Sunday, October 30, 2016

Dishwasher Math

When I reported back in April that I had found a source for dish washing soap that actually contained phosphates - HERE - I estimated that the cost of the stuff would come out to be roughly equivalent to buying boxes of non-phosphate stuff at the store.
I was wrong!
After over six months, we still have over half a bucket of soap left.  The true cost of a dish washing detergent that actually works is turning out to be significantly less than buying the stuff that doesn't.

Saturday, October 29, 2016


Neighborhood kids will be coming around this evening on their annual Halloween hayride.  This has become a firmly entrenched tradition, with two or three tractors pulling flat-bed trailers full of Trick-Or-Treaters. 
They will have some serious competition this year - several local churches and the high school are all having Trunk-or-Treat events where folks gather in parking lots to allow the kiddies to get their goodies in one spot. I hope they participate in both events; I'd hate for the hayride tradition to fade away.

Friday, October 28, 2016


I took the last of our Hummingbird feeders down and put them away this week.  
We hadn't seen a bird in about two weeks - even the few permanent residents seem to have joined this year's migration, and  the migration this year wasn't nearly as large as last year. Last year we were seeing over two dozen birds at a time, but this year I don't think I ever saw more than ten or twelve at once.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Lingering Pain

As I reported last Wednesday, I've been having problems with my lower back since a week ago Saturday.  My first trip to the chiropractor helped a lot, but subsequent trips haven't seemed to make much difference one way or the other, I still have a lingering ache that doesn't want to go away.
As a result, I haven't really accomplished anything in the past week or so.  I did go to the grocery store, and we went to vote.  Aside from that, my biggest accomplishment was watching all of the Star Wars movies on TV.
Speaking of which, that lower back pain has me walking a lot like C3PO, and that's embarrassing.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

More Early Voting

In my post yesterday, I said that if you didn't vote Monday like we did, that the lines on Tuesday were bound to be shorter.  To my surprise, some Harris County polling places actually recorded more votes on Tuesday.  Here's the breakdown:

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Beat the Rush?

Yesterday was the first day of early voting in Texas for the 2016 elections, so Honey and I decided to vote early and avoid the lines that are sure to form on November 8th.
Our logic was apparently shared by 67,000 of our fellow citizens, as Harris County set a new voting record for early voting, exceeding the old record by almost 20,000 voters.  It only took us about a half hour (at the Crosby Public Library) from the time we parked until we were back in the truck and on the way home, but some polling places in Houston had waits in excess of two hours.
If you plan to vote early, and didn't vote yesterday, lines are bound to be shorter today - otherwise there won't be anyone left to vote when  election day rolls around.
I heard this in line yesterday and on the news last night - the main reason so many were voting early was that they were sick of the campaign - they planned to vote early, then ignore all the polls and election coverage in general from now on.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Fair Warning

I have no idea what's going on down the road, but I'm taking a detour....

Saturday, October 22, 2016


ABC News had a story this morning about how New York City is trapping feral cats, neutering them and then releasing them in areas overpopulated with rats.  They called it a win-win situation that's proving to be a huge success - cutting down on both the rat and the cat populations.
It didn't do anything to control rats, but when I attended Hamilton Jr. High, there was a tamale vendor who sold his wares on Heights Boulevard.  His tamales were excellent, but all the kids in school said that he made them from stray cats!  
All of the adults thought it was a ridiculous rumor until the night he was caught in an alley with a cage trap that was "baited" with a female cat in heat.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Sort of Funny

Driving and listening to the radio when a local newsman reported that the number of sexually transmitted diseases in the US is at an all-time high.  
Then he said, "For more details, go to our web page and click Connected."

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Like Thumper

I suppose I could write about last night's debate, or the passing of Houston Sportscaster Bob Allen, or the fact that my back still aches, but I'm gonna take Thumper's advice.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Pain In The ....

My lower back went out again Saturday.  
It has happened several times over the past few years and there has only been once when I could definitely point to something I was doing that caused it - most times it has just struck out of the blue.
When it happens, I am not totally debilitated - I can still function to some extent - but it is no fun.  I'm usually OK sitting, lying down or standing, but getting from one position to another is Hell.  I shuffle around like a cruel caricature of a little old man.
A trip to the chiropractor on Monday had me almost back to normal, just minor discomfort that reminds me of how bad it can be and makes me a little  afraid to do anything at all for fear that it will come back.  We're headed back to the chiropractor again in a few minutes, and hopefully this episode will be over.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Survey Says

A left-wing pinko friend sent me these graphics, and I honestly don't know if they are based in fact or wishful thinking.  Either way, I thought they were interesting.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Fair Weather Fan

Our Houston Texans stunk up the joint in the first half of last night's game.  Our $72 million quarterback seemed to be feeling the pressure and trying too hard - couldn't hit the broad side of a barn from the inside.
At halftime, I gave up and we watched Madam Secretary instead.
Somehow, after we switched off, they were able to pull off an overtime win.  Maybe I shouldn't watch them if I want them to do well.

Sunday, October 16, 2016



The finest fare throughout the nation’s

Lowly mollusks and crustaceans

A fresh shrimp cocktail leads the way

To gumbo or crawfish etoufee

Rockefeller, or on the half shell

Oysters will treat your taste buds well

And who can say which area’s prouder

Florida (conch fritters) or Boston (clam chowder)

In South Carolina, they say that it’s

Their rich and creamy shrimp and grits

In Oregon you should try your luck

With an oversized clam they call gooey duck

Californians and sea otters (that’s no baloney)

Say you can’t beat the taste of fresh abalone

Say they're even better than their precious sand dabs

And Maryland loves their soft shelled crabs

I can’t say for sure which one is the winner

But all of this has me ready for dinner

Saturday, October 15, 2016


Honey called me to the back door yesterday to see a bird.  
We are not ornithologists, not even amateur birdwatchers, but now and again we see a bird that grabs our attention, that makes us appreciate the beauty of nature and the benefit of living here at the old Boggy Thicket.
He was in the shade, under a heavy canopy of limbs with bright sunlight behind him, so we could see him a lot better than the camera could.  
According to a website about woodpeckers of Southeast Texas, he is a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, a bird that only visits our area in winter.  Since the temperature was in the 80s when we saw him, perhaps he knows something the website did not.

Friday, October 14, 2016


Yesterday it was announced that Bob Dylan is being awarded this year's Nobel Prize for Literature, given, according to the announcement for "having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition."
It is true that Dylan penned some of the best lyrics of the 60s, so maybe he deserves it.  
The Nobel Peace Prize 2016 was awarded to Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos "for his resolute efforts to bring the country's more than 50-year-long civil war to an end", and the next day his countrymen voted down the peace deal he negotiated between the government and FARC guerillas.  At least Dylan was a bit more successful than that, and they didn't name him a Nobel Laureate for singing.


Thursday, October 13, 2016

She Called Me Baby

Checking out at Walmart the other day, and the clerk - a girl young enough to be my granddaughter - kept calling me Baby!
I didn't know how to react to that - still don't - but Honey says I'm making too big a deal about it.  She probably calls everybody that out of habit, and probably doesn't even realize she's doing it.  
That may be true, but it gave me a serious case of the weirds.  
I still don't know whether to be offended or flattered.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Locker Room

Billy Bush has lost his job, and it is impossible to see a newscast without a reference to Donald Trump's "locker room" talk.  Now, several athletes have claimed that talk like that never happens in their locker rooms.
I call B-S!  
Even in my limited experience, I know that talk like that did take place in locker rooms and probably still does.  
Not saying it is right, just that it is.
If Trump had not avoided military service, he might have chosen to say that was the way guys talked in the service.  I remember one drill sergeant who could not complete a single multi-syllable word without injecting a profanity, using words like underfu#kingstandable, and unGoddamnbelievable in every sentence.
But by far, the most foul mouthed individual I ever met was a First Sergeant at Ft. Hood.  That sergeant was black, female, and the head of the WAC detachment on the base.
When I first arrived at Ft. Hood I was assigned to a transient barracks for a few days until I got my permanent assignment to the Information Office.  The only thing Transients did, other than sit around and wait, was pull KP at the WAC barracks.
It was breakfast, and I was scooping scrambled eggs onto the women's plates.  As each passed by, I would say "Good Morning" or "Hello."  Suddenly,  booming voice right behind me yelled "Troop!"  It was the WAC First Sergeant, and she went on to say, "You're here to FEED 'em, not Fu#k 'em.  Dump the sh*t on their plates and move their asses down the line." 

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Monday, October 10, 2016


I was going to say that last night's debate was an exercise in "the pot calling the kettle black"  and vice versa, but in today's P-C climate, that may brand me a racist.

Sunday, October 9, 2016


You have no idea how hard it was to get this posted to my blog this morning...

I saw this on Facebook the other day.  It was from an Instagram post from George Takei. 

For some reason, possibly because I do not have an Instagram account, all of the usual means of capturing the picture were unavailable.  I even tried using a recently downloaded screen capture software program, but only got a blank page.  I finally printed the page to a PDF file then copied a snapshot of the photo which I could paste to my blog.  All in all, a Hell of a lot of time and effort for a slightly clever visual pun.
The pun?  If it isn't obvious to you, it was in the original.  
The picture was entitled Adobe Photoshop.