Saturday, March 6, 2021

Hey, it's Friday - what could go wrong?

 It seems like I am always complaining.  When the wife and I first married, I'm not sure we had problems.  Had a blow out once driving to Lubbock.  We lived in rentals and had children and barely survived monthly after bills were paid.

I remember borrowing my father-in-law's travel trailer once.  It was parked in the front yard of our rental.  I started worrying about the stuff in the septic tank.  Climbing under the trailer, I removed this plug just to see.  The entire tank emptied in our front yard.  That was a disaster I suppose.  Soap works wonders.

After moving to Ardmore, we eventually bought a nice 3 bedroom - garage converted to a Den.  I suppose we had some problems there - like termites.  I had no idea what a termite did.  The Den was eaten alive.  Some company came and fixed the little beggars.  I replaced a few pieces of sheetrock and painted.  I have no idea whether the termites ate the rest of house.  What I didn't know, didn't hurt me.

Same house, lived at the bottom of a bit of a hill surrounded by residential.  Our sewer line (why is it always sewer?) went out the east side of the house and connected to a main sewer line about 3 ft from house - y'know, that vacant area between your house and mine.  We moved to Amarillo and left the house to sell with a realtor.  It seems the city sewer stopped up 50 ft down the way and backed up into our house.  go figure.  House sold anyway.  We bought that house in the early 70s for 14,000.  I bet it sells for 150 to 200 K now.

Same house, the pipes froze under the house.  I crawled under the house with a small blow torch and defrosted the pipes.  It is a wonder I didn't burn down the house.  guess I was lucky.

Same:  the furnace sometimes chose to not turn on.  It was located in the hallway.  I would have to open the furnace door and hit a certain valve with a wrench.  Clunk.  It would start right up.  One Christmas we went home to Levelland.  When we returned the furnace had shut down.  The house was in the 30s or below.  My fish tank had an inch of ice.  I lost some of my favorite fishes then.  Sad, really.

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Everyone, who owns a house must have these same problems constantly.  We survive to complain loudly.  Did the Indians in tepees have problems?   

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So new car described in below bloggy, came with only one key.  I stopped at the ford house and ordered another on Tuesday.  They were ready on Friday to deliver the key.  I have one of those fobs  with a button start machine.   So the new key would cost about $250 or more and must be programmed.  I drove in and waited.  Waited.

I like the service guy at this Ford place.  He came and explained.  When they tried to program the new key, the car computer cried Wolf and shut down everything.  It is part of the security system.  So my car sets there - won't start - waiting for another new key to arrive.  Scary,  I could have lived with a key instead of the push button start.  Yep, I could have.   In my youth, all cars had a push button start.  You put in the key and then pushed a button.  Even earlier, the start button was located on the floor beside the clutch pedal.  You had to push on the clutch and the starter button at the same time - heel / toe,

That was my Friday's disaster.    Looking forward to tomorrow.

m

Thursday, March 4, 2021

A Misc. Thursday

 So our Texas governor has decided that masks and other restrictions have gone on long enough.  Bless his heart.  And, predictable:  Weeping people have begun to proclaim him to be a heartless, ignorant, block-headed, you name it.  C'mon folks.  The only way we are going to get back to normal is to be normal.  Everywhere I went, people were joyful - except the talking heads on TV.  Most of those don't vote in Texas.

I just had a phone call about my Discover Card.  Oh No!!  The mere fact that I don't have a Discover Card and have not had one since 1990 (true date) - that has no value.  Sold my 2014 Flex.  Starting to get calls and letters about extending the Flex's warranty.  Hopeless people.  I bet they would be mad if someone conned their grandparents out of a bunch of cash.  Stupid people.  The Discover guy was in India - betcha.

Since I bought the 2019 Flex I have been trying to rearrange that loan to another Credit Union.  Nobody is calling me back.  They are all working from home and passing the project to others who don't know what is happening.  Thus. Thus. It is a roll-your-eyes waiting thing for me.  I did receive a notice from my CRUDIT union about my credit score.  They sent me 2 different letters on the same day each with my credit score from TransUnion.  Amazing.  Not that it matters, but the 2 letters had 2 different credit scores listed.  go figure.

We spent yesterday down in the Georgetown area looking a houses - lots - other stuffs.  Our thought process is  that we are getting older and we may need to be nearer one of our permanent children.  This would mean selling this house - moving - buying another house somewhere else.  The process is all a bit long winded.  No, we found nothing that was truly interesting.  Wouldn't matter if we did.  We need to sell this house first.

A bit of advice that I learned about 1980 when we moved from Ardmore to Amarillo.  Don't buy a house while you are still selling your old house.  Sometimes things happen in the market and you will pay 2 house payment at the same time (plus utilities).  Just take that bit of advice.   The same thing applies to job searching.  Don't quit your old job before you get a new one.  With those two touches of brilliance, we move on.

In Georgetown, downtown, we picked a nice restaurant.  Went in.  No menu.  Scan the thing and see the menu online.  Wow.  The prices were high for a small restaurant.  $12 for a hamburger - sure it was a very good burger, but $12 to start?  Tea was in a small 8 oz glass.  Really.  I know I am cheap.  3 of us.  $50 total bill before the tip.  Golden Corral and CiCi's pizza are looking better all the time.

The new car ran fine.  It has some features which are new to me.  If you have these things on your cars, bless your heart.  Example:  I push the cruise control button.  A car diagram shows up on the screen with 2 white stripes in front of it.  I can adjust the white strips to 1 or 2 or 3 or 4.  This is the distance between me and and car in front of me.  If I set my car at 75 mph - and the car in front of me is going 60 mph - my car automatically slows down to 60 mph.  If I change lanes, we "wham" it back up to 75 automatically.  Marvelous.  The car has other stuff too.  Just think about the great new toys I get to mess with.  Tech is certainly moving forward.  Next thing you know, the car will be able to give me my Covid -20  shot when it's time.

later

taxes done and at the people to finalize.   ( jealous? )

Mtz

p.s. while typing this, I received 2 more calls about my credit cards.  One was for Chase bank (don't have that card) and then another general one which didn't list a specific card.  These people must be hungry.  All these phone calls do is interrupt my wife's nap time.  She is going to have a headache.  I can see it now.  Do you think these callers are really getting through to someone?  It must be paying some dividend.  Ya Think? 


Sunday, February 28, 2021

And Sunday has arrived

I like to write about things that I believe are funny - or -  humorous happenings I just happen to bump into.  { For a grammar major (not me) that previous sentence would be a "major" sore spot and perfect for putting into a grammar exam. }  

The trouble with staying at home 24/7 = ? = nothing much happens inside my house.  I can arrange a few chuckles as the day goes by.  Nothing really happens that would make it into the Chuckle Hall of Fame.  Watching the news for humor is more than I care to experience.  My wife shows me photos online of funny dachshunds.  I like that; but, they are hard to convert into words.

Right now, my dog Sadie is barking out back.  I just know she has seen a squirrel in a tree.  Our trees are probably 50 ft high or more.  It takes two people stretching to reach around the base of most trees.   Here we have a puppy that is shorter than one foot, running around the base of trees barking 50 ft. into the air as squirrels fly between branches.  It keeps her heart rate up.  If you can look the absurdity of Sadie's predicament,  there could be humor in that.  She doesn't think it is funny.  The squirrels could care less.  Too much barking can annoy.

So yesterday I spent 24 straight hours doing nothing of value.  I slept late; I took a nap in the afternoon, I watched TV.  My wife told me that I was healing  (fractured rib - see previous bluggys).  I suppose that was valuable, hard work.   Last night I slept in my chair till 3 a.m.; then, I felt uncomfy and tried the real bed.  It was better.  That means I am healing.  I have slept in that chair since last Saturday night, the day of my great ice slide.  So those 5 hours in the real bed were a sign of progress.   (Sadie is still barking.)

Nothing of value did I   --   unless you count...

 I did hold Sadie on my lap as she snuggled up against my chin - we loved and snuggled.  

I did go throw the ball for Oscar in the afternoon.  That didn't last long - too wet outside.  It would be nice if things dried out for a short spell.  

I did scritch Bruno's ears - they are big and floppy and need scritching.

Oh, Oh, Oh, I did drive up and got the mail...we have to drive a mile to the mailbox.  An individual, far better than I, would hike up to get the mail every day.  One mile up and one mile down - they would have to be much better than I.  

So I will sit here and heal this afternoon.  I don't know if I will need a nap.  Perhaps, this is the day to finish the taxes.  That day must come.  I'm off to a good start today staying in par with yesterday.  It is time for lunch.

Toodle Doo

 

Thursday, February 25, 2021

This is the week that shouldbee

This is a 3 part blog.  See the two previous blogs below to get the flow of the thing.

Review:  got car after hassle with Covid Ford of Hutto (Covert).

Ice / Snow / Ice / Snow / power outages / water outages / record low temperatures.  

Backed car out of garage / slipped on ice / went to town

====================================

Sometime after 4 o'clock, we were home.  My arm/shoulder was aching.  My left side started to hurt.  It was the left side, towards the middle, towards the back - not to the actual back though.  It started to hurt.  I took a Tylenol.  The pain increased.  I took an Aleve.  By bedtime, the pain was getting severe.  I hurt.  The old joke:  it only hurt when I laughed.

Don't sneeze or cough when your side hurts.  I went to bed at 11.  For me, this is remarkable.  I am never in bed before midnight.  I laid in bed on my back.  I couldn't move.  My thoughts were of ambulance to the hospital.  The pain grew.  Sympathy, I need sympathy.  About midnight I attempted to roll a bit to my left.  I felt something move inside me.  This cannot be good.

Thump. Thump.  I tapped my wife gently and whispered softly - I NEED HELP!!   She most graciously got out of bed and helped me sit up.  Once up, I moved to my chair in the living room.  She brought a blanket.  I was still in my clothes of the day. There was no way I could change into my nightie.  I slept in my chair all night.  It was not good; but, it was better than the bed.

Sunday dawned and I shuffled around all day - move the wrong way and pain hits.  It was decided that I would go to the doctor on Monday if the pain was still there.  It was.

Called my primary care doctor.  He was booked solid for a week.  The nurse suggested I go to the "Family Clinic" across the street from the hospital; they take walk-ins.  I called.  The nurse told me to go to the Emergency Ward of the hospital.  The Family Clinic has no X-ray machine.  Sigh.  I didn't call them.  We drove to town - to the emergency room - met a nice young man with an ear ring who checked our temperature - sat in waiting room (or rather Waited in Waiting Room) - was called into the first room.

I told my story.  A nurse cam in and put a yellow band on my wrist:  "Fall Risk."  I explained that I was not a fall risk unless they had patches of ice in the hallway.  It didn't matter.  I was put in room 9.  X-ray and doctor visits.  I had a choice:  sit on the bed or on a chair.  I took the chair.  Beds and I are not friends yet.  Much to do.  Results.  I have a fracture of the 9th rib on the left side.

Go home and heal. they gave me 12 pills.  Tramadol.  Opioid, my first.  they said it would take from 2 weeks to 3 months - depending.  sigh.    In the future I am going to list the possible side effects of Tramadol.  Isn't interesting that Tramadol doesn't kick in my spell chek?  I don't know how to spell opiod.  I save my drugs for night time sleeping in the chair.

Yesterday, I slept in my chair for 12 straight hours.  I made myself get up today.  

Why?

BECAUSE, WE GET OUR STUPID COVID 2ND SHOT TODAY AT 2 P.M.

Now TV is saying we'll need more shots in the fall to counter the covid variations.  Of course this means that people who know more than I will proclaim that masks must be worn through 2025.  When the time comes, they will try to bury me in a mask.  When will it end?

I'm stopping here.  Next week must be better than the past 3 weeks.  All we need now is a meteor shower.  Over and out.


WHINE IS OVER.

M

This is the week that izz

 This is part 2 of a 3 part blog.  See the blog below to get the temperature.  Then, don't forget the one above for the cool down.

So the newer car is in the garage.  The snow storm hits.  This in itself is usually not a problem.  If you get snow in Texas, 24 hours later it is a memory.  Not this time.

Thanks to the inept electrical people we lost power for 4 hours.  Back on for 2.  Off for 8 hours.  This continued from Sunday through Wednesday.  Our house temperature began to work its way down.  Now, I have to brag on the builders of this house, Tilson Homes.  Our temperature never sank below 60.  The air pump and aux. heat kept going and going - think Energizer Bunny.  The temperature stayed below freezing for a hundred hours or so.  Nothing defrosted.  If you live in Texas, this is not news.

It was bad.  Our water pressure started dropping.  Eventually, we had no water pressure at all.  Luckily I had water stored in the garage because I carry it in the motor home.  We were okay.  I went to the propane tank and checked the level.  We were at 35 %.  Our delivery guy likes to refill when it gets down to 20%.  We were okay there.  All Texans know, this went on for several days.   By Friday, thawing had begun.

My #2 grand daughter turned 18 on Friday.  We had a card ready to mail on Monday (President's day).  Mail didn't run, and we didn't either.  The mailbox is a mile away up several small hills.  We went no place.

Saturday dawned.  Wait.   When I first conceived this blog, I had so much to say about the snow and ice.  It was planned to extend for page after page.  I guess time heals all wounds.  I am not as passionate about that problem this week.  The water problem was major.  How can I discuss that strongly enough.  It was a terrible time.  It was truly a bad week.

Saturday.  I opened the garage and backed out the car.  I walked around the car  looking at the slanting driveway.  Yes, our driveway is a hill.  Things looked fine except a small patch of snow/ice about halfway up.  Satisfied that I could make it up the hill, I started inside to round up the dogs.  That is when I hit a very small patch of ice with my left foot.  Down I went.   I hit hard on my left side - the left arm and shoulder seemingly taking the brunt of the fall.   It is amazing how gravity can pull you down before you can make an effort to respond.  It was step, down, thump.

Sure my shoulder hurt a bit, but I was okay.  I turned my head slightly and was nose to nose with the small black piece of ice.  I swear it smiled and chuckled.   I struggled to my feet and made it into the garage.  I was okay.  Didn't hit my head.  Back inside, I rounded up the dogs and we headed for town.  The wife had a haircut appt at 11:30. Our drive to town and later was not a problem.  It was okay.

We now move above to part 3.

m

That was the week that wuz

 This should become a 3 part blog.  I plan on two more entries which should be found above this one - if I do it correctly.  If not, part 2 & 3 will be somewhere below.  Your guess at this moment is as good as mine.

That was the week that wuz.

If there were ever a month that was going to cause emotional distress, this has been it.  It hasn't seem to let off since - well, way back in November.   I'm still waiting for that 3rd stimulus check so I can stimulate someone else.

At the start of February, I decided to trade my 2014 Red/Black wonderful Ford Flex for a 2019, any color Ford Flex Limited.  The older car was fine, but it has 91000 miles under its engine belt.  I wasn't so much worried that it would quit running.  I worried about little cosmetic things and the fact that at 100,000 miles its value would plummet...soar downward...slip into oblivion...slide in a spiral past double 00.   

I went online every night for over a week looking for a 2019 Flex.  They were there.  Most Ford dealers carried at least one  - used.  They didn't make a 2020.  As I read each entry, it was obvious.  All of these had been rentals.  All had over 30,000 miles - many well-over.  Color choices would be white or black.  And, many were AWD.  I needed a FWD car in order to pull behind the motorhome.   It is not surprising how many used car dealers would not straight answers about the cars.  "C'mon in and drive it."  Who is going to drive 100 miles to test drive a used car when the salesman is ignoring your questions.

Finally, I settled on 2 cars in Brownwood.  One white and One black.  both over 30,000.   I asked the salesman (a good ole boy) a money question.  He evaded the answer and invited me to drop in over the weekend.  On a whim, I looked at dealers around Austin again.   There was a 2019, white, with under 10,000 miles at Covert Ford in Hutto.  I was online.  A person online tried to talk to me.  I responded about the car and asked a simple question.  Is the middle seat a bench seat or captain's chairs?  He'd get back to me.

Over 24 hours later, no response.  It was about 6 pm, and I was talking to daughter Christine who lives in that area.  She hung up the phone and called Covert as they were closing.  A salesman took the call and called me.  I didn't want this 10K car to get away.  Here was the deal.  I drive to Hutto and do the paperwork.  I leave my 2014 with them.  They give me a loaner to drive home.  I go back down on Tuesday to pick up new car.  The car was in transport.  All of this is explained in another blog below.

Long story short  (too late)  Ice storm hits about the 8th.  Car isn't ready anyway.  Storm continues through Thursday.  I get word car is ready.  We drive down through the patches of ice and pick it up on Friday.  Drive home - park car in garage - and snow storm hits.

this brings us to part 2 above.

happy going.  

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Rush

I lost a good friend today.  Rush Limbaugh died from lung cancer.  He was a good friend that talked to me almost everyday since sometime in the very late 80s.  Sure, I never met him - never called his talk show - but I felt he was a friend.   I will miss what he has to say.  Someone will replace him.  That will be a very hard task.

I can still remember the first time I heard Rush on the radio.  We were living in Gainesville out at Moss Lake.  It was hot summer, and I was down working on our dock.  The dock in itself would be a long stone.  We had just moved out to that lake.  The spouse was in the kitchen, and I was down at the dock.  I always carried a portable radio with me.  We had another radio in the kitchen setting on the window sill. These were not boom boxes.

I had turned the radio to 820 and was listening.  This guy came on about 11 and started his talking - along with extra things.  I had never heard anything like it.  I listened.  He said what I was thinking.  That didn't happen.  At noon (lunch time - never miss lunch time), I ran  up the hill and asked my wife if she was listening to this guy.  I couldn't even figure out his name.  It didn't compute.

From that day on, when I could, the radio was tuned to Rush.   I have to admit that recently I have been unable to listen to the entire 3 hours.  The news was just too depressing for me.  I could listen for a while, then go read a book.   I will miss Rush as a part of my life.

===========

I lost another good friend several years ago.  Every night as I prepared myself for classes the next day, I watched Johnny Carson on the Tonight Show.  I was there when he started the first night; and, I remained when he said farewell.  I turned off the TV late at night after he left.  I never watched Jay Leno - and, that was dumb.   I enjoy Jay's car show when I can find it.  I was hooked on Johnny Carson.  I decided to not let another person consume so much of my time.

The Tonight show lost me when they started spending the final segment bringing in rock bands.  Demographics, I believe is the word.   I no longer fit in their targeted audience.   The show had been cut to an hour (incl commercials), the guests were unfamiliar to me, and, then, the rock band full of noise and unknown faces.  I moved on.

As I sit and think about this, I am sure that I will remember another good friend that I have lost.  A good friend that I never met or talked to.   Perhaps Regis Philbin .... Kelly was funny when she fed off Regis.  He left.  I con't watch that show anymore.  Junky.

I suppose I felt the same way when I sold my blue 1964 Pontiac - or my 1973 red Mercury - or, yes, this past week when my 2014 Ford Flex moved on to another life.  Little things.

==============

Report as I close:  My daughter seems to have only a very mild case of Covid.  That is good.  If it transfers to her husband, I pray it goes okay there too.

mtz

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Brrrrr Baby it's cold outside

 I am confident that I will not finish this typing before I lose electricity.  I do have a large battery thing attached which will keep me up and running for a while after all power is lost.

The storm is upon us.  For those readers who may live in Bangladesh, Texas has been under assault since this past Saturday.  If truth be know, it was assaulted all of last week too.  I was to pick up my 2019 Flex in Hutto on Tuesday of last week.  I called them (Covert Ford of Hutto and other towns) on Monday.  They didn't have the car yet.  Yes, they sold me a car which I have never seen or touched and they didn't have it yet.  Their story:  The previous owners traded it in.  Their new car was  having some work done to it.  The work had not been finished.  The previous owners (PO) STILL had the car at home waiting.

Of course, we are dealing with used car salesmen here.  Their first story was that the car was in transport and the transporter had sold his transporter - now Covert Ford was looking for a way to move the car to Hutto.  I figured out later that the car was to be transported from the west side of Austin to the east side (Hutto).  I could have hired a teen-age monkey to accomplished that feat.  As you may realize, their story was flawed.

The new story was so much better.  sigh.   I wanted this particular car because #1 it was a 2019 Ford Flex Limited -- Ford didn't make a 2020.  #2  The 2019 is almost identical to my 2014 except for certain updates Ford has made over the past 5 years - plus this is a Limited and mine was an SEL model.  #3 as I looked online for a 2019, I couldn't find any that had less than 30,000 miles and were all coming from the Rental market. Their Flex had less than 10,000 miles.  #4 I pull my Flex behind the motorhome.  I had to have a FWD Flex.  This was a FWD.

ASIDE:  As I searched, I would ask the dealerships if their used Flex was a Front Wheel Drive or an All Wheel drive.  Then, I asked if a AWD could be flat towed on all four wheels down.   I could not get ONE, NOT ONE, salesman who had an AWD to answer the question.  It is written in the owner's manual as plain as can be.  The salesman would not walk out to their car and look - much less send me a copy of the page to verify.   A salesman with Platinum Ford on the far east side of Dallas, sent me a print out of some magazine article.  He had the nerve to razz me about it.  Jerk.   I now have the book; it says in plain language, The AWD cannot be towed on all four tires.  It must be placed on a trailer.   Jerk.  

A CURSE:  may one of his children or grandchildren have to deal with a car salesman and get .... messed with.  Karma.

==============================================================

Ice storm was Wednesday.  Pretty severe.  Thursday - not much better.   Friday:  we drove south in our Ford loaner (Escape)  and traded for our white Flex.   At under 10K miles, I still paid too much.  But, this should last us at least another 5 years.  When you are 80 yrs old, another 5 years is pretty good.  Sometime in the future, my children will proclaim that I am too senile to drive any more.   See: the show Driving Miss Daisy.   I love the clarinet solo...and, they are driving a Hudson - my bucket list favorite car to own and carress.

==============================================================+

We arrived home Friday night about 6 or so.  Still light outside to some degree.  The new car went into the garage and has rested.   We did drive to town Sat. morn and bought milk and bread - it was the first time the wife got to drive the car -  visited CiCi's pizza - filled the car with fuel.   Our HEB was completely void of any milk products.  We heard a rumor the HEB truck was iced under somewhere near San Antonio.   There were 8 loaves of bread left.  ME, Lucky Dog.  Bought a loaf.  Left HEB, drove over to Brookshires and bought milk.  Done.  Ready for the winter storm.

===============================================================

No no nonono, not ready.  Who can be ready for the "rolling blackouts?"  We had about 8 inches of soft fluffy snow.  It was pretty.  I had bought a big (40 lb) bag of sunflower seeds for the birds.  Didja know that birds never say "thank you."   Maybe they do, and I just can't understand.   I have been throwing out bird seed in the back and the front yards.  I piled some on my small front porch.   At one time yesterday, I had over 50 small birds on my front porch.  I tried to count them.  Learn from me -- don't try to count birds in a flock.  Won't work.  When I finish here, I will distribute more seeds before dark.

We have this beautiful black bird, bigger than a sparrow, smaller than crows, about the size of a bright red cardinal - they have a small stripe of white on their shoulders.  The birds are all beautiful.  The cardinals are grand.  One smaller bird has a pale yellow breast.  I like birds.   When I walk out on the porch, some of the smaller birds don't leave.  They look at me and continue to seek food.  I've had my hand within an inch of them - food in my grip.  Nice.

==================================================================

So the snow came.  The snow stayed.   Yesterday afternoon, at 2 p.m., the electricity went off.  Clunk! It was off for till 4 - almost to the second.  Rolling Blackout in the day light.  Last night we started watching a recorded TV show at 6:30 -- Father Brown.  At almost exactly 7, Clunk!  

I thought, "This is okay.  It will be back on soon.  I need to share America's Pain and Suffering.  I am so noble." 

I was wrong.  I read by flashlight till 11 and went to bed shivering.  Short Aside:  my mom used to tell me that her eyes were bad because she would read under her covers late at night when she was a girl instead of going to sleep.  I doubt she had a flashlight in 1920.  So she read by candlelight?  Under the cover?   Maybe she had a flashlight.  Maybe.  On the other hand, kids do stupid things.

Sometime in the middle of the night (2 a.m.) all the lights came back on.  Saved.  The heater relit.  About an hour later - you guessed it - CLUNK!  Our electricity was off from 3 a.m. till 2 p.m. Tuesday.  It is now 3:30.   I'm waiting.  When will it blow?   I feel a CLUNK coming on.  Can you feel it?

====================================

Couple of side stories:

#1 My daughter Laura has just tested positive for Covid.  She doesn't feel too bad.  Maybe she will be lucky.  She teaches music in a small elementary school - Blooming Grove, TX.  Everyday, mask in hand, she greets every Blooming Grove student for her music class.  I say it was only just time.  and now she - her husband Tom - and the 3 dogs - quarantined .  As they say:  their are young teens, older teens, and Quaran-teens.  All can be a pain.

#2  Sitting here, I have been drinking a large mug of hot tea.  Jealous?

#3  My puppy Sadie (she is 5 years old) loves to bolt out the back door, cross the back porch, sail through the air down the hill - and rout the birds who are merely trying to eat their sunflower seeds.  Sadie doesn't care.  Chase birds.  Chase Squirrels.  It's all in a day's work.

 #4  My #2 grand daughter (grandot) Shelby, has a birthday on Friday.  We sit here with her birthday card in hand.  Stamped and addressed - ready to go.  It is a mile to the mailbox.  May not drudge up there.  Yes, when I was in elementary school living in Kansas and Nebraska, I walked to school in the snow.  I remember walking on top of snow drifts higher than my elephant eye.  Still, I don't plan to mail Shelby's card anytime soon.

#5  Tea is at the bottom of the mug.  Time to stop.   Stay warm and safe.

mtz

Thursday, February 11, 2021

Whether Wetter Weather

 TV weather people live for days like this.  { I used to say weathermen and weathergirls; but, that seems to be politically incorrect in these times. }  We watch Dallas channel 5 weatherfolks on a regular basis.  I don't know why.  It seemed like a good idea at the time.  Last night, Channel 5 proclaimed they were starting their weather reports 30 minutes early this morning (4:30 a.m.).  And weather casts have been shouting out 360 degrees for 24 -7 this morning.  

The roads have ice on them.  They should.  It has been raining and drizzling on and off since yesterday afternoon, and the temperature is below freezing.  Put the two together.  You have ice.   This morning I stepped out on my front walk  and tried to slide.  No ice there.  Thus, I reasoned, all roads must be fine.  That same logical reasoning has followed me throughout the morning.  

Not this time, but years back, the first thing I would do on a potentially icy day was to slam on my brakes to see if I drifted.  No drift; No ice.  Drive faster.  Made sense to a middle aged male driver.  And, I betcha, that is what is happening north of here in the DFW area.  A pileup in Ft. Worth has killed 5 already.  Watching TV weathercasts, we can see cars zipping over the overpasses.   (That was fun to say - "zipping over the overpasses.")   Some have been sanded; some not.  35 car pileup in DFW.  Yessir, that's a bundle of vehicles.

-----------------------

AN ASIDE:  I saw that another patch of I 35 W had wrecks.  They project 4 hours to clear the mess. Why does it take so long?  I realize that I have never had to clear wrecked cars off a road in the ice.  I realize that.  I have no experience.  But, 4 hours to clear.  Doesn't that seem like someone is making a commission on the amount of time necessary.  "We'll pay you an $100 an hour to stretch out this cleanup."   What if you gave them one hour, then, docked pay for every 30 minutes over that time?  It's just a thought.  And, I can say this criticism because I am confidant that none of the workers, who are standing out in this weather, read this blog.   I don't need a load of ice and scrap metal dumped on my driveway.

-----------------------

I need to drive south today.  My phone shows ice flows south of us.  I sit and wait.  Tomorrow will be dry.  It will still be lower than freezing.  Maybe all the cars from today will dry off the road.  My wife just brought me a thing she read off facebook.  People out here (East of Corsicana) are driving into town.  They report that the mile long bridge over Richland-Chambers Lake seems to have ice.   The one in front of the Darn, is covered with ice.  What a revelation.  (My momma made me say "Darn" instead of .... of .... that other word.)

Here I have sat for a year dodging the Covid bug.  All the news could report was bad Covid news.  Today they graduated to ice.  The TV weather people are ecstatic to get the opportunity to hog the airwaves for this brief bit of time.  Bad weather is their Hog Heaven. 

What I love the most is the lone, single reporter standing, shivering beside an icy road describing the scene in great repetitive detail - nobody withing 100 yards - and she is wearing a mask.  As you know, Covid will latch on to a single ice crystal, flutter about the atmosphere for hours, and slither up your nose.   

Dastardly little creatures.

more later.

latching on my ice shoes so I can make it safely to the bathroom.

Keep your head down and put a clothespin on your nose if you're going outside to stand by the highway.
mtz  (tired and 80)

Friday, February 5, 2021

today - pudding - car - misc.

 Feb 5 2021

There used to be a show on TV called "That was the week that was" or something like that.  It was a news show.  Went away.  For us, this has been one of those weeks - sure, no real pain or gain - but a week.  That's it.  A Week.

First of all, today, the 5th, is my #2 daughter's birthday, born 1967.  If you want to calculate the age, have at it.  Needless to say, I am too young to have a daughter that old.  ASIDE:  She is called #2 because she was born 2nd among our 3.   I mention this because some folks are so anxious to jump on a nothing and condemn others for a slip of the tongue or a stray comment.  Shame on them.

So she has a birthday today.  We will call tonight if the phones are still working.  Tomorrow, a trip to take her and Tom out for lunch.  We do lunch in order to be home before dark - I just hate my dogs being outside after dark.  We still have critters that roam in the twilight.  

Her fine hubby Tom will do something for her tonight; he always does.  I do think he has a gift for the creation of different ways to celebrate all sorts of occasions.  Go Tom Go.   That would make a great book title.

My wife finished off her gallon of ice cream left over from Christmas - yep, last night.  It has taken her until now to eliminate our one gallon of vanilla ice cream.  Woe is me.  What now?  

Sometimes I make remarks in passing about nonsense.  Obviously, once in a while, I actually get it right.  Being the diabetic I am, sweets are few and far between.  I buy little snack packs at the grocery store  (kids carry them in lunches to school)  --  the Sugar Free chocolate pudding snack paks.  Not too bad to eat on a lonely night watching TV with the dogs.  They're good.  Probably not as good as real chocolate pudding made with sugar.

In our refrig is a can of the whipping cream spray on stuff - left over from Christmas too.  In passing I told the wife to get one of those snack paks and cover the chocolate with whipping cream.  I thought it was funny.  Imagine a little plastic container of pudding covered 8 to 10 inches high with whipped cream.  (Eat the whipped cream and throw away the pudding.)  See below.


That's it.  Chocolate pudding (sugar free) topped with whipped cream.


and now.



Above is my 2014 red & black Ford Flex with 91000 miles.  We tow it behind our old motorhome.  It is our family car.  Yes, for those who are long time readers, the black car beside it is my 2003 black Mercury Marauder.  The Ford's 91000 miles has been eating on me.  I'm old.  I love this car.  But, the 91K bothers me.  Too many chances to break.   I started looking about 3 weeks ago for a newer Flex.

Online is an interesting way to look for used cars.  I found maybe 20 to 30 - 2019 Ford Flexes in Texas.   Just stop and say that again.  Flexes in Texas. They didn't make a 2020.  All my Flexes live in Texas.   Wasn't that a country song from a while back?  

Every Flex that I found was setting at about 30000 miles or more - Or lots more.  And all of them, according to that Car Fox Fax animal - all were former rentals.  There was one blue one.  There was one red one (with 45000 miles).  All the rest were white, black, or silver.  Maybe one gray one thrown in there somewhere for good measure.  I had pretty much decided to buy a white or a black one from Big Country Ford in Brownwood (a 3 hour drive +).  Then, the very night before I planned to drive to Brownwood, in a casual fooling-around-on-the-computer thing, I looked up Covert Ford in Hutto.  There it was - no picture available.  They had just gotten in a white one owner, not a rental, 2019 with less than 10000 miles on it.  A little pricey but 10K is a premium.

Online I communicated with Hutto.  I got a first response, and, then, nothing.  All evening and throughout the following day, I tried to get someone online to talk to me.  Nothing.  That evening, I was fussing on the phone to my #1 daughter in Round Rock.  After we hung up, she called Covert Ford and asked why they didn't want to talk to me.  I thought that was fun.

I got a text that night and a  call the next morning.  We talked.  A day later I drove to Hutto and bought the car.  There is no photo of a white Flex here because, I won't get delivery till Tuesday.  You see, they didn't have the car yet.  It was in transition.  I can't spell transcent.  Nope that isn't it.  Transport works.  Nobody would call me back because they couldn't find the car and couldn't figure out how to communicate with me.  

An aside note to salesmen:  it is not hard to call and explain if it is a good reason.  Don't ignore the customer.  We call that customer service.

We left the red car in Hutto.  They loaned me a little black Escape to drive.  We'll go down on Tuesday and get the white one.  I am now in debt again.  Why do I do these things?  Wait, I remember, because the red car has 91000 miles.  At 100000, many people won't even talk to you.   If you live near Hutto, it is a good car - wired and fixed to be pulled behind a motorhome.  Hopefully it will be a bargain.

Finally, I have learned that an Escape is a tiny car.  It has some bells and whistles; but, it is a tiny car.  I miss my Flex already.

Now, as I close, I want to say something about Groundhog Day.  It was sunny in Corsicana all day.
6 more weeks.  So there.
See ya,
mtz


Thursday, January 28, 2021

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Our Glorious Day Has Come

See the title above:  

Should it be "Has Come"  or  (based upon Christmas song) "Is Come?"  Our Day Is Come.  "Joy to the World, the Lord is come..."   Not important right now.  You decide.

Tonight at 8 p.m., my wife and I get our 1st Covid shots.  The day has finally arrived.  Give me another week or so, and I will be going around hugging everyone at Walmart.

I did have this thought.  When a person has received his 2nd shot and is 95% protected - when that happens, why wear a mask?  I realize you wear the mask to protect others from you.  The mask rarely saves the wearer.  That's what I've been told.

So, I have come up with a plan.  After you receive your 2nd shot, they tattoo the word "SAFE" across your forehead.  Maybe there is a better word.   "I've had my shot."  That seems a bit long for a forehead tattoo.  As an alternative, people wear a blue ribbon on their shirts after they have had the shots.   Gonna change that to a red ribbon.  Red stands out more and can be seen by the normal human.  (pink is already taken)

Or we could each carry a little flag with the picture of  a needle on it.  No, dummy.  Not a sewing needle.  The hypodermic Needle.   Maybe the picture could have a few drops of liquid squirting out.  

You cannot get some people to wear masks, so I don't think giving them a needle flag would work.

When I was a Freshman at Tech, my fraternity required me to wear a little green beanie.  People who don't take shots could wear a green hat.  Ya don't like that one?  The possibilities are endless.  Wouldn't you love to be on the jury when that green hat one came to the courthouse.    They would equate it to Jews having to wear a gold star in Germany during WWII.  Yessir!  That would be a fun time in the old court room tonight.

==========

Subject #2:  The wind won't quit blowing.

==========

Subject #3:  My daughter Laura (bless her heart) has 6 boxes of Grape Nuts for me.  We are working out an agreement on delivery or me picking them up.  6 boxes will last me for 6 weeks unless my wife starts eating them daily.   Ya never know.  It could happen.  After she order the cereal from Walmart dot com, her store started stocking the cereal again.  

I'm tellin' you.  When the stores started stocking toilet paper again, it was a wonderful day in the neighborhood.  And, now, Grape Nuts.

===========

One Final Subject #4:  In the beginning of all of this, there was a report that dogs can get and spread the disease.   Originally, I figured this report was started by the CAT lobby.  Those people have no morals.  

Can a dog be protected with a shot?  I can tell you that my Bruno is getting real tired of wearing a mask when he goes to the dog park to smell other dog's ....   There is a group of people who are now coming out suggesting that it is the USA's duty to vaccinate other countries.  I believe the shots should be kept at home for America, America, God shed his grace on thee.   Is it really our responsibility to give shots to all the people in Brazil or Italy?  

=============

Your turn.  See ya later.

Mtz      



Saturday, January 23, 2021

GRAPE NUTS REVISITED

I first wrote of this on Jan. 19th -- see that blog below plus others --  about "shortages" I cannot find in my Corsicana grocery stores.

My daughter Laura is a worrier.  She got on this project of finding me Grape Nuts and wouldn't let go.  Think of a dog and his bone.  You just try to pull that bone out of his mouth.

She looked in Waxahachie and couldn't find.  She had promises (I think) that Grape Nuts are coming.  didn't come.

At last, she went to Walmart.Com - found Grape Nuts online -- placed an order for 3 boxes ---

Total cost would be about $17.  { I don't think Walmart delivers to Corsicana; but, they will deliver to a Waxahachie address. }   3 boxes ordered.   She got the word.  Delivery is today (Saturday).

------

A big Budget Rental truck arrived and delivered a big Walmart box.   Inside her house Laura opened the box and called us.   It, the big box, had one box of Grape Nuts inside and a notice that the other two boxes were back ordered.  This big box had shipped from Sherman, Texas, up near the Oklahoma border.  Look that up on your map.



The two back-ordered boxes are scheduled for Monday delivery.

I am sure - since Laura may not be home on Monday when the delivery occurs - the national ring of grape nut burglars will be following the truck and will snatch them up.  Them burglars be notorious in this part of the west.   

So - to sum this up -  I am GRAPE - FULL to daughter Laura for her efforts.

now an aside:

Have gone to Walmart.com and typed in Grape Nuts.  You can buy a 4 pound box of grape nuts for $110.90.  Yes.   $110.90 for a 4 lb box.   But, wait hey, there is  Free Delivery.    

My one little box is 29 oz.  That is 1 lb 13 oz.  So a 4 lb box is about  2 1/2 boxes equivalent.   $110.90.  I looked on Amazon.  One guy is selling a box for about $200.  Yes.  $200.  That should qualify for free delivery too.  

The question:  when I finally get my one box (29 oz), should I eat it?   Frame it?   Put it on Amazon and make a $180 profit?  Normally it sells for about $3 or $3.50 or so.    I'm thinking about trying to corner the market and become the Grape Nut King.

Serially Yours,

Mtz

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Grape nuts

 My whole family is looking for Grape Nuts for me.  I have had calls and texts.  It was in the news that Post is having problems keeping up with the demand.  Why?

I looked on Amazon.  They have Grape Nuts.   $15 a box.   plus s&h.   If my family in Lubbock finds Grape Nuts, they would have to be mailed.  That would make their cost about $15 a box too.  Not a good idea.  Even for a pitiful, dottering old man, not a good idea.

At $15 a box, I'll continue to eat dry Cheerios and a small glass of orange juice for breakfast.  If someone could corner the market on Grape Nuts, they could get wealthy - at least until the govt. decided to impose new regulations.  I think it may be a commie plot.  The dems will blame Trump.

GRAPE NUTS ARE THE NEXT TOILET PAPER CRISIS

Speaking of the mice inside my Flex's engine compartment eating wires -- my repair guy says that he believes it is field RATS doing the damage, not mice.   He described them being so big  (hands held 8 inches apart) and with little short tails.  It sounds like I need to carry a machine gun with me when I go outside at night.  Kill them varmints.

Let's do an aside here:  Varmints  vs. varmits.  Which is correct?  My spell check puts the "n" inside the word.  No self-respecting cowpoke would pronounce the "n."   

"I've got ya covered.  You varmints stand against that wall and shuck your weapons real slow like."  

Var-MENTS.  I just can't see it.  

Grape Nuts has an N.  You can plainly see it.   "Gimme a bowl of Grape Uts."  Nope.  That would never do.   Put an N in Grape Nuts and take it out of Varmits.

Time for a big glass of Lemon flavored Lipton Ice Tea Mix (see a previous blog about Raspberry and Peach teas).  When will it end?  When will it all end?

see ya.

m

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Upper (Vs. a downer)

 I really don't try to write things that are depressing ( downers ).  Hopefully, folks realize that my downers are my way of making fun of situations. I wrote my "downer" yesterday.

===============================

Interestingly (to me, of course) Rush hit on this subject today.  He was explaining how professional radio personalities try to hide how they are feeling while on the air.  You listen to a disc jockey on the radio, he is always happy and ready to go.  Sure, I have heard talk show hosts who yell at callers.  I think that is their way of getting people to call in to their show.  And, some of their callers really are morons.  Rush always seems to be upbeat.  Even when politics don't go his (our) way, he seems to put a nice twist to it.

===============================

So if any of my stuff is depressing, try to find the good hidden away.  It is hard to be always happy and cheerful.  I fail miserably at times.

===============================

Let's take dogs for instance. . . . maybe even cats and horses and pigs and pigeons.  I have never seen a dog that was depressed.  I'll take that back. Once in a while you hear of a pet who goes to the grave site and curls up on top of the grave, despondent looking.  On TV you see advertisements for charities who show dogs that are mistreated or scared - certain commercials.  That's not fair though.  You give a dog a meal and a  bed and love, they are always happy.  SQUIRREL!!!    I don't think they know how to be sad.

As I was writing this, I looked down to see my little Sadie sitting there looking up into my eyes.  I stopped and picked her up.  As always she curled up on me and rammed her head under my chin, pushing to get just a bit closer.  I loved her and talked sweetly.  It lasted about 5 minutes, and she was ready to go.  Go!  Somewhere.  That little girl knows how to cuddle.  I've accused her of doing it just to soften me up.  No doubt, she is good at this.  We all have our strong suits.  Cuddle up on my lap:  that's something you cannot do with a horse.

===============================

Now, now, now - a response to yesterdays downer.  When we checked out at our HEB grocery store  yesterday, they gave my wife a card.  "You could win a $100 gift card."  Just fill out a survey to maybe win.  I did the survey this afternoon.  It had a place to list what I am unable to find at the store.  No doubt, they must have heard my whines or read my bluggy.  I jumped on this chance to list Grape Nuts.  GRAPE NUTS.  I NEED GRAPE NUTS.  Now, I feel that I have done something to make our world a better place to live.  I am such a giving person.

===============

Speaking of giving: In today's mail, a letter from some group known as the "INTERNATIONAL FELLOWSHIP OF CHRISTIANS AND JEWS."  They are out of Washington DC or Chicago.  Fundraising. They say:  "Urgent:  Help feed elderly Jews struggling to survive."  On the surface that seems like a good thing - doesn't it?  Inside their writings, we find they are trying to get your money to feed - ready? - the Holocaust Survivors struggling to survive in the former Soviet Union.    

I was born in 1940.  WWII ended in 1945,  If I am 80 years old - and I am - a Holocaust survivor has to be my age or older.  True Holocaust individuals had a terrible life.  If a newborn was locked up at age of one, how old are we talking about?  Holocaust survivors living in Russia.  That would be the socialist republic of USSR.  Socialism is not taking care of them?  That's a question.  Maybe this is a legitimate fund raiser.  Beats me.  They say that $25 will "fill a Pantry for 1 Jew for one month."  Cynic.  That's me.  Is this a downer?  Think I will send my money to the Cancer folks or the Methodist Children's Home in Waco.

=============

okay.  sorry.   this was not a fun blog tonight.

I will try harder in the future.  It is the void of Grape Nuts that is getting me down.  Keep in mind, one box of Grape Nuts will feed a surviving band director for one week.

m   

:)   😉

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

An adventure day

 Now, don't get me wrong; but, when I say "today" was an adventure, I'm not talking about learning to sky dive or having to fight a dragon.  When you hit 80 and rarely venture out of your castle (dragons beware), anything different feels like an adventure.  Let me give you a couple of basics.

It takes about 15 minutes to drive to town on our two lane road with moderate traffic.  You can't fall asleep on the way.  One must pay attention.  2/3rds of the way to town, we move on to US hwy 287.  They have construction on 287.  Again, this is not a leisurely drive looking at the the hillsides or mountains - we don't have mountains - breathing the fresh winter air.  It is a busy drive dodging cows and  trains and trucks and guys in pickups who are trying to break the sound barrier.  

If you drive to town, you can plan on 15 minutes in - and 15 minutes back - unless there is a train at the crossing.  Everything is paved... and, today, wet.  The rains have come again. 

As I reported on my previous bluggy, my Flex is having problems.  The engine seems to be missing or there is something broken / hidden in the drive line.   Repair people fix that sort of thing.  About two days before I took the Marauder to the repair guy (see a different blog for that stone), I pulled my Flex up to the Marauder and used jumper cables to no avail.  I was under the Flex's hood that day.  I parked the Flex in the garage for a couple of nights.

Rain stopped - weather cold, I left the Flex outside in the cold for a couple of nights.  I have learned my lesson.  When the Flex first started acting up, I did open the hood and look.  All males worth their salt will open the hood and stare at the engine saying, "hmmmmmmm."   When, I opened the hood, there was a pile of mouse bedding right on top of the engine.  It's gone now.   Due to a past problem, I guessed this might be related to my newest Flex problem. 

The Plan:   Drove 2 cars to town.  Dropped off the Flex at the repair shop.  Continued in the Mercury.

===============================================

Aside stone:  Since I was diagnosed with Diabetes in 2008, I try to limit my intake of Carbs.  Early on, I learned that 3/4 cup of Grape Nuts cereal plus 3/4 cup 2% milk reached my carb liimit for breakfast.  I have been eating Grape Nuts for 12 years with a few breaks in-between for bacon and eggs or ham or sausage.  It is not that I crave Grape Nuts.  It is that Grape Nuts work.   Eating breakfast is much like a job.  It is something I should do everyday correctly.  And, I do.

Aside stone #2:  Years ago, French's mustard started selling a bottle of mustard sauce.  It was really good. I used it on many a meal.  Good.   French quit making the sauce or my store quit selling it.

Aside stone #3:  I used to drink Instant Nestea.  I liked that flavor over Instant Lipton tea.   I drank Nestea for years and years.  Nestea quit making that jar of instant tea or my store quit selling it.

Aside stone #4:  I bought a Mercury Marauder.  I love my car.  Ford quit making Mercurys..... (or should that be Mercuries?)

This same thing has happened to me over the past 80 years.  I find something that I dearly love and they quit making it -or the store quits selling it.  I can give you more examples.

Aside stone #5:  Before I was introduced to "Men's" shower soap in a squeeze bottle, my wife had me using Vel Soap bars.  Vel worked.  it lathered.  it soaped.  it didn't smell really girly.   You cannot find Vel soap bars anywhere - not nowhere.

Aside stone #???  Forever this has been my cross to bear.

========================================================

Back to the plan:  Drop car off; drive to the grocery store.  We have 5 large type grocery stores in Corsicana.  I cannot find Grape Nuts in any store.   Either G.P. have quit making it or my STORES have quit shelving it. Every store has an empty place where Grape Nuts should be. There are none anywhere.  What do I eat for breakfast?  I ate bacon and eggs yesterday.  The day before I tried a bowl of Cheerios.  That won't do.  I would rather eat dry Cheerios than put them in a bowl with milk.   Today, I ate 2 energy type bars and drank a small glass of orange juice.  That seemed to work - until 11:00 when I  had a major hunger attack.   I'm still looking.   

Who would have thought that Grape Nuts would be the next Toilet Paper in the epidemic?

The plan:  I had no luck with cereal.  On we traveled to the Vet where we bought a 6 month supply of Heart Gard for our 3 dogs.  That comes to over $100.  Sigh.  But it is better than seeing my dog die from heart worms...a lot better.

On to Walmart.  Filled the Marauder up with gas.  Went inside and bought some rubber things to go on the bottom of a kitchen chair.  The wife got some dental floss.  Showing that she is learning about shortages, she bought two packages of the floss.  Good.

By now it was 11:00 +.  I'm really hungry.  We went to CiCi's pizza for lunch.  That was an 11 o'clock mistake.  They were barely open and certainly not prepared for customers.  The boss wasn't there and apparently whoever was in charge was not totally there either.   Finally, a stop over at HEB to get a week's supply of groceries.  They do not have Grape Nuts.  They do not have diet flavor Lipton tea mix  jars.  They do not have any fruit juices except those associated with Cranberry.  Everything is a cranberry.  There is something wrong with that.

Home by 1:30.   1:45 phone rings.  Rusty is calling.  The Flex is ready.  A rat had eaten wires to the engine.  He had not eaten all wires, just enough to cost me $122.   The Flex is in the garage now.

We left Rusty's and drove straight to the Ford house.  We have a recall on the Flex.  There is a rear suspension toe link breaking. Y'all know what that is.  I had called Ford earlier.  "Bring it in now, " 'they said.   It seems that this part being recalled has been back ordered.  Take the car home; we'll call you when (and if) the part comes in.  Back Ordered.  I bet my Grape Nuts are back ordered too. 

Now all of that might not seem like an adventure to you.  To me, it was.  So much travel.  So many minor things.  It is over.  The dogs have been fed.  And the rain continues.  We've had an inch and a quarter so far today.  

One other thing before I go.  Rusty (see car repair) has a new beautiful brown, chocolate  Lab puppy in his office. She is about 3 months or so old.  Her name is Molly.   Molly!  What a great name.  When she stands on her back feet, the front feet are on my shoulder.  What a beautiful friendly puppy.  That dog loves me.  That puppy loves everybody.  You have to love Labradors.  You simply have to.

Later, guys.

m  

Saturday, January 16, 2021

downer (for me)

 This edition is a downer for me.  I am so down.  

Last week I took my 2003 Mercury Marauder (had it towed for $95) to the shop.  The guy has always been fair and fast with his work.   One week later, it was ready for $733.  Fuel pump had quit - plus it needed a new battery.  The battery really was week.  It would only crank the engine for 3 or 4 minutes before dying.

;I picked up the car and drove to the tire place where my front 2 tires were replaced.  There was a cord hanging out of the left front tire...flapping as the tire rotated.   The tires were about 7 years old.  They were bad.   Long story shorter, my total cost for the repair and tires went over $1000.   No 2003 car should have a thousand dollar bill.  Thanks to the government for my stimulus check.  I did stimulate somebody.

Today, I started my 2014 Ford Flex - it vibrated as I backed it out of the driveway.   The check engine light came on an started blinking.   We drove to town and attended our annual Home Owners Asso. meeting.  It was terrible.  Fussing, fuming, disagreements, people attending via zoom - they never could understand everything and talked constantly.  That was 3 hours and 25 minutes I will never get back.

So, the first of the next week, I'll call the repair guy and take the car to him.   I'm starting to feel another thousand dollar repair bill.  How am I suppose to get out of debt, if things like this keep happening?  I do have a solution, but it will wait until a later date.

Fussing is over.  Y'all have a better day than I have had.

m  


p.s.  send money.  start me one of those internet accounts where foolish people send money because you have a sad story.   If you can recruit enough cash, I'll just buy a new car.   A Rolls Royce perhaps.

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Snow Day

This is from the Texas Band director's Yellow Board website.  Several Texas schools closed on Monday for a snow day.  We don't have snow around here often.  The below link shows how the superintendent of Harleton, TX announced the closing of his school.  I messed up and didn't get the Supt.'s name.  You'll figure it out.

A band director wrote:
================================================================
My superintendent’s better than yours.

 

This is the Facebook link to our school closing announcement. My superintendent is a very 
talented musician, most importantly... he plays tuba! Just thought I’d share something fun.

https://www.facebook.com/126100070770566/posts/3627884663925405/?vh=e&extid=0&d=n    


=================================================================.

Sunday, January 10, 2021

emailed cartoon

 I get lots of cartoons in emails.   Usually I smile knowingly and move on.  With the one below, I actually chuckled out loud.  It was as close to a full laugh as I have had in months.  I do this hand thing daily with Bruno and Oscar.  Sadie could care less (a dog who doesn't care about food?).    

The email had other good ones - maybe post later.

m

 


If I knew who created this, I'd give him credit.

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Covid Shmovid (Shot)

 Remember the old song:  "Oh where, oh where has my little dog gone?"

My question:  Oh where, oh where has my covid shot gone?"  Corsicana is apparently is awash  in     "no-information available."  That may seem backwards / contradictory  - -

Being awashed in the lack of information  / awash in Nothing.  This past week, off and on, I have called phone numbers that I could find.  Nobody seems to know nuthin'.  Or if somebody does know sumpin', he is hiding it from folks, the common everyday public.

Examples:  I called the Corsicana health dept - phone number in the book - all I get is a fax machine.  You'd think, over time, somebody would notice that.  You'd think.

I called the Navarro Regional Hospital - nice lady operator - she know nuthin'.  Based upon what I think she said, people (just regular folks) are calling her and giving her information about where the covid shots are NOT available.

Our CVS does not have a phone number in the book - found it on the Net.   Their prerecorded message says that they have no shots available.

But, we see people lined up in cars on TV - all getting shots.  Every newscast, we see more images of cars lining up in some vacant lot - people getting shots. 

I called my doctor's office - his phone person transferred our call to the hospital without telling me what she was doing.  Yep, she didn't want to talk about it.

I called the Navarro County health dept.  they have a lot of numbers to press.  I finally just picked one that sounded a bit like "seniors" and got his machine.  I left a message asking them to help the public to learn what was happening.

I called the local paper.  Talked to a guy.  He passed info on to the Editor (based upon reading the paper, I didn't know anyone was editing that thing).  I suggested that a small daily column be dedicated to information on getting the shots.  He thought that seemed like a good idea.  Am I crazy here or shouldn't a journalist think about this on his own?  Just wonderin'?

I do have the county judge's personal email.  I wounder if he could stir things up.  Bothering a judge does seem like a wrong way to do this.

So, what did I learn today.  Nobody knows what is going on and if they do, they are not telling the general public -- and, I am the general public.

Now, let's see, where is the Governor's home phone number again?

mtz

Sunday, January 3, 2021

Stimulated addendum

 Yes, this is an addendum to my previous bluggy regarding my stimulus check -- You may notice the sub-title at the bottom of this:  "Why IZZIT????"   Yes (repeated), why izzit  ("is it" = "izzit" for those from a foreign land) that I get a stimulus check from my government, and, automatically, I must spend it on unforeseen problems.  Why Izzit?

I have a 2003 Mercury Marauder that I love.  I bought it new and have put 170,000 + miles on it.  It is probably the most beautiful  Mercury ever built.   Of late, I have quit driving it as much.  For the past 3  years or so, it barely gets 1000 miles of use per year.  That's not much folks.  If I drive into town and back, maybe I will add 30 miles to the odometer.  Maybe.

Eventually, this car will be a classic that people will want to own.  It is coming up on 20 years of age soon.  We left town once for a week(this car stayed in our driveway).  While we were gone, some big lake birds decided to camp out on the Merc.  Now there are smudged white bird droppings that seem to have eaten into the black paint.  It is my plan to have the car detailed - paint buffed - waxed thickly - and new dark plastic installed on the windows.  It is a bit pitiful right now.  Sad, for such a good car.

My plan has been to drive it weekly - up and down the highway for a few miles.  Then, the Marauder is parked for another week.  So far, so good - WAIT!! - until last week.  My car wouldn't start.  Grind as I might - recharge the battery and grind away again - it won't start.  I pulled my Flex up and used the jumper cables.  Still, no life in the engine.

In the past we  have had wild critters get into our engine compartments and eat away at the wires.  Maybe?

Obviously, it is going to the shop.

I live in the country.  I will have to tow the Marauder into town.

I have one of the best mechanics anywhere when it comes to my Fords/Mercury.  Rusty Dilliago.  Rusty used to be the top service guy at the old Ford house - and before that the Lincoln-Mercury dealer.  He understands cars and (until recently) he has been very reasonably priced.  I hope he remains the same.

Monday, I will talk to Rusty and have the car towed into town.  That should be cheap.

Is that all?  Of course it isn't.  I expect to have a new battery installed.  Rusty will install only the best.   {He has approached me over the years to sell the car to him.  He will want the car to have the best available battery.}

Is that all?  Of course it isn't.   A couple of weeks ago - out driving it on the back road - I suddenly hear this loud whapping sound.  Slowing to 40 mph, the whapping stopped.  Back at home, an inspection I did ... couldn't find a thing.  I did not climb under the car.  Don't cha think an 80 yr old with bad knees shouldn't be squirming underneath a big ole' black car.   But, I should have.  Yep, should have.

As I was walking one of my kids to their car as they left after Christmas, I saw something hanging off the front tire - inside the front tire.   I reached and grabbed.  It was a tire cord coming out of the tire.  The tires are 6 years old and set in the sun all day.  Their days are numbered.  The left front tire has reached that magical number. 

So, thank you Mr. Government for my stimulus check.  My Marauder appreciates your thoughtfulness.

Mtz, the cursed (and rightfully so - I have not always been nice - karma strikes again)

Friday, January 1, 2021

Stimulated ?

     Received our stimulus check January 1, 2021.   It posted to my bank account.  I feel stimulated.  For many I feel it is too little, too late.  For some, me thinks it might be too much, too too.  I plan to pay bills.  Many have suggested that it be used to book a space on the next shuttle to Mars.  

When yours comes, try to not spend it all in one place.  Spread the wealth.  Remember your elders.

Ate my ham and black eyed peas for lunch.  I am ready for the new year.  Now if I can only find out how to get the virus vaccine in my arm, all would be better.  

The rains have stopped.  In two days we received 7 and a quarter inches.  That is not to be sneezed at.  My heart (sympathy) goes out to the west Texans who received snow  ...  especially the children.  They were already out of school and won't receive any extra snow day vacations.  Pity.

luv ya,

mtz