Monday, February 29, 2016
Sunday, February 28, 2016
My son-in-law bagged this Aoudad on a hunt yesterday. It was a last minute sort of thing. Someone who had paid to hunt dropped out and Gene’s brother invited Gene to take his place.
The Aoudad, or Barbary Sheep, is a native of north Africa. They were first imported to Texas in the late 1940s when soldiers who had fought in north Africa had them sent to Texas ranches that offer hunts for exotics. The Aoudad adapted well in central and west Texas, and with a population now estimated at more than 25,000, there may be more of them in Texas than there are in the wild in their native Africa.
Saturday, February 27, 2016
Today is the annual Rodeo parade in Houston, one of the signature events of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. This year, it is overshadowed by an unprecedented accident.
After an uneventful ride all the way froom Reynosa, Mexico, Los Vaqueros Trailriders were rolling through Bellaire, being watched and cheered by elementary school students who were lining the road. All of a sudden, something spooked a team of horses, and they bolted, running over a horse and rider,
The runaway team was quickly caught and brought under control. The horse in the picture was fine, and the woman who was riding suffered several broken bones, but is expected to be okay.
Channel 11 news was filming when the accident happened. For some reason, the actual footage will not imbed on my blog, but if you want to see it, click HERE.
Friday, February 26, 2016
Honey was working back in the office, and her cell phone was on the charger in the kitchen – about as far away as it could get and still be in the house. I heard it ringing, but by the time I got to it, the caller disconnected.
When I told Honey about it, she checked the missed calls – not a number we recognized – then used the call-back feature to see who had called. The woman who answered said that she was returning a call from Honey’s phone, a call that had never been placed.
Okay, that was weird, but we wouldn’t have thought much of it until it happened again that afternoon.
This time, the woman who answered said that she had not called Honey’s phone. Then she said, “Wait, do you have ATT?” When Honey said that she did, the woman told her that she had received a similar call from some man she didn’t know the day before and she thought the phone company was having a problem with phantom calls.
A check of the ATT user forum shows this had been a problem in the past, but the most recent entry was over two years ago.
Wednesday, February 24, 2016
Tuesday, February 23, 2016
My personal politics are complicated.
I am a constitutional conservative who believes in personal responsibility, limited government and that all actions have consequences. I often find that politicians who espouse these principles, also take positions I can not agree with on human rights issues.
Every election, this leaves me having to choose between the lesser of two evils - forced to grit my teeth and support some one I don’t like because the alternative is too terrible to contimplate. This year’s presidential election is shaping up to be the worst one since I cast my ballot for Barry Goldwater in my first opportunity to vote.
One of my friends whose politics are so far left we can not hold a civil conversation posted this cartoon. It disturbs me to say that I found it too true to be funny:
Sunday, February 21, 2016
Many years ago, we can’t remember how many, but somewhere around 12 to 15 years, we had some extensive remodeling done on our house. When we did, we purchased some new accessories for the bathroom that included a stone trash can, a stone Kleenex box, and the stone soapdish and dispenser pictured here.
Maybe it’s because of the new LED lights I installed, but I had never noticed until this morning that the liquid soap dispenser has the face of a young girl in the stone.
It is a little disconcerting to know that she has been staring at me every day as I use the facilities.
Saturday, February 20, 2016
Got my new mower assembled and gave it a quick trial run yesterday. It works really well, and has several features that I think that I’m going to really like.
The one thing that it doesn’t have, and it’s something I could definitely use, is a mulching kit. That was something that really came in handy with my old mower, and, since I hadn’t mowed the lawn since all the leaves fell, it was something I needed yesterday.
The Snapper website shows a mulching kit under accessories, but the picture is not a clickable link, and there is no part number listed. I can call and order one, but not until Monday.
Friday, February 19, 2016
After a lot of thought about various alternatives, I bought a new lawn mower yesterday. It was the most expensive one on the floor at my local WalMart, but it cost a whole lot less than some of the ones I had been considering. It has a 46-inch cut, and is powered by a two-cylinder Briggs and Stratton engine.
Most of my neighbors have gone to zero-turn radius mowers. I have used the Graff’s mower on our yard and was sorely tempted to get one for ours.
They are much more expensive – at least a thousand dollars more for a comparable cut – but the main reason I didn’t get one is fallen limbs. I regularly pull a trailer behind our mower, picking up fallen branches to haul to the burning pile, It might be possible to put a trailer hitch on a zero-turn mower but it isn’t recommended.
I haven’t tried it out yet – there is a bit of final assembly to do first – but I should give it it’s first real test later today.
Thursday, February 18, 2016
I took a first halting step into the 21st century yesterday – sort of dipped my toe in – and I’m not sure I like how it feels.
We have a four-bulb wall sconce above the sink in the master bathroom. It takes 60 watt bulbs, and it takes them often. I would be replacing about one a week except that I usually wait until two or more go out. Even as incandescent bulbs get harder and harder to find, I resisted using those squiggly fluorescent bulbs – they just look stupid in a tulip shade.
Yesterday, Walmart had two-packs of the new LED replacement bulbs on sale.
I bought some and replaced the bulbs over the sink. They are certainly bright enough, they actually seem brighter that the incandescents, but they are definitely going to take some getting used to.
I learned when updating the lights in our 5th wheel that you have to be very careful when selecting LEDs, because typical LED bulbs give off a bluish glow that can be quite off-putting. For that reason, I skipped the soft white bulbs, and selected the ones labeled Daylight. They may resemble daylight on the top of a snow-covered mountain somewhere, but daylight here in southeast Texas has never looked like this, even on the brightest day.
The old incandescent bulbs gave a warm glow that was relaxing. These new ones have a sinister, almost clinical brilliance. They almost make me expect to be involved in some sort of invasive surgical procedure.
Wednesday, February 17, 2016
They say that nothing is sure in this life except death and taxes.
The IRS will get their (your) money, sooner or later, and sometimes they aren’t willing to wait. If you haven’t already reached the age of 70, you may not have heard of something they call a Required Minimum Distribution – here is how it works:
Any money you saved in an IRA was not tax free, only tax deferred -and the IRS won’t wait around forever.
Once you reach the age of 70 1/2, they require you to remove a certain percentage of your savings from your IRA. You can do whatever you want with that money, but you will pay taxes on it.
How much you have to remove, and how much tax you will owe, can be calculated HERE.
I get my RMD check as early as possible each year. That way I get to enjoy my money for a little over a year before the taxes come due. My check came yesterday, and Honey’s (her first) came last week – I’ll be putting them in the bank today.
Tuesday, February 16, 2016
The Nevada Democratic Caucus is this Saturday, and Hillary Clinton is getting support from the (legal) prostitutes in the state. The owner of the brothel says he used to be a Libertarian but realized all his employees are Democrats.
In the interest of equality, I did a search for Republican counterparts – Strumpets for Trump, Putas for Cruz, etc. – but no luck.
Monday, February 15, 2016
Sunday, February 14, 2016
After almost two months of being unable to access my blog except through Blogger, I tried Open Live Writer again.
When I clicked on the icon, the set-up sequence was totally different, and today it completed without a hitch. Hopefully, this means that I now have a better way to write and post my entries.
Saturday, February 13, 2016
- hydraulic cylinder 198.00
- O ring 1.00
- hydraulic fluid 20.00
- Gorilla tape 5.00
- two old shirts 10.00
Friday, February 12, 2016
For several months now, they have been dropping hints about a new car, a sporty little hatchback powered by your choice of either a three-cylinder gas or a three-cylinder diesel engine.
They named it the Zica, short for Zippy Car. It was to be introduced to the public this week at New Delhi's Auto Expo.
Now, the company has announced that due to the similarity between Zica and Zika, the virus that is causing havoc in Central and South America, they are changing the name of the car.
It will still carry the Zica identification at the auto show, but Tata will change the name before it hits the dealer showrooms.
Thursday, February 11, 2016
Wednesday, February 10, 2016
Tuesday, February 9, 2016
Monday, February 8, 2016
Sunday, February 7, 2016
"What?" I asked.
"I don't know. Something about today just doesn't feel right."
Well, she is not a witch, or anything like that, but her intuition has been such over the years that I've learned to believe in her feelings.
I'm going to be extra careful and observant today.
Saturday, February 6, 2016
Friday, February 5, 2016
A monument honoring the Choctaw Nation called 'Kindred Spirits’ was unveiled in Cork in August of last year. The monument features nine steel eagle feathers towering 20 feet into the air arranged in the shape of a bowl.
On his website, the sculptor of the monument, Alex Pentek, wrote about the symbolism of the bowl of feathers, saying:
“By creating an empty bowl symbolic of the Great Irish Famine formed from the seemingly fragile and rounded shaped eagle feathers used in the Choctaw ceremonial dress, it is my aim to communicate the tenderness and warmth of the Choctaw Nation who provided food to the hungry when they themselves were still recovering from their own tragic recent past.”
The monument can be found in Bailic Park, Midleton, Cork.