes, a typical morning heading to the breakfast table.

I've mentioned this before - I am a diabetic.  My blood sugar numbers seems to be somewhat under control - a lot better than when I was first diagnosed back in 2008.  My very first blood test was somewhere near 300.  That's not good.  Trust me on that.  

Some diabetics check blood sugar several times a day.  This is to keep them from having "lows" and, I suppose, "highs."   In my case I check my blood numbers before breakfast once a week.  This gives me general handle on things.  As long as it stays fairly low, compared to the old 300+, then, I am doing okay according to my various doctors over the past 12 years.  Personally, I think a couple of them have had the philosophy that:  "he's old - he's had a good life - we'll just try to keep his head from exploding."

Thus, my head hasn't exploded yet.   This morning I had a number of 161.  I think that is too high, but doctors don't seem to worried.  Last week was 157; the previous Wednesday was 180.  I am edging down.  The point is - typical Wednesday - check blood numbers and eat breakfast.  

Today, we had decided that we needed to make a Walmart trip, the first in a couple of weeks.  9 volt batteries (fire alarms in the house need batteries changed soon), hamburger buns, wife need a vitamin bottle, me a new tube of Crest, and a pepper mill.  I love my pepper and salt mills. When I grind my own pepper, I don't sneeze - if I use store bought pepper, I am blowing my nose for 30 minutes between sneezes.   My old pepper mill fell apart on Sunday; several parts fell into my gravy.  There is very little worse than a pepper mill floating in your gravy.   I know.  I've seen it happen.  Ugly.

I have a procedure before I leave the house to go to town.  (1) The dogs are put away, getting a tasty treat for their cooperation.  (2) Next, I turn off the house air conditioner.  Why run the air full blast if nobody is here to enjoy - cost money.  I figure a few years back that I saved $3.00 for every day it was off.  Surely, the prices have increased by now.   

(3) Finally, I turn off the ice maker in the Frig.  Twice before, when the ice thingy was filling up with fresh water, the valve failed to turn off.  We had water all over our frozen food and gushing across the floor into the utility room.  Mopping up the floor water was not the worse thing.  We had to empty the freezer and dry off every bit of food - wipe down the sides - sponge out the bottom of the freezer - and try to dry the ice { yes, the ice container was water logged too }.  Do you know what happens to a container of ice if it is watered down inside a freezer?  You get a block of ice that only a hammer can dislodge.  One learns things as one gets older.

Dogs out; air off; ice maker shut down; house alarm set; all doors and windows locked --  we headed for town about 10:30.  The first stop was Atwoods.  If you have an Atwoods near you, go inside and find the pickles.   There are some excellent Spicy Sweet Garlic Dill Pickles in that store. Thick and Tasty ... also, Sweet Garlic Pickles are on the shelf too.  I have to say these might be the best pickles around town.  They are over-priced - and excellent.

Finally to Walmart where I top off the gas tank.  Proverb:  Always keep the top half of your gas tank filled when gas prices are going up.  The reverse is true.  Always keep the bottom half of your gas tank filled when gas prices are going down.  It makes financial sense.  Gas tank filled - Walmart items purchase - it is lunch time.

With this flu virus we have not eaten out much since January.  Today we decided to try the CICI pizza buffet to see how it was handled since reopening.  Little girls behind the counter wearing black masks dealt out food to our plates.  Cici's hasn't changed  much.  They have fewer food choices.  There were fewer pizzas to choose from which to choose from to pick from - choose which from to  That was a good sentence.

It was as tasty as Cici's is.  I did notice people washing hands behind the counter frequently.  However, I did not notice anyone attempting to clean the tables.  They want you to thrown your own trash away.  We did.  Still, there was nobody walking around spraying the tables while we ate.  I did notice the boss/owner was not on the premises today while we were there.  Coincident? 

I have a question which needs no answer.  There was a carnival set-up on the vacant parking lot next to CiCis.  How do the carnival people maintain this 6 foot thing with masks and all?  Do they have Porta Potties for the customers?  and hand washing stations?  Some of the rides whirl and twirl with screaming teens - spit flying about indiscriminately - does that spread virus particles evenly into the atmosphere?  does it send your spit into the trailing cart?

My 2nd question.  I am not sure school has started everywhere in this (Navarro) County.  There were billions of kids running all over Walmart today, chasing and yelling - many dutifully struggling after their mothers down this aisle and that aisle.   It is amazing that we are all not lying in a bed gasping for air.  Just noticed, I didn't ask a question.  Make up your own question.

We were home by 1:30, mail in hand.  I received 3 letters today.  All three were requests by politicians for money.  One included a survey to be answered.  As strongly as I feel about politics, I should send money to some candidate.  But, would the money be better served if I sent it the Methodist Childrens Home in Waco?  Still, if the socialist / communist / marxist take over the nation, will that be better?

See ya guys later.


p.s. This afternoon, standing in the backyard throwing the ball to Oscar, I looked up as a deer ran up beside my house outside the fence, heading back into the thicket.  We don't see many deer; but, they are here.  Sorta nice.

Sunday, August 16, 2020

What's on your Refrigerator

This seems to be a good subject for everyone to share.  If you don't mind, under the comment section, tell us what you have "pinned"  to your refrigerator.  I'd betcha we could almost guess what is there depending upon your age.  Gonna try this one with just black print - what do you think?

That Refrig is a fabulous piece of equipment.  It "just" sets there chuggin' away 24 hours a day pullin' the heat out of food and distributing it in your kitchen.  The freezer section gives you Bricks of meat and veggies and, more importantly, ice cream, laying in wait to quiet some future hunger spasm.  Our refrigerator was purchased new from Sears in May of 2008.  Other than a couple of minor problems (ice maker mostly), it has been a jewel.  

In my mind there is a problem with the water filter.  About $50 is the cost to replace the filter about twice a year.  On Amazon I found replacement filters made by some China person which were below half price.  Those were snatched up - 3 in a package.  I should have read the comment section.  It seems these Chinese filters are a tiny millimeter smaller than the original equipment.  The filter works fine; but when it comes time to change it, I have to get channel locks to grip the fool thing.  You get what you pay for.

Now, since we are grandparents, what is on our refrigerator?  Try to guess.  (pause) (pause)

How did you do with the guessing?  While you sitting there pondering, I went into the kitchen and made me a big, tall glass of unsweetened tea...doctored with phony sugar replacement.  The computer "spell check" just taught me not to say:  "unsweet."  It told me I must write "unsweetened" tea.  Now, who'd a thunk?  That must be important in the literary world.  Back to the refrigerator.

I am old enough that I can remember not having a refrigerator.  Mom put a little sign in the window and a guy delivered ice to the door.  It went into an icebox.   This  didn't happen much in my life, but enough to remember it.  Dad got a refrigerator fast.  It was about 5 foot tall, rounded on the edges with one door and a small ice compartment.  One of my first memories was climbing on a chair - about age 9 - and looking at the kitchen clock to see if my 30 minute music practice time had expired.  I started early on my horn - but that is a STONE better saved for later.

[Note: For those who are a bit slow - or who have a duck tape fetish - everything on our refrig has a magnet in order to stick to the metal front ]  Here we go:   On the right refrigerator door we have:

1.)  6 inch wood ruler hand painted with little red strawberries;  2.) New England Quilt Museum sticker;  3.) 4x4" black velvet, hand colored with pink butterfly & hearts {perhaps by a grand girl?};  4.) a large (4x12) dry erase board printed with the birthdays of immediate family - help us remember;  5.)  elephant with top hat colored in political colors;  6.) Two bon appetit charts showing measurement equivalents.

On the left door we have:  1.) a kitchen conversion chart from Coldwell Banker;  2.) Two geometric designed card-boards hand colored by someone of importance; 3.) cloth polka dot kitten doll;  4.) an empty hook - waiting for?;  5.) sewing machine model  with the word's: "Grandmas fill the World with Love;"  6.) short hair red dachshund standing on a  7.) small model of a piece of Hershey Special Dark Chocolate;  8.)  a fat cat holding a plate of good eats with the words:   "Chocolate is not just for breakfast anymore!"

Down at the very bottom of the left door - dog's eye level - is a 8 inch black dog paw print with the word:  "WOOF" inscribed - beside it another doxie magnet.  As the grand girls grew up, we have had fewer beautiful drawings to post.  Our own children's art work has either been lost or packed away in the garage.

There you go.   As they say on TV,  "But Wait..."

Our refrig has a 2nd surface open to trinkets.  1.) sticker:  Grandparents are Love;  2.) Magnetic hook holding (a) a hot pepper bottle opener; (b) tiny measuring spoons with "dash, smidgen, & pinch" engraved;  (c) strawberry key ring; (d) a more ornate tiny meas. spoons with same words;  3.) plastic  elephant; 4.) small hook decorated with a pink bunny holding a strawberry key ring; (5.) Big strawberry hot pad; 6.)  hot pad with "Brenda's kitchen" on it;  7.) magnet with ""chocolate makes everything better;"  8.) ceramic elephant with great trunk;  9.) magnet: I (heart) my Dachshund;  10.) poster says:  "I love you grandpa;"  and FINALLY   11.) A small removable packet which unfolds titled: life saving first aid.  

I'm sure that if someone cuts a finger or takes poison, I will stop and read their instructions.

While I think this is a good subject, it got a bit tedious towards the end.   I do like seeing what people keep on their refrigerators.  It is a peek into their thoughts.

mtz, the ponder-er-er-er-er

p.s.  while this was bloggy was being typed, I pondered the words "laying vs. lying"    (see paragraph #2 above).  I believe I am right.  An inanimate object is laying (on the surface) while an animate object (you,me,dog,cat) is lying down (on the bed).  All of this is good.  But, then, why does a chicken (animate object) "LAY" an egg???  Not going to look on google.  I'll carry this question with me forever until I get bored at some future family gathering.   

now, good-bye


Saturday, August 15, 2020

Life's Little Pleasures, #1

 I made a suggestion to one of my GrandGirls for a blog subject to be explored on her blog - Now, folks, that was a wordy sentence.  It stands as printed, no editing.

Life's little pleasures.   She handled the subject very well.  But if you read her blog, you'll see that she and I have different pleasures.    [I don't know how to make one of those blue links to other websites.  Maybe Roger will show me someday.]

Here are a few of my life's little pleasures (in no particular order) keeping in mind that this is just a few.  Some pleasures may never reach the printed page.

1.  Sprinkler System:  When we moved here in 2008, I had about 3/4 acre that needed water.  I could not afford "City" water for that much grass for sure.  Over time, I had a dock built and a water pump installed which fed lake water towards my house.   There was one lone faucet down by the lake.  This was glorious.   Our lake allows us to use as much water as we wish for a one-time fee.  I still have to pay for the electricity to pump it - a 220 Volt pump - loud rascal.

    Time went by - I bought several heavy duty water  hoses and sprinklers from Home Depot at about $50 per.  The hoses were  man-handled up our hill one hose at a time and individual sprinklers were strategically placed throughout the front, then backyard.  After 30 minutes or so, it was up and at-em outside to move the hoses again.  This was heavy duty effort on my part.  My knees and attitude began to give out.  It was singularly wonderful in some ways.  It was tough going in the heat of our Texas summers.  We finally saved up enough money to hire a local company to install a sprinkler system attached to that heavy duty pump.   

    I marvel at the system.  Our water intake is about 400 feet out to the middle of the lake.  That 220V pump pulls water out of the lake from way out there and shoves it up my hill for another 300-400 feet.  And the water flows hard and fast.  All I have to do is set the system on automatic.  Then, I am in house - no sweat.   Our sprinkler has 10 different stations which run for about 30 minutes each - that figures to 300 minutes of pump work - or 5 hours.  I wonder why my electric bill is so high?  I could run them 24 hours a day if I chose.  Right now we are not on a mandated watering schedule.  Restrictions will come in this 100+ degree weather continues.

    Do my knees feel better now?  Not really; I'm just getting too old.  

2.  Fritos:  Must I explain this?

3.  Blackeye Peas:  On a shelf to my lower right is a copy of my high school newspaper.  One week, three of us "band boys" were selected as students of the week for interviews.  When asked, I proudly proclaimed that I loved,"Pok Chops and black eyed peas."  Nothing has changed since 1958.

4.  Dachshunds:  By now you must know that I have wire-hair dachshunds - doxies to us old hands.  We have had several over the years and mourn the loss of each lost baby.   Today, we have 4 year old Sadie - a fine little girl with a loud voice.  When the others go into the howling mode, she tries; but, all she can produce are high squeaky sounds.  She is not embarrassed.   My twin boys, Oscar and Bruno, are in their 11th year.  Excellent dogs other that being boys and doing certain things that boy dogs do.  Oscar loves his ball.  Bruno loves his food.   We miss Jill, Mandy, Greta (the snake dog), Fritz, and Liesl.  This is Sadie in one of her better moments.

    We have had other types of dogs in the past.   Abby was a peke; Mac and Maisie were Scottish Terriers.  A few great cats and a gerbil or two lived with us.   I miss all of them too.  Wire-hair doxies are our thing now.  I wish I had a couple more to keep me awake barking.

5.  Conversations:   I enjoy talking to my kids and other relatives / friends on the phone.  Oft times, we have absolutely nothing to say that really matters.  It is still having contact though.  Some folks have the gift of gab - others no so much.  People's personalities are so different just like my dog's personalities.  Roger doesn't talk much.  When I use to talk to Marshall, you could hear him typing on the computer as we talked.  Jim and Earline were quick to laugh and talk, always.  Awwww, the list goes on.  I'll stop with this listing out of fear that I will leave someone important out.

6.  Phones:  As much as I hate our mobile phones, they really are marvelous.   If people could "just" not get so involved with the machines - staring for endless hours - doodling with the fool things - not being able to live 5 minutes without a tether - ignoring the rest of the world because the phone made some type of ding-dong.  Y'all know what I mean.  Sure, it is the other feller that does these things, not me.  Remembering:  we took 3 grand daughters to Yellowstone, there is no phone service in Yellowstone Natl. Park.  You could call that a bit tense.

Come to think of it, National Parks and State Parks and other camping places - they are a true pleasure in this life.  Six pleasures listed.  More later including  chocolate almond ice cream, a dream.

take care, Mtz  

Thursday, August 13, 2020

It's Texas again

 Boy Howdy, you know that you are in Texas today.   First of all, according to the TV, Fort Worth was settin' at 99 degrees at 9:30 this morning and headin' towards 107 this afternoon.  They project the heat index up around 111.  Now, I don't care who you are and where you may live, 107 is up there.  It is HOT.

Okay, so Arizona and Egypt makes that look like chicken feed.  You have to take in the humidity factor too.  We do have the humidity in this part of Texas - today only about 45%.  That's sorta low in this part of the earth.  We-uns, who live here beside the Richland-Chambers lake, either:

the lake   (1) creates a lot more humidity  or  (2)  works like an air conditioner and lowers the air temperature somewhat.  I have not the slightest which is true; or, perhaps, both are true - or maybe neither are valid.  You can't expect me to know everything.   I went to music school.  I didn't study the weather.  What I do know is, this afternoon when I step out back and down the hill to throw the ball for Oscar, we won't visit the backyard very long.   It is HOT.   


Texas:  yep.  With 4 Texas schools in the lineup, the Big 12 (made up of 10 colleges) will have their football season this fall.  Why would you have thought differently?  Texas and Oklahoma loves its football.   Quickly, let me add - I approve this decision.  This virus scare thing has gone on long enough.  Sure, the virus can be deadly and will continue to be deadly.  I hope / pray that none of my family - friends - neighbors - dogs - you name it - I do hope everyone stays safe.  The vaccine is coming.  This is nothing but a wild, hairy flu.  I have faith in our Capitalistic system; a vaccine will be found.

Then, all we have to worry about is the next flu system as it rolls over us - (see previous post about flu shots).  People are in a panic mode.  You cannot shut down the world and stay alive - food and drink and housing costs money.  Our government can't pay for everything.  It has to stop and Texas has to GO.

Thus, football season is upon us.  The men will play ball.  Some will get sick.  Others will panic.  And, yes, some may die (hopefully not) - including me if I contact the stuff.  I'm almost 80 and have diabetes.  I am in that danger zone.  Will I go to any ballgames this fall.  Nope.  But, in fairness I didn't go to any games last fall.  The only TV football games I watch includ Texas Tech.  I do want to catch a small gander at the Texas Tech Band.  What a group!!

Marching season for Texas bands has begun.  My son Roger has been posting videos on Facebook of the Frenship H.S. Band's marching practices.  They are working hard at perfection.   Many Texas bands will not attend the UIL marching contests this fall.  That is amazing to me.   Instead, they will park and play music at halftime - perhaps a bit of drill.  It may prove to be an easier marching season for the bands.  Many will not attend out-of-town games.  One school is only sending the drum line to those games.  You watch, some team with a bad record of winning, will blame the absent band for its losing season.   I betcha.  

 The way I see it, with the virus panic gripping the world, any win/loss record should be discounted.  How many star quarterbacks or runners - or linemen will test positive for the flu on Thursday afternoon.  Coaches have a built-in excuse for losing - and, so do band directors and all competitive people.  It is fun.   


My daughter Laura Roberts is the elementary music teacher in Blooming Grove, Texas.  She put something online in Waxahachie about her school music classes:  her worries about the difficulty of starting this new school year and her classroom money problems and supplies.  All of a sudden Waxahachie people she doesn't know started coming to her aid - giving her money and supplies.  One guy is making her PVC pipe drum sticks for the classroom.  She'll be able to use those for years.  Another stranger, extra pencils - and cash.  A person opened her a pay pal account for donations.  I'm telling you this is great and surprising stuff.  Small schools do have certain limitations with people and resources; but as Laura explained, there are some really good people helping out...easing the burden, you might say.

I'm impressed Waxahachie!


another email forward - I get good email forwards from Joe.

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Humor Extra

 Thanks to Joe Michel for this email forward:

No Downer Wednesday

It makes sense.  At least one day out of seven should be a "no downer" day.  Thus, I, King Mike, proclaim that Wednesday is NO DOWNER WEDNESDAY.  

Monday had to be eliminated - why? because it's Monday - 1st day of the week back at school/work...c'mon, this was not too hard to figure.

Tuesday: too close to Monday - catch all the riff-raff left over from Monday.

Thursday:  use to be something about Green Thursday - sure would want to interfere with their day.

Friday: nope.  it already has its TGIF moniker.  Besides, I was a band director too long with Friday night football game hassles to proclaim Friday as worthy of anything worthy.  cute.  worthy of being worthy.  I like that.

Sat & Sun are weekend days.

So, ya see, Wednesday is the only day left.  I do have one downer thing about Wednesday; but, let's save that for a later date.  Surely don't want to hurt anyone's feelings especially on No Downer Wednesday, do I?


TV:  I like television.  I have always liked television.  Some shows are not worth watching (worthy of being worthy)  in spite of what critics may say.  Others have been worth seeing frequently.   I love watching old Barney Miller (30 min.) shows.  It rarely dips into the slime pits - sure, a bit of a liberal message at times - but really nice entertainment.

The other night, the show opened with the [ Chinese ] Detective Nick Yamana  (really Jack Soo the actor) reading a Chinese language newspaper.  He shared that a Chinese thermometer factory was going out of business.  Yep.  Someone found swordfish in their mercury.    That joke haunts me; I love it.  Jack Soo died way too early in my opinion.  His dry delivery was special.

Lately, I have been watching Frasier reruns.  They do put out some great lines and situations.  Yes, the Frasier boys are totally disfunctional.  And, the show dips into too much sexy stuff at tiimes - but, overall it is a fun show.....just like the old Third Rock from the Sun series - which is not on anymore.  They have toooooo much hanky panky in the shows but fun to watch.

Now, for different reasons, on PBS I enjoy many of the British mystery shows.  Midsomer Murders is pretty good.  For me, what sets Midsomer above the others is the music.  I use a headset to listen to the TV.  My wife's hearing is so good, that I hurt her ears with the volumn even when I wear the hearing aids.  With headsets, you can hear the music so much better, each twist and turn and twirl.  There is a bassoonist on that show who is excellent.  All the music is well-played.  If you want to hear a good bassoon, tune in Midsomer.   It's not classical music - just good tunes.   (moving on....)


Speaking of thermometers (see above with Jack Soo), I need one of those handheld ones that you can aim at foreheads.  Home depot had a bunch the other day at $45 plus some.  I don't guess I should have passed SUCH a bargain.  

We were in CVS yesterday - they are out of thermometers.  Really.   Are thermometers the next toilet paper?  We do have one of those "under the tongue" critters, and we have had the electronic mouth ones.  I was never smart enough to make the electronic ones function more than twice in a row.  

Ya see, someone gets sick - I have no thermometer - I go to store and buy the electronic/battery powered one - I read the instructions and use the thermometer.  The sick person gets well.  Many Many months later, somebody gets ill.  I dig out the battery machine - but I cannot find the instructions.  Worthless piece of equipment at that point.  I imagine we have owned at least 5 of those electronic ones over the past several years.  Don't get me wrong; this is not a Downer.  We are please that nobody is getting sick around my estate.

Can't you visualize walking down the street or through the hallowed halls of Wal*Mart pointing your thermometer gun at every stranger yelling "Gotcha!"  ?  Don't point it at the big guys with no shirts and covered with tattoos.  They might shoot back.  On we go to Amazon and to seek my new thermometer.


Final bit - what have I done today?  It is about 11:45 a.m.  Up around 8 - ate breakfast and checked my blood sugar (155 this morning, the lowest it has been pre-breakfast since mid-June) - mowed the dog pit and a portion of the backyard with the hand pushed (power) mower - helped the wife a bit as she sandpapered our little metal bridge for future painting - played a moment with Oscar's ball until he set it down and wet on it ( that will stop me everytime ) - came inside - cleaned up and hit the computer.    

And we move on for the remainder of No Downer Wednesday...forgot didn't you?

I lied.  This is the final bit. My wife Brenda Joy just sent out a text message that today is National Middle Child Day - she texted it to our middle child Laura.   I was a middle child for several years too.  I celebrate!

later, Mtz

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

medical and stupidity and rambles

 I have to admit - I don't always understand certain things, and I have a bit of a problem figuring some things out.   Well, now, that's not totally true.  Computer stuff just DRIVES me batty.  (the old joke is:  "bet it is a short putt" - DRIVES me - short PUTT - do I have to explain all of these?)

So today, with their new format - I am using if anyone cares to know  - with the new format I saw that I had a couple of comments.  And by using my own brain and trying every button on the screen, I figured out how to see the comments.  Stay with me now.   This is the very first time that I have ever read the comments on my blog.  That could be a tad hard to believe - but, it is true.  Lemme change that slightly.  This is the first time that I can remember ..... Still, it is a bit confusing to me.  I would have thought that all comments would appear for me at the end of the singularly written blog.  Apparently not.  I had to click on a different button to see them.  I have not the slightest idea how you (the welcomed and loved reader) finds any of the comments ... or for that matter, how you write a comment.  However-Whatever-Whenever- you just go for it.  I'll wait.

When I sat in my office chair facing the blank screen, my idea was to write about stupidity.  You have to admit that I have done a good job so far.  We all do stupid things at one time or another.  I have had my share of triumphal stupidity over the years.  Many stupid things I will never mention or admit.  My last real band (Manor H.S.)  was not much different than my other bands.  For several years, I had a little saying that I laid out on a regular basis:   "Don't do stupid things."  I never attached it to any one student or particular happening - it was just a thing I said - a generalization.  Had a conference with a middle school principal once who asked me how attached I was to that saying.  He sorta implied it was worthy of dismissal.   I believe they were shocked that anyone might use the word:  "Stupid."  You know, don't cha, "stupid" is not a word to be uttered in a school setting.  It is not as bad as the "N" word; but, still...   (moron is equally banned)

When I retired, on our final concert the Manor H.S. band parents gave me a beautiful gold watch.  Inscribed on the back?    "Don't do stupid things."   It's nice to know that someone heard me other than the socially correct criticizers.  I just made up the spelling for "criticizers" and spell check hasn't said a word.  I was sure it would be wrong.  What cha know.  Learned something again.


Looking at jeans online at Amazon this weekend when I was hit with "stupid" again.  At least it wasn't me this time.  They sold jeans for $20 up to over $150 a pair.  Now that is stupid.  Some of the most expensive were PRE-WRINKLED or had holes cut in them.  Personally, I would rather create my own holes...over time and work.  And "wrinkle" is a special gift of mine.

I believe that I have written before that I wait until the Texas tax-free weekend to buy clothes.  I buy 2 to 4 pair of pants (mostly jeans since retirement).  When I place the new jeans in the closet, I use a black magic marker and write the year on the inside right front pocket.  When I rummage through the enormous closet looking for trousers, I can check the dates to get the newest out.  Newest usually have the lesser food stains -  yes, I have an eating disorder - I drip food whenever I eat.  A bib lays near my plate.  It does not protect the pants.

My recent inventory showed one pair was bought in 2011; that's the oldest pair.  If I get real hungry, I could boil these pants and make soup.  All sorts of preserved meals can be found above the knees.  

Back to original thought.  Why would anyone spend over a hundred dollars on jeans with pre-cut holes?  I just don't get it.  Nope, don't get it.   Enough on this.


medical:  I think I have poison ivy on my left wrist, just under my wrist watch.  We moved out here in the country during 2008;  I work outside all the time (less now that I am lazy).  Not once in 12 years have I gotten into poison ivy even though I have cut it down and sprayed it on numerous occasions.    And, now, it shows up under my watch?  At first I though it was a bug bite ... those I have had many times. Bug bites leave little white puss thingys to heal - at least they do on my person.  Chiggers just leave red marks that itch like crazy.  Spiders and the like seem to leave white puss marks, which heal.

This new thing under the watch is red and itches.  Bought some  poison ivy cream for it today at CVS pharmacy.  We'll see.  I'm hoping for no amputation.  Can I get some sympathy here?


Brief back to the comment section:  Several of the comments looked to me to be spam.  A short sentence about how they loved the blog followed by a sentence or two about some product to be seen at some website.  I am sensing a lack of sensitivity.  That is not the word I am looking for: try lack of  sincerity instead.  Yep, that will do.  over and out.

stay safe - remember - the mask will protect you from bacteria.  We are fighting a (flu) virus here.  Only the N-95 or N-99 masks will protect you from MY virus germs - and, then, maybe not completely.  Opinion:  Masks are used to make others feel good toward you.  It gives them a warm feeling to know that you are as panicked about the virus as the Press has made them panicked. 

Nobody wants to get sick - most don't want to die - and everyone should want to return to 2018.  

Luv ya,



Monday, August 10, 2020

Collections and the results.

 I'm Back.

What do you collect?  I realize you don't think you collect stuff, but I betcha do.   We see the hoarders on TV.  Those folks are crazy.  I'm not crazy; I just have some extra things that I enjoy having.  You don't collect?  How many DVR -c.d.s - VCRs - DVDs - { I never can get those initials correct.} do you own?   How about coffee mugs or cute figurines or shovels.  Video Games - how many do you own?   Huh?  Huh?  Make fun of my collections will ya?

The philosophical question is:  what makes a collection VS.  what makes a pile of junk?  There you go. I'm not sure I collected things when I was younger.  We didn't have any room for storage or shelves for placing.  Then, we moved into a bigger place  - closets were more than ample - shelves and spaces were lying empty.

I once had a collection of Instrumentalist magazines - maybe 10 years of monthly issues.  Never read them a 2nd time.  But, they were on a shelf in the garage.  I remember throwing them away one day.  SAD.  Someone would have liked to have those.  And HIS wife would have loved seeing them stashed on a shelf in his garage.  I do still have several years of National Geographic in the garage.  I went to an auction once in Lubbock and saw a collection of Natl. Geo sold for several hundred dollars.  I didn't buy them.  I quit collecting N.G. a few years back when most of their articles started expressing way liberal views.  sorta a shame really.  Example: they had an issue where they exploited this lady who wanted to raise her son as if he were a girl.  C'mon.  They have lost focus.

I made a short list here of collections that I have.  Wait.  I forgot to ask.  What makes a collection.   Is it three or more items - or do you have to get up to 20?  Some of my collections are only 3.  A few are less than three.  It is just how you go about looking at it.  My granddaughter bought a new mattress recently.  Where is the old one?  If it is in the garage or storage space, does that mean she has a collection of mattresses?  I think so.


pause for a commercial:  Grand dot Megan has her own post - go see at:

I'm somewhat prejudiced, but I think she does a good job.


I could talk for a long time about each collection below - pulling out special things to view.  I won't.  Now I shall list a few of my priceless collections:

1.  Post cards:  several years back I started.  I  have them back into the early 1900s.  They are quite interesting.  Several have precious messages.  Mail was different back in the 30's.  I once subscribed to a service that sent me a packet of post cards monthly.  I selected what I wanted and forwarded the remainder to the next name on the list.  I enjoyed the experience.  I wonder if that company is still in business?

2.  Cards:  like the kind you get at Walmart and HEB.  I have several - many quite funny - stashed throughout the farm - I even have some that were sent to my parents and the wife's parents.  I enjoy remembering.

3.  Key Rings:  A while back it dawned on me that you cannot own one of each key ring ever made.  I tried for a while to collect them all.  I would guess that I have somewhere between 1000 and 2000 key rings.  I like them.  I bought a new one last Wednesday when my spouse and I visited Buc-ees on our anniversary.  It is a stuffed Buc-ees mascot.  I figured I needed one of them. 

How did I get into this collecting?  When we lived in Plano, daughter Christine was on the Texas Tech plant identification competition team.  They traveled to Florida for a contest.  When she came home, she brought Florida presents for all the family.  Mine was a key ring.   Casually, I remarked, " I guess I am collecting key rings now."  It never stopped.  They started bringing me more and more.  I don't suppose it will ever stop.  I got one from Ireland a couple years back from Roger and Penney.  Tom & Laura brought me one from Mackinac Bridge in Michigan last year.  I do love them all.

4.  Music boxes:  All sizes and shapes.  One Christmas when we were visiting my mom in Levelland, I remarked (it was innocent enough I thought) that I would love to own a bunch of music boxes.  I visualized turning them all on at the same time and making background music for a horror movie.  Catching myself - I made a point of saying that I didn't want one or two at a time - I wanted 200 of them ALL at one time - no slow collecting - either 200 of them at once, or none.          That didn't work.  I started to get one or two at a time - gifts.  I love music boxes.  Don't get me wrong.  I love them.  But, where do you keep 200 music boxes in a small house.  They are in the garage gathering dust - on a shelf.  A few select ones are inside the house.  I've got this great one which looks like a cannon - you remove the barrel of the cannon and it is a kaleidoscope.  Great piece.  Plus, I have the big wooden music box that belonged to my parents.  They bought it used back in the 40s in an antique shop in Bethany, Oklahoma.  It has a coin mechanism.  Put in a penny, wind the crank handle, and play the music box.  I would guess that I have 15 metal records for the machine.

5A.  Various stuffed animals:  Sure I have these.  My most prominent are dachshunds and elephants.  I do love dachshunds (doxies for the purest) - and elephants are so cute.   My wife has a large box of TY cats in the garage; and, she loves owls.    I even have a stuffed chicken. There are clowns in one bedroom (waiting to pounce on you after you go to sleep heh heh)   "Guys shouldn't have stuffed animals," you say.  Nonsense.  Why not?  I have 5 little creatures called "Sing*a*ma*jigs!" You press the tummy and they sing songs.  

5B.  Also, there are elephants and doxies and clowns which are ceramic and wooden and metal.  I like elephants and dachshunds and clowns.  Don't you?

6. Time to stop:   I won't even mention my other things:  books, banks, coins, stamps, M&M items, various trinkets, pencil sharpeners, Louis L'amour leatherette books, Robert Jordan's epic books  - I must stop writing.  I would love to own a collection of electric trains.   Maybe later I'll bring this back up.

May things go nice for you at your abode.

Today, it is peaceful around here.  I expect it to remain so until time to throw the ball for Oscar.


(P.S.  Have you looked at your collection of Christmas decorations lately?)

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Bit of a downer - then smile

 Sunday  SUNDAY!  S U N D A Y !!!

It is Sunday.  You'd never know it to look about my back porch.  The dogs are napping - the wife is looking at her phone or that I-whatever tablet thing is called - and I am back here looking at the computer screen.  This is no different from Monday - Tuesday  -        (I could recite all the days of the week just to impress you.) The stupid virus still takes its toll.  Not only does it toll with life and death and sickness; but, it tolls in lifestyle (and death style).  This is getting a little dark even for me.

Speaking of my wife's iPhone stuff,  I saw an advertisement for the Android Note 20 phone.   I am going to have to have one of those.   Hey!  it's only money.

A friend - acquaintance of mine - Donnie Owens, 83, had his bout with the virus and lost.  He was the band director in Durant when I was stationed (taught) in Ardmore.  A most pleasant guy with a great laugh and knowledge, Donnie moved to Texas and took the Dickinson H.S. Band as the Texas Honor Band to the TMEA convention a few years later.  Terrific person and great musician.  I believe after he retired, he moved to Waxahachie and taught elementary band for several years, which could explain one of the reasons why the Wax-a-hachet band was/is so good.

But we move on - more happy thoughts:

Today, I am missing the King family reunion in Kansas.  Sure, I have missed it for the last 68 years; but, I had intended on making it this year.  When I was in late elementary or early Jr. High, we went to the reunion - then held at Kinsley, Kansas.  We had a long drive from Levelland, Texas to Kinsley - nobody had car air conditioning back then.  The reunion was an outdoor affair - full of people young and old - held under a pavilion in a park.  Scads of unknown relatives abounded.   I left knowing few of them any better.

One of the things they did was have a variety show put on by different relatives.    Naturally, we Metzes pulled out the horns and accordions and filled the air with amateur music.  I seem to remember the Smith family doing a sing-song thing.  Singing was a favorite pasttime with my uncles and aunts.   Our music was either greatly loved or the audience was extremely polite.  I remember that we stayed a couple nights in one of my mothers uncle's house out in the country - a farm, if you will.   Today, here in my house we have a painting by my Uncle Jr. (James K. Smith) of that farm house.

In the living room was a pump organ which we abused through most of the night.  My mother loved the visit, and I suppose we all had a really good time, laughing, singing, telling stories, eating - all the good things in life.

Recently, the reunion was moved over to nearby town that has an air conditioned building.  I understand that the number of participants has dwindled over the years.  My cousin Earl Smith of Tennessee has made the reunion recently.  I really had hoped to go and meet some of the old relatives.

Just for the FYI Record in case a historian even passes this way.

My grandmother was Olive King.  She married James M Smith in Kansas.  They moved to northern Oklahoma and had several children, one of which was my mother Sara LeAnna Smith.  Mom, of course, married my father Clyde Marshall Metze.  They had 4 boys of which I was #3, a middle child.  We all know that middle children are abused.  I was the baby for 9 years until Pat Metze was born in 1949.  My oldest brother was Marshall Metze, III  and next came Jim Metze.

My mom's brothers and sisters were:   Opal (she died about 1918 or so),  Percy,  Sara, James K. (Jr.),  Esther (Sally) and Jack Smith (s)....not in any particular order.

I have spent time and money on creating a family tree which extends back several centuries.  Curiously, nobody in my family wants to view my results.  I guess they figure they'll study it sometime in the future when they have time.  I know now in my elderly years, they never will find the time.  All will be lost.

IMPORTANT UPDATE:  My wife just shared with me a Facebook notice from my cousin Earl Smith that the King Family Reunion (in Pratt, Kansas) has been cancelled for this year.   I didn't miss it.  Hopefully, I will make it next year in my 80th year of life.  You are invited to join us next August.

Man-alive - this edition of my bluggy has been anything except entertaining.  I have to find something to leave you with that might bring a smile.  A friend sent this email forward to me.  I believe it is Crusoe the Celebrity Dachshund.   If you have never visited Crusoe's website - look it up.   fun stuff.  Crusoe's family live somewhere in Canada and have really given him great publicity.   By-the-Way,  Crusoe has a new sister Daphne - she is gorgeous.


Friday, August 7, 2020

Toilet Paper

 The new interface of this "Blog" company that I use has something which I like - It gives a count of how many people have read the blog   (I like to type blug or bluggy instead of blog.)  One of my past blogs had over 300 readers.  Really?   300 readers.  I think that is interesting. - to me anyway.  If you think it to be not interesting, then read this paragraph backwards, and it will all go away from your brain.  Continue to paragraph 2.

My title for this blug is Toilet Paper.  It seems that enough is never written about toilet paper.  There are people who spend their entire lifetimes dealing with toilet paper...commercially not personally at home.  

Visualize in a barroom setting:  "Hi, my name is Bert.  I make toilet paper.  What do you do?"  The actual dates escape me - I have forgotten the dates - look it up yourself - but paper toilet paper was only created in the 1857 (I believe).  And it was about 50 years before you didn't get splinters when you ... well, when you .... nah.  I can't think of a polite way to explain what you do with toilet paper other than wipe off lipstick. (That came off slightly wrong.)   Splinters!   Splinters!

Remember the old saying everyone use to write in their high school year books?   "As you slide down the banister of life, let this be a splinter in your career."  There were probably variations.

People used corn cobs, pages from catalogs, leaves, a hand - whatever was available at the time.  What got me started on this subject is all the panic that happened during our virus panic.  Naturally, people were worried about getting sick so they hurried to the store and bought all the toilet paper on the shelves.  Some families carried home 3 & 4 cases of the stuff.  Better to be safe than sorry.  As luck had it, my son Roger and Penney's children - sometimes referred to as my grand-girls - their high school band sold cases of toilet paper last fall.  I received our case sometime in late November.  It was stacked in the garage for later use.  I was set for the big virus wipeout ... so to speak.

I do not have ' permission to republish these  Go see if you like their website.

We have two bathrooms.  Only 2 of us here.  The master bath {really somewhat of a joke to call it a "master" bath - it functions - no luxury here folks} the master bath has a nice water closet with the appropriate fixture.  One roll of toilet paper hangs near your right elbow.  Four more can be found on the floor in this great little metal device created for holding toilet paper.  "Hi, my name is Bert.  I make toilet paper holders that sit on the floor behind your commode.  What do you do?" 

Okay, I don't know what brand the toilet paper is - but it is a big hunking roll of paper.   Big and wide.  I started watching back in March; you might call it a survey.  I was concerned we'd be in a T.P. panic soon.  The roll was installed on a Friday.  It lasted from Friday - through the next Friday - and ran out on Tues.  A week and a half. Actually depending  upon how you count days, one roll lasted 11 or 12 days.

That was Friday through Friday into a Tuesday - change the roll.  Then, it was Tuesday through Tuesday into the next Friday.  The same sequence happened from March until a week ago.  All of a sudden it is Saturday through Saturday into the next Wednesday.   And Wednesday through Wednesday into Saturday.

This is science folks.  We need more science and less frills in this world.   I anticipate the rolls may eventually evolve into a Sunday till Thursday sequence - assuming we can still find those big ole hunkin' rolls of toilet paper at our H.E.B.

And you thought you had a boring life.  Retirement has its flaws.    

Stay tuned; in a future blog I aim to discuss ear wax.


as an added bit here:  My granddaughter Megan started a blog - she has posted a few times.  I believe she was pushed into writing the blog during a class she was taking at Tech.  Her blog seems so innocent and nice and upbeat compared to my cynical attitudes.   I hope she doesn't mind - here is the link to her blog:   (If she minds, the magic delete will happen.)


With that we close.   I am reading a book I bought at Gettysburg about 20 years ago: 

Best Little Stories from the Civil War   by C. Brian Kelly and Ingrid Smyer (his wife)  Lots of really short stories about the war and the people who were there.   A fun read.

luv, M

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Anniversary 2020

Before I begin.  My blog place has set up a new format.  I am not good at this which explains why this message is in white with a blue background.  I will try to do better in the future.

August 6, 2020

It has been a while since I made this trip.  Insecurity I suppose dot dot dot  
Yesterday was the 5th day of August.   A fine day to be sure.
Brenda Joy (my wife) and I have been married for 58 years.  There were good years; there were bad years; and, then, there were years.  Reminds me of a song:  "Always."
We spent most of the day in the car traveling to nowhere.  We can do that with the best of them.  First a short trip north to Wax-A-Hachet (nod to Roger's description of same).  We med son-in-law Tom at Lowe's to buy him a sack of concrete (Sakrete).  He is installing a new mailbox on the rent house.   I'm looking forward to seeing the final results.  The old mailbox should have been replaced 5 years ago when we painted the utility room.
Speaking of  Lowe's.   Is the apostrophe necessary?  Is it Lowes or Lowe's?   I just don't know..
See the little dot I place between paragraphs?  I got into that habit a few years back when my email would all lump together in one big paragraph.  It was hard to decipher.  Put the dot, and the paragraphs don't clog together.  Another tip from the Master.
After Lowee's we traveled east to Ennis and had lunch at our favorite "Ennis" Chinese place.   I'd have written restaurant, but I can't spell restaurant.  It is an okay place; not the finest representation - but okay.
One little guy greets you - seats you - brings you tea - replaces your tea - takes away dirty dishes - delivers the bill and fortune cookie - and, finally, takes your money.   Another younger lad keeps the buffet filled.  I am guessing a third person is greasing the food in the back room.  
We ate.  Left.  He gave us our fortune cookie as we left the place.  In the car after dousing my hands with hand sanitizer and removing my mask,  our cookies were opened.  My cookie had no fortune.  My wife had a nice saying in hers.  I wondered (later as I wandered) if this were an omen.   I had not fortune.  That is true; I have no fortune - retired teachers rarely do.  Omen!!
Up the road is a new Buc-Cees.  Ennis has a Buc-Cees.  Now we have a thing for this place.  Look it up on Google if you have not been.   44 oz drinks are only  69 cents.   They have food and junk jewelry and all sorts of stuff.  The restrooms are the best in the business.  We had a delightful hour roaming about their store.  Gas was only $1.39 per.  It was a good stop.
To finish the day we drove home and fed Bruno.  That boy loves to eat.  Oscar loves to eat too - he is much more aggresive when eating, not towards anyone or anybody or anything - he just gulps his food down and pity the stray finger that might be leaving the bowl of kibbles.  Once again, Sadie could care less to eat.  That's not totally true.  She lays with her head on the bowl until the boys have finished.  When they round the corner and see her plopped down on her dish, something clicks in her head.  I'd better start eating before the boys get too close.
This is enough for now.  You folks take care, whoever you are.  Wear your mask even though it won't protect you against squat.  Gloves can be nice.  A shield ?  only if worn with the N-95 mask and, then, only if you are lucky.
At almost 80 yrs of age, I (we) hope to be lucky.
More later.