Saturday, November 30, 2013

Gold, Frankincense and WHAT?

Thanksgiving (and Black Friday) are officially in the past – it’s time to think about Christmas decorations. 

I am not suggesting this, but you might want to consider adding something special to your crèche.  Along with the Holy Family, the assorted animals, angels, shepherds and wise men, you could add a caganer.

It’s a Spanish tradition. For at least the past 200 years, residents of the Catalonia region of Spain have put a caganer in their Christmas nativity scenes.

Put as delicately as possible, a caganer is a defecator -- a statuette posed squatting with a little brown deposit below its bare backside.  Catalans hide them somewhere in their nativity scenes and invite guests to play a sort of “Where’s Waldo” to try to find them.

How this tradition began is a mystery, and the best explanation of why they exist is that they are supposed to bring good luck.  In recent years, there has been a trend of fashioning the statuettes to represent famous figures – world leaders, soccer stars, etc.  In 2010, one of the top sellers was Barack Obama.


So far, it looks like this year’s most popular caganer will be the new Pope.

caganer pope

Friday, November 29, 2013

Sir Terry Pratchett

build a man a fire

Somehow, I have managed to never read anything by Sir Terence Pratchett, but that may have to change.

According to his on-line bio, Pratchett was the UK's bestselling author of the 1990s,and has sold over 85 million books worldwide in 37 languages. He is currently the second most read writer in the UK, and seventh most read non-American author in the United States.

He is a science fiction/fantasy author best known for his Discworld series – there are actually Discworld conventions.  In addition to being knighted for his contributions to literature, he has been awarded numerous literary awards and nine honorary doctorates.

I don’t know how I missed his work, but looking on-line, I found a huge list of Pratchett quotes.

  • “He's out of his depth on a wet pavement.”
  • “I have no use for people who have learned the limits of the possible.”
  • Some humans would do anything to see if it was possible to do it. If you put a large switch in some cave somewhere, with a sign on it saying 'End-of-the-World Switch. PLEASE DO NOT TOUCH', the paint wouldn't even have time to dry.”
  • If cats looked like frogs we'd realize what nasty, cruel little bastards they are. Style. That's what people remember.”
  • “Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first, and is waiting for it.”
  • “The intelligence of that creature known as a crowd is the square root of the number of people in it.”

Yeah, I definitely think I have to find some of his books.

Thursday, November 28, 2013


MIckey Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Day is a time to count our blessings.  Among my greatest blessings I count my family and friends, and give thanks that you are in my life.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Lumberjack

Did you know that I’m married to a lumberjack?  Actually, I guess I am one, too – or at least was.  Honey and I met while attending Stephen F. Austin State College in the piney woods of East Texas.  SFA has one of the top forestry schools in the country, and the lumberjack is the school mascot.

That has little or nothing to do with today’s post – just thought I would mention it.

There are a lot of commercials on TV that are supposed to be funny, but very few of them are.  Most of them range from simply stupid to downright offensive, so when I see one that actually makes me laugh, it’s worth mentioning.

I suppose that like most commercials, this one would get old pretty fast, but Honey and I saw it for the first time yesterday, and we both almost lost it.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Eighty First


Congratulations to John and Ann Betar  who celebrate their 81st wedding anniversary today.

The couple left their homes in Bridgeport, CT and drove to New York to tie the knot.  They eloped because her father wanted her to marry a man who was 20 years her senior. 

Her aunt consoled Ann’s irate father by assuring him the marriage would never last.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

der Schnörkel

swimming pool

That’s a look at our swimming pool on a warmer day. 

For years, it provided a venue for fun and healthy exercise.  It still generates a lot of exercise, but almost all of it is in the form of pool maintenance – vacuuming, scooping leaves, etc.

They say that a pool is a hole in the ground that you dump money into.  I used to be able to laugh about that, but since we are often gone during the months when it is warm enough to swim comfortably, it seems to have become the pool’s primary function.   I just don’t find it funny anymore, and when the wind-chill is in the 30s like it has been this week, I give serious thought to having the pool filled in and planting a garden.

skimmer basket 

Aside from the obvious expenses like chemicals and electricity, I have spent an awful lot over the years on skimmer baskets.  This time of year, the basket would get so full of leaves that it was impossible to remove without turning off the pump, and if I didn’t get to it soon enough, the basket would often collapse and split.

I was complaining about that at the pool supply store two years ago, and the clerk said “That shouldn’t happen if you’re using the snorkel.”

The what?” I said.

He scrounged around on the shelf for a while, and then he showed me a piece that screws into the skimmer basket to allow it to breathe when full.

skimmer with snorkel

I had been buying the same skimmer basket from the same store for years, and never knew the snorkel existed.  I never even noticed that the bottom of the basket had a threaded spot for the snorkel to screw in.

Well, now I know.

Problem solved, right? 

I no longer run through several baskets per season.  The bad news is that the snorkel allows the pump to suck air instead of water whenever the basket is full of leaves, so now, instead of a $14 basket, I get to replace a $300 pump.

That garden is sounding better all the time.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Me? O-C-D?

gas pump

Saw an on-line article with photos that either

a) Show you have OCD, or

b) Are designed to cause it.

Some of the images didn’t bother me at all, and others would definitely make me uncomfortable.

Take the gas pump above – I’ll admit that I often try to get  the numbers to come out even.  Not because I feel like I have to, but because pumping gas is boring and it adds a little bit of a challenge to an otherwise dull job.

binder ring

On the other hand, there is no way I could ignore a binder ring that failed to match up.


I wouldn’t stop for this manhole cover, but if it were in front of my house or office, it might be too much to ignore – and if the Men’s Room floor looked like this, I might have to change jobs.floor tile

If You can’t control yourself, you can see the article with the rest of the pictures HERE.

Friday, November 22, 2013

A Car By Any Other Name

chevy nova

One of my favorite urban myths is that the Chevy Nova failed to sell in Latin America because No Va, in Spanish, means won’t go.  It’s not true, the Nova actually sold quite well, but it should have been!

Some car names just work – others, not so much.

In the 50s, Chrysler’s Plymouth division sold a lot of station wagons called the Suburban.

plymouth suburban

The name Suburban worked so well that GM appropriated it for their big Chevrolet SUV.

chevy suburban

Back in the mid-70s, Honey’s uncle sold us his 1968 Ford Ranger Edition Explorer pickup.  It was a beefed up Ford truck with an off-road suspension that felt like it had no springs or shocks at all.  Without the big truck camper he had used it to carry, I had to haul several bags of sand in the back just to make it drivable.

1009or_07_ 1968_ford_f100 desert_truck

A few years later, the Ford Ranger name was on  a mini-pickup, and the Explorer was a mid-sized SUV.

In 2001, Honda was going to import the car they called the Fit in Asia to the European market.

Honda Fit

Honda planned to call it the Fitta until they learned that Fitta is Swedish slang for female genitalia.  They released it in Europe as the Jazz.

A few years before I retired, one of our technicians bought himself a new Toyota pickup.  It was a sport model with the big Toyota Racing Development decals on the rear quarter panels.

toyota trd

He was proudly showing it off in the parking lot when one of our co-workers, seeing the big TRD on the side said, “You bought yourself a Turd?”

Since then I haven’t been able to see that decal on anybody’s truck without chuckling.

Other associations are even more subtle. 

My wife almost never uses profanity and there are some words commonly used today that nearly cause her to swoon.  She certainly has nothing against Volkswagen – her first car was a used Beetle that she drove for years – but the first time she saw a TV commercial for the Passat


she announced, “I could never drive a car called a piss-ant.”

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Autumn and The Annoying Tree

tree 2

Fall foliage, or what passes for it here, is arriving at the Boggy Thicket.  Sweet Gums and elms are just beginning to turn, and some of the Oaks are already dropping leaves by the truck-load.

By far, the most colorful leaves are on what I call “that damn tree.”  I call it that because, although I was a Boy Scout and have lived in Southeast Texas for over 70 years, I have no idea what kind of tree it is. 

I have consulted the internet – based on Texas A&Ms Trees of Texas website, I suspect it is some kind of Ash, but none of the photos or descriptions are an exact match.

In Autumn, leaves go from green to yellow, to orange, to scarlet.  By the time they fall, they are often a luminous garnet with a pattern of black spots.


We have several of those “damn trees” on our property, and they are among the ugliest trees on the place.  They get big – the one in the picture above is well over 60 feet tall.  Unlike most trees, where even the horizontal limbs start growing from the trunk at an upward angle, about a third of the limbs on these trees start out pointed down.

We had a small one – about 18 feet tall - in the front yard that I liked a little bit.  I thought it looked sort of oriental, like a tree you might find painted on a Chinese screen.  Honey thought it was the least attractive tree she had ever seen, so eventually, I cut it down.

Speaking of unattractive, I’ve never noticed fruit on the big trees, but that little one bore tiny, round, blue-black fruit each year.  I don’t know what they tasted like, but they must have been pretty bad – none of the birds or squirrels would touch  them.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

One More Pro Team

womens soccer

I’m not much of a soccer fan. 

I’ve never watched an entire game on television because to me soccer, like hockey, can only be truly appreciated in person.  One Sunday, years ago, I went to Nuevo Laredo for the bullfights and came across a high-school soccer tournament – I enjoyed it so much I never made it to the corrida.

Except for the Olympics, I’ve never seen women’s soccer, but that might change.

The Houston Dynamo are in talks about securing an expansion franchise in the National Women's Soccer League, which features U.S. national team stars Alex Morgan, Hope Solo and Abby Wambach.

The eight-team NWSL played its inaugural season in 2013 with a commitment from the U.S., Canadian and Mexican women's national soccer federations.

"We're involved in the initial stages of this process and hope to learn more about the league and the opportunity over the next few weeks," Dynamo president Chris Canetti said. "I'm a firm believer in women's athletics. I think there is a place in the sports landscape for professional women's sports."

The NWSL's 22-game schedule, which consists of 11 home games and 11 road matches, lasts from April to August. Seattle, Portland, Kansas City, Chicago, Washington D.C., Boston, New Jersey and Rochester have teams in the league. Houston would be the league's first franchise in the Southwest.

If the Dynamo finalize their quest to land an NWSL expansion club, that team would play at BBVA Compass Stadium and train at Houston Amateur Sports Park, just as the men's club does.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Python Resurrection

No joke: Monty Python are (is?) reuniting!
The five surviving members of the famed British cult comedy group – John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones, Michael Palin and Eric Idle – are preparing to make a comeback almost 45 years since their first TV shows together.
"We're getting together and putting on a show – it's real," Jones confirmed to the
BBC early today. "I'm quite excited about it. I hope it makes us a lot of money. I hope to be able to pay off my mortgage!"
The comedians are all in their early 70s now. A sixth founding member, Graham Chapman, died of cancer in 1989 at age 48. Rumors of a Python reunion surface regularly, but have led nowhere – until now.

The group, whose work has been living on in the musical Spamalot (penned by Idle), was set to announce their comeback Thursday. But news was already circulating, with Idle tweeting Monday that fans should look out for a "big forthcoming news event." And The Sun newspaper splashed the news Tuesday with a front-page headline proclaiming "Monty Python Flies Again."
The five members are still set to hold a press conference Thursday at the Playhouse
Theatre in London (where Spamalot is playing).

Monday, November 18, 2013

Happy Birthday Mickey

mickey mouse

Today is Mickey Mouse’s 85th birthday, and he’s still going strong.

Happy birthday, Mickey!  You don’t look a day over 50.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Everybody Talks About The Weather

When you don’t have anything else to say, you can always talk about the weather.

Here at the Boggy Thicket, the weather may have been the most exciting thing happening around here for the last week or so – things really have been that quiet.

In the past week, we saw low temperatures near freezing and 20° below normal on Wednesday, and a high of 81 yesterday, 12° above average for this time of year. 

Today’s forecast high - 85° – would set a new record for the day. 

Although they predicted that yesterday, the weathermen are now starting to hedge a little  - even though this morning’s low of 73° is 18°  above last Wednesday’s high, clouds and a chance of rain may keep the afternoon temperature in the low 80s.

Saturday, November 16, 2013


I have a Facebook friend who is fairly intelligent, well read and reasonably well educated.  He is also wrong about almost everything he posts.

His opinions are about  as far left as possible, and most of his posts are not just preaching to the choir, but specifically designed to piss off anybody who doesn’t share his radical agenda. 

Earlier this month, he posted

cognitive dissonance

For once, he posted something upon which we might agree.  I wonder if he realizes that it also applies to him.

Thursday, November 14, 2013



Sputnik has landed at JSC in Houston!

No, not the first Russian Satellite.  This Sputnik is a 27 foot Airstream trailer that  began it’s career at NASA in 1989 as the Shuttle Modal Inspection System. After the Space Shuttle Program ended the trailer became excess and was available for other uses.

At NASA Johnson Space Center, the Center Operations Directorate has set a goal to expand the use of the outdoor mall area and take full advantage of the beauty and serenity of the ponds, trees and wildlife. They decided to conduct a low-cost experiment with the Airstream and create an outdoor meeting and gathering area for employees in the center of the mall.


The Center Operations Directorate has turned the historic Airstream into a collaborative meeting area, code-named “Sputnik”.  The project pays homage to the past while linking to our future. The Airstreams unique silver exterior invokes the same creative flair seen in the world’s first satellite. That Sputnik launched from the same pad that now sends our astronauts to the International Space Station.

Sputnik’s features include:

  • Sustainable power in the form of a solar generator and LED light fixtures
  • An outdoor sitting area for casual meetings
  • An indoor meeting area for small groups
  • Whiteboards and large post-it-note paper
  • A small table for private work
  • The “Airlock” – a two person “back porch” complete with a  hatch that can be raised to enjoy the full view of the natural outdoors

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


We had our first cold weather of the year blow in – no big deal to my friends up north, but it was just above freezing at 6 a.m.

The dogs went out, drained their bladders and were back at the door wanting inside in about 20 seconds. 

I chuckled and thought “Boy, they’re getting soft in their old age.”

Then I thought “I would be back pretty quick, too, if I was running around naked and it’s  34 degrees.”

Tuesday, November 12, 2013



My grandfather was a cabinetmaker who owned many special tools. He had multiple saws with teeth of various sizes - each for a specific job, along with dozens of drill bits, wood rasps, chisels and planes, and at least a half dozen hammers of various shapes and sizes.

As an air-conditioning man, my dad had all the tools typically owned by a plumber or a mechanic, or a sheet-metal worker, and all the tools a well-equipped electrician would have in his box.  And, of course, the gauges, hoses, etc. necessary to measure and add Freon to the A-C units.  Over the years, he  built or remodeled several of our houses, so he also had a full set of carpenter’s tools – not as many as Pop, but enough.

One thing that I inherited from these men was my belief in the necessity of always having and using the right tool for the job. 

Work is always easier and faster, and the results almost consistently better when you have the correct tool in your hand.  You may get that frozen nut loose with vice-grips, a crescent wrench, or even a set of water-pump pliers, but you stand a good chance of rounding off the nut, making the job even harder the next time. You’ll will leave damage that wouldn’t be there if you had used a box-end wrench or a six-point socket.

Using the right tool for the job was ingrained in me from the time I could walk. 

It’s gospel. 

It’s how I live my life.



Even I have to admit that I take it too far….

The spoons pictured above are from two of several sets of stainless steel flatware we have acquired over the years.  They share the same kitchen drawer, and they may look pretty much the same, but they are not. 

The one on the right is 5/16 of an inch shorter, but made of thicker metal.  It weighs just over 7 grams more than the spoon the left.

Whenever I eat a bowl of ice cream, I always search through the drawer for the spoon on the right – but if I’m opening a cup of yoghurt, I’ll avoid that spoon and dig out one like the spoon on the left.

It’s consistent – I always do it that way.  I do it without thinking, and only recently realized that I do it every time.

I can’t really explain it except to say that it just feels right, and there’s real joy in using the right tool for the job.


Monday, November 11, 2013

Foster’s Back


Running back Arian Foster is out for the year.  He will have back surgery soon – probably this Thursday – to correct a bulging disc. 

In terms of the team and the season, it is a good time to have it done.  In spite of leading the league in several offensive and defensive categories, the struggling Texans have seen their season go down in flames, falling to 2 and 7 with their loss last night.

In terms of Arian Foster stock, the timing couldn’t have been much worse.

As I reported in October, Foster is the first player to sell stock in himself, and his season seems to have gone down hill ever since the deal was announced.  Fantex, the company that was brokering the deal, told that it will refrain from comment about the future of the offering until after the Texans formally announce details of Foster's future.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

So You Think You Can Watch


No posts for the last few days – We’ve been out of town and away from the computer.

Our daughter Cheryl gave Honey tickets to a live performance of the So You Think You Can Dance Tour for her birthdayThey played Houston Friday night, but when Cheryl ordered tickets, they were already sold out, so she got us seats at the new Cedar Park Center for Thursday night instead. 

Honey and I are big fans of the TV show, and the live show was every bit as good as we could have hoped.  We had a wonderful time.

While in the area, we stayed with Cheryl and Gene, then spent yesterday morning with Jason, Kelley and our grandsons.  It was great to see them all.

The Cedar Park Center is an impressive venue, and they really have their act together.  The people who work there are friendly, helpful and efficient; they actually add to the experience.

Just one example – We got there early, and as I paid for parking I told the attendant it was our first visit and asked where would be the best place to park.  He pointed out the building entrance then said, “The V.I.P. parking would be best, but it’s blocked off.  Head on down there and  I’ll radio and have them move the cones.”

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Going Out In Style

george strait

George Strait recently signed a five-year recording contract, but has announced that this will be his last year on tour – a date in Dallas this summer will be his last scheduled live performance. 

Fellow Strait fans may find that sad to hear, but George just might need that tour bus to carry all his awards back to the ranch.

He received the Founders Award at the ASCAP Country Awards on Monday, then last night he was named Entertainer of the Year at the CMA Awards.  That’s the third time he has been named Entertainer of the Year  by the 60,000+ CMA voters – he won back-to-back awards in 1989 and 90.

His long and successful career has made George  the CMA’s most nominated artist, and each of the other people nominated in the Entertainer of the Year category this year - Taylor Swift, Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan and Blake Shelton -  once opened for Strait on the road early in their careers.

Shortly before the CMA's voting period opened, billboards began to pop up in Nashville with a picture of Strait and the words "Entertainer of a lifetime." It's a title that sticks. Strait's in his fourth decade as a top draw, has a record 60 No. 1 country hits and can still sell out arenas as he's been doing on his "The Cowboy Rides Away" tour.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Twilight for the Dome


In what was a surprise to just about everybody, Harris County voters rejected a 217 million dollar bond issue yesterday that would have renovated and rejuvenated the Astrodome. 

All of the pre-election publicity had been strongly in favor of saving the local landmark dubbed the “Eighth wonder of the World” when it opened back in 1965.  In spite of that, 53% of those voting cast their ballots against saving the dome.

Harris County Judge Ed Emmett said, "We can't allow the once-proud Astrodome to sit like a rusting ship in the middle of a parking lot. This was the best effort (to revamp the stadium), and voters have turned it down." Emmett said a final decision on what happens to the Astrodome will be up to the commissioners court, but he said the stadium's future was pretty much sealed with the referendum's failure. He said a decision would have to be made quickly but didn't say exactly when that would happen.

Studies in recent years have estimated the cost of simply demolishing the Astrodome to be between $29 million and $78 million.

As to why the bond issue lost, I doubt that anybody really knows for sure.  The reasons may be as varied as the number of citizens casting ballots.  One election analyst on local TV last night pointed to the large turnout of black voters supporting Houston Mayor Annise Parker’s reelection, but he failed to explain how that might have mattered.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Olympic Predictions


Assuming the Sochi Olympics take place as planned – lots of infrastructure still under construction with less than 100 days to go – you can take it to the bank that NBC

  1. Will commit a huge amount of air time to Opening Ceremonies. 
  2. There will be the inevitable commentary about Vladimir Putin’s anti-gay position.
  3. A large percentage of the coverage will be figure skating.

Outside of the skating arena the peacock channel will concentrate on American stars like Lindsey Vonn and Shaun White.

I can’t argue with those choices. 

For the last decade or so, Vonn has been one of the best (and best looking) skiers in the world.  Dating Tiger Woods does make me wonder about her intelligence, or possibly her sanity, but it doesn’t detract from her star power.

White is in a class by himself and does things on a snowboard that are beyond amazing.  In the looks department, however, he reminds me of a turkey vulture – beautiful to watch soar from a distance, but up close he is one ugly redhead.

What I would like to see is a good looking snowboarder. 

Note to NBC – That is possible!

Take a look at Norway’s Silje Norendal, who won X-Games Gold this year at Tignes in the French Alps. 

Silje Norendal


Monday, November 4, 2013



Today is my best friend’s birthday. 

It is also the birthday of my lover, the mother of my kids, and the person who somehow manages to keep my house and my life more-or-less on track.

Luckily for me, I only have to say Happy Birthday once.

Happy Birthday, Honey!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Another Skywalk

Canada now has a Skywalk similar to the one the Hualapai Indian Nation built over the Grand Canyon. 

This one overlooks the ice fields in Jasper National Park. 

Jasper skywalk

Construction on Brewster’s Glacier Skywalk, a glass-floored steel observation deck extending 30 meters over the valley on the Icefields Parkway, will be completed this week or next.

All that remains to be done is the installation of six interpretive stations along the 400-meter path leading to the observation deck in the spring.

Visitors will still have to wait until May 1 for the Skywalk to open for its inaugural season. Tickets will cost $25 for admission to the platform, but walking the trail is free.

The project was opposed by some environmentalists and Jasper residents concerned about the ecological impact and the privatization of a public national park site.

“It adds nothing to the true visitor experience,” said Sean Nichols, conservation specialist with the Alberta Wilderness Association. “You can see the glaciers and the wildlife perfectly well without those sorts of intrusive development that really degrades the habitat and causes significant disturbance to the animals that live there.”

The project passed a federal environmental assessment in 2012 and a project spokesman says the finished Skywalk proves its proponents right.“From an overall footprint standpoint, it’s like putting a bridge on a highway,” he said. “Unless you can tell me where the oil is spewing and the greenhouse gases are being created.”

The walk will be accessed via the tourist company’s nearby Icefield Centre. Public parking at the site will be closed, but the company will ferry visitors to a free viewpoint or a paid interpretive walk. Brewster hopes the attraction will double visitors to the site, which was formerly a roadside pullout on the highway at Tangle Ridge and a popular spot for sightseers.


Meanwhile, the Grand Canyon Skywalk has not generated anything near the cash flow the Hualapai had anticipated.  Tourists who have braved the almost-impassible road to the site complain about the ride, the nearly total lack of facilities, the price (Ultimate Entry Package - $70.95* plus tax, $8 impact fee & $3 fuel surcharge) and the fact that, once they get there, cameras are not allowed on the Skywalk.

The Eagle Point Skywalk has been (and is) the subject of so many lawsuits, the only ones getting rich are the attorneys.

Even so, it looks like these glass-floored skywalks are a trend.  I can visualize one in South Louisiana soaring almost ten feet over the swamp.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Spicy Variety


They say that variety is the spice of life, but according to the FDA, when you add spices to your food, you are getting more variety than you bargained for.  Here is the story from Nature World News:

Insect parts, rodent hair and other filth make about 12 percent of spice imports in the U.S., according to the Food and Drug Administration.

At least seven percent of the spice imports investigated had salmonella, a type of bacteria that could cause illness in humans, The New York Times reported.

"Nearly all of the insects found in spice samples were stored product pests, indicating inadequate packing or storage conditions. The presence of rodent hair (without a root) in spices is generally indicative of contamination by rodent feces ," according to the report by FDA.

Al Goetze, who has been a spice buyer for McCormick & Company for 30 years, told that most of the filth in these spices is introduced during the harvest. This is particularly true for developing countries.

"Many of the contaminants are introduced to the products from field insects and rodents. Also dirt, stones and other plant matter are picked up with the spices and herbs at time of harvest. During sun drying on tarps or concrete yards, more foreign matter and pathogens can contaminate the products," he added.

The federal health inspectors found salmonella in ginger and poppy seeds from India, allspice from Turkey and red pepper from Japan.

The United States is the largest importer of spices. The country imported 1.1 billion pounds of spices in 2009 from over 140 countries. According to the report by FDA, fewer than 2,000 people in the U.S have fallen sick due to salmonella in spices between 1973 and 2010. However, the number of  cases might be underreported because people often forget to report their consumption of spice when they fall ill.

Friday, November 1, 2013

All Saints Day

It is Friday, November 1st.  Time for a a few updates and a  little house-cleaning.

  • The computer fix I mentioned yesterday actually seems to have worked.
  • We finally took down our Hummingbird feeders this week.  I was going to do that last weekend, but saw one bird on one feeder on Saturday.
  • My prediction about no trick-or-treaters on Halloween was correct.  Nobody came by last night.  That may have been affected by the six plus inches of rain we had on Wednesday and Thursday.
  • I had chest pains Tuesday evening that I thought were caused by gas.  When the pain was still there after grocery shopping Wednesday morning, we went to the emergency room.  Four hours later, when all the tests were normal, they sent me home.  FYI – the ER at Memorial-Hermann Northeast is bright, clean and efficient, and all the nurses, techs, and doctors were friendly and first-rate.