Sunday, December 31, 2017


2017 is about to become history, and whether we stay up to greet it or just go to bed, when we wake up tomorrow, we'll be beginning a new year.
Right now, 2018 looks like it will be getting off to a very chilly start. 
Local weathermen are predicting the coldest cold spell in _____ (fill in the blank) right now it varies from 10 to 20 years. 
The Boggy Thicket is located in the northeast corner of Harris County, just a mile or so from Montgomery County to our west or Liberty County to our east.  The weather bureau has issued a hard freeze warning that includes both of our surrounding counties, so it's a pretty good bet that we'll be getting several hours of sub-freezing temperatures.
All this leads up to something I saw posted this morning that sums up my attitude pretty well ---

Saturday, December 30, 2017

K-Cup Hiccup

We retired our old Keurig coffee maker yesterday. 
It still worked fine most of the time, but most of the time ain't perfect.  Sometimes it got confused - failed to refill the reservoir after making a cup, the would sit and say "Brewing" forever.  We would have to turn it off and unplug it for a few seconds to get it to reset.  It would then work normally until it had another senior moment.
We had a brand-new machine I got a few months ago that was still in the box, so the transition was seamless, and only took a few minutes to unpack the new one and install it.
I saved the old one, but I'm not sure why. 
Based on our history with Keurig, I could probably get it replaced for free.  I may decide to try.

Friday, December 29, 2017


I didn't really have anything to report today.  Actually December 29 seems like sort of a nothing day - the day after our wedding  anniversary, a couple days short of the new year, etc. 
Just to have something to write, I went to one of those today in history sites to see what had happened on the 29th of December.
  • Texas became the 28th State (1845)
  • Henry II has Thomas Beckett assassinated (1170)
  • Mary Tyler Moore was born (1936)
  • Grigori Rasputin died (1916)
  • Steve Lawrence wed Eydie Gorme (1957)
  • Emma Snodgrass arrested in Boston for wearing pants (1852)

Thursday, December 28, 2017


Fifty three years and one day ago, I slept through our wedding rehearsal.  My dad drove to my apartment and woke me up in time to make it to the rehearsal dinner.
The next day, I was at the church with time to spare, and I've thanked God every day since.
Happy Anniversary to my best friend in all the world.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Old Dodge - New Trick

I made a quick run to the store yesterday, and when I got home and started to get out of the truck, an alarm started beeping - loud, constant and very annoying, it was the same one that beeps when you forget to turn off the lights.  I had used the lights in the misting rain on the way to the store, but hadn't used them at all on the way back home.
I looked at the dashboard and there was an indicator light that I had never seen before. The symbol looked like it seemed to say I had left the shower running.
I had no idea what the darn thing meant! 
I dug out the owner's manual, and Honey finally found it - it was the symbol indicating that the cargo light was on.
In ten years and 130-plus thousand miles, I had never felt the need to turn on the cargo light, and hadn't intended to turn it on yesterday.
I didn't even know where to find the switch. 
Well, it was right where the manual said it would be. I must have accidentally hit it when turning the lights off. I have no idea why I had never noticed it before.  

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Santa and the Garbage Truck

Living as we do out in the boonies, it is surprising that we have several companies who pick up garbage in our area.  The one we use picks up on Mondays, and recently expanded to pick up on Monday and Thursday. 
That has created a bit of a problem.  The two of us barely generate enough trash to justify hauling the can to the curb one day a week, but Honey thinks I should haul an almost empty can out twice a week so she can feel like we are getting our money's worth.
With yesterday being Christmas, our service did not come around, and I don't know if they will come by today.  But - in an act of faith similar to leaving cookies out on Christmas Eve - everyone up and down the street has their cans out at the curb. 
If they do come by today, that's great.  If they don't, I'll have to decide whether to bring the can back in, or leave it out until Thursday.

Monday, December 25, 2017


Christmas 2017.
We decided to stay home this year - So far, so good.
The day dawned chilly and clear.
I've got the cornbread baked for the dressing.
We learned via Facebook that our grandson, Bryce, got engaged last night. She is a lovely girl.
We have a few concerns, but Honey and I are doing fine and wish you and yours a merry Christmas and a happy New Year.

Friday, December 22, 2017

deja MOW

A year and a day ago, I posted on Facebook that I had just mowed the yard.  Not because the grass was too high, but to clean up all the fallen leaves.
I just came back in from mowing again today.  So far, just the area of the back yard inside the fence.  
Our old mower had a mulching attachment that made the job much easier, and the results much more aesthetically appealing.  With this one, I have to go over and over the same spots for similar results.

Thursday, December 21, 2017


Today marks Winter Solstice, the shortest day (or longest night) of the year - the day the Sun shines directly on the Tropic of Capricorn, before beginning its gradual trip back to the north.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017


Grocery shopping at WalMart today, and the only cranberry sauce I could find was the whole berry variety seen above.  I almost didn't find any at all, and with Christmas just a couple days away, it was a must have on my list.
It wasn't what Honey sent me to get; she much prefers the jellied cranberry sauce.
She isn't alone.  According to Ocean Spray, cranberry sauce has a place of honor on 60 percent of American tables, and many families serve both styles to keep everyone happy. According to Ocean Spray's latest consumer research, 76 percent of us opt for store-bought sauce and 73 percent of us like the jellied variety served up in the shape of the can.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Pantone Morning

I was treated to the most amazing sunrise this morning. 
We had heavy fog here at the Boggy Thicket, sunrise was at 7:11 a.m., but just before seven the entire sky began to glow. The entire world from horizon to horizon turned pink.
Actually the color was what Pantone labels as Rose Quartz - 
For what it's worth, Pantone actually named two colors of the year in 2016, Rose Quartz and a soft blue they called Serenity. 
2017's Color was called Greenery, and there's already a 2018 Color of the Year - Ultraviolet.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Better Watch Out

That isn't Santa on your roof.
It's Krampus, an old-world Germanic figure who comes each December to punish bad little girls and boys.  He carries a bundle of birch switches to spank the little stinkers, and he hauls the particularly bad ones off to the underworld.
Considering the way things are going this year, he may have to recruit a lot of help.

Sunday, December 17, 2017


We like trees. 
It's a good thing we do, because we have a lot of them.  To illustrate this, here's a picture of our home courtesy of Google Earth:

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Anniversary Dinner

Our old pals, the Sheltons, will be celebrating their 53rd wedding anniversary on the 18th.  I was his best man back then, and he was mine ten days later on December 28th.  Yesterday, we got together for an anniversary dinner.
Last night our group added three new members. Travis and Cheryl's next door neighbors, Steve and Brandi, actually celebrate their second anniversary today, and they brought along their two year old daughter.
Like they used to say in the social pages, a good time was had by all.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Continuing a Sort of a Tradition

Every year at this time I have posted a Christmas song - something out of the mainstream, something to enjoy when you are up to the gills with Little Drummer Boy.  This year's post is a Christmas song in the same sense that Diehard is a Christmas movie.
Enjoy - 

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Greatly Exaggerated

Recently, I was saddened to learn that the Houston Press had finally bit the dust.  The Press billed itself as the city's largest alternative news source, and was a great place to find articles about food, entertainment, and weird events going on in Houston.  A couple of weeks ago, there  was an article on line saying that, in the aftermath of Harvey, the Press could not survive the loss of revenue and had shut down -  I can't find that story anymore, and don't remember who posted it, but I think it was one of the local TV outlets.
I'm pleased to report that, as Mark Twain said, the reports of its death were greatly exaggerated!  On line, anyway, the Press is still going strong -
Sixty-five years or so ago, my first paying job was delivering the print edition of the Houston Press to homes in Oak Forest every Wednesday afternoon. 
It was a bit of a challenge.  The papers were so heavy, and I was so light that it was hard to keep the front wheel of my bike on the pavement when I first started out.  If my route had covered a few more blocks, I never would have made it.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017


Looking for an unusual way to give a little this Christmas? 
A group called the Houston Peace and Justice Center is holding their fifth annual Christmas at the Jail event on December 24th at the Harris County Adult Detention Center. 
Kids who have come to visit a parent in jail will be greeted as they leave by (from their website) a crowd of smiling faces standing behind Santa Claus and a huge pile of presents.  To see the transformation on these small faces from sadness and confusion to wonder and pure joy changes the lives of all who experience it.
HPJC is welcoming volunteers and donations.  Check their website

Monday, December 11, 2017

Ugly Is

This year's crop of ugly Christmas sweaters is just so-so.  There are a bunch more politically motivated themes than in the past, a few more featuring Jesus, and quite a few Star Wars based designs.  Here are a few from this year:

 And finally...

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Ready for Spring

2017 has been a strange (and not very great)  year what with the flooding from Harvey, etc.  Now, the past week has brought snow and two nights of sub-freezing temperatures, and it's not even officially winter yet.
I think that it is definitely time to turn the page. 
Give me 2018, or, better yet, give me Spring. I'm ready!

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Back to Normal

Back to normal on several fronts -
  • Centurylink finally got its act together and internet speeds are not great, but acceptable.
  • I think I'm finally getting over my cold.
  • Somebody hauled off the big metal chicken from the Simpson's front yard.  They just moved away, and the chicken was still there for a day or two.  Maybe they came back and got it.
All over the TV news and social media everybody is posting pictures of SNOW! Granted, it was the first snow in Houston in eight years, and the second earliest snowfall on record, but it wasn't all that much and most of it didn't last past noon.
Just so you can't call me a Grinch, here's a pic from the old Boggy Thicket -

Friday, December 8, 2017

Slow Update

Centurylink had said on Wednesday that the internet would be back up to speed by 9 a.m. Thursday - it wasn't. 
I called them back yesterday afternoon and the help desk gal said they had no other complaints.  She ran me through several tests and had me modify a couple settings on our modem/router, none of which made any difference.  
Finally, she set up a service call to send a technician to our house today.  I can't imagine he will be able to do anything at all except, maybe, convince Centurylink that they have a problem.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

How Slow Can You Go

I'm almost over my miserable cold - still have some lingering symptoms - and the weather is miserable, too -  43degrees and drizzling rain - so the only thing keeping me sane was access to the internet. 
What a perfect time for Centurylink to go FUBAR!
The internet went down for an hour or so yesterday, and when it came back it was so slow as to be almost unusable.  A check this morning shows a download speed of .15 (yes,  point fifteen) MBPS.
Centurylink is aware of the problem, and it's supposed to be fixed soon.  Meanwhile.....

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Counting the Days

I once had a very wise doctor tell me this:
"If, at the first symptoms of a cold, you go to the doctor and get medications, you'll get over the cold in 10 to 14 days.  If you don't do anything at all, your cold could last as long as 2 weeks."

I'm currently at day 10, and Honey is a couple days behind me.  Two weeks can't come fast enough.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Is Sportsperson a Real Word?

Yes, it is, and in our politically correct, gender neutral, atmosphere, it's the only word that Sports Illustrated could be expected to use.

Sunday, December 3, 2017


The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo hasn't even announced who the headline entertainment will be for next year's shows - except for Garth Brooks.  He will be opening and closing the Rodeo.
Tickets for those two performances went on sale on line  last week, and sold out in less than an hour!  
According to the local paper, the HLSRA site had some way to filter out bots, and all those tickets were bought by actual people.
I actually wrote about Brooks four years ago today - BROOKS - and, except for the fact that he lip synced has most recent TV appearance, nothing much has changed. 

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Die Hard

Then again, so is Lethal Weapon. 
Speaking of which, Honey got her Texas Concealed Carry License in the mail yesterday.

Thursday, November 30, 2017


I came down with some sort of Cold-like bug on Monday - stuffy head, sinus headache, etc.   It never was debilitating, but by Tuesday I had no energy at all - it became an effort just to think!
I'm almost afraid to say so, but I do think I'm a little better today.
That's nice, but I'm afraid that Honey is coming down with it now.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017


Image result for hp laptops
My old computer had been limping along for years, so I decided to go for a Cyber Monday deal at Best Buy.  
Yesterday, just as I got started transferring important files from my old laptop, it quit completely.
I congratulated myself on my great timing, and went back to Best Buy for a USB box to hold my old hard drive.  When I got home with it, and started to disconnect the old laptop, I discovered that it had somehow managed to come unplugged. Once I plugged it back in, it worked and I was able to retrieve the files I needed.
It is no longer a priority, but I'm still going to pull that hard drive and put it in the box I bought.  It should make a great backup drive.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Stuck In Your Head

We were driving somewhere the other day, and I was playing a Mix CD that I recorded for one of our trips.  Don McLean came on singing American Pie, and Honey said, "I wish you hadn't played that.  I hate that song."
"I thought you liked it."
"I did.  I do.  It's just that now it will be stuck in my head, and I'll be humming it for days."
I have a pretty long list of songs that affect me like that, and they're all over the musical map.  I can't see any one thing they have in common other than that once I think of them they won't go away.
Here's a short list to show what I mean:
  • Don't worry. Be happy
  • Humoresque
  • All My Exes Live In Texas
  • 1812 Overture
  • Beer Barrel Polka 
  • Nature Boy
  • Turkey In The Straw
What song won't leave you alone?  
What gives it that kind of power over your mind?

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Great Lyrics

Well, today's post sort of drifted off topic before I even started writing.  
I was going to write something about tunes that get stuck in your head. Then I started wondering how often it's the melody and how often it's the lyrics that reel you in.
Thinking about lyrics led to songs with nonsense syllables, which led to...the-17-most-legendary-na-na-nas-in-history.

Saturday, November 25, 2017


There are images which once visualized, can never be unseen.
For example, I read on the internet the other day that an Ampersand looks like a dog scuffing his butt on the living room carpet.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Kennedy and KSFA

Early in my career in commercial broadcasting, I landed a gig at KSFA in Nacogdoches, Texas.  
Bob Dunn, the owner of the station, was a pretty good engineer, but had been unable to pass the FCC's 1st Class Radiotelephone License exam in several tries.  He offered me an apartment on the side of the transmitter shack, and full time pay for part time work if I would hang my ticket at the station and sign off on the paperwork. One of the best benefits of the deal was that it allowed me to attend Stephen F. Austin where I met my wife.
Bob did a one hour local news and interview show at lunch time, and was talking to one of the leaders of local society when I interrupted him in mid-sentence to announce that John Kennedy had been shot. He was furious that I broke in. 
His politics were far right, even by East Texas standards, and it took all my powers of persuasion to convince him that we needed to suspend regular programming (and stop running commercials) to cover the story.  He was even going to play Happy Days are Here Again until I told him it was a Democratic Party campaign song.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

It's Coming

I got a good laugh from this cartoon even though it bears no resemblance to Thanksgiving with our family....

Monday, November 20, 2017

What Calendar?

Today is November 20th, leaves are falling, the low this morning was near 40, and we have one Azalea that is blooming.  
Granted, it is only two blooms on one twig, but it is blooming.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Boney Fingers

I'm not going to reveal why I'm dedicating this Hoyt Axton classic to my wife, but there is a very good reason.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Culinary Advice

Good advice from someone who grew up down the road in Spring, Texas.  
Of course, when we say Mexican food, we're really talking about Tex-Mex - True Mexican food is something else entirely.
While we in Texas may argue about whether real chili has beans or not, there are places in our country where they make something they call chili and just ain't.  Take Cincinnati, Ohio, for example - the recipe for their famous Skyline Chili contains ingredients like chocolate, cinnamon and Worcestershire sauce... and, they serve it over spaghetti!  
Someone ought to sue them for false advertising, or at least report them to the FDA.

Friday, November 17, 2017


It's official - Jose Altuve was named the American League's Most Valuable Player for 2017, and the vote wasn't even close.  
The thirty voting members of the Baseball Writers of America gave him 27 first place votes and 3 for second for a total of 405 points.  Rookie of the year Aaron Judge had the second place total at 279.
All the attention is, and should be, on Altuve for his fabulous year, but three other Astros received at least a few votes - George Springer, Carlos Correa, and Marwin Gonzales - Not bad for a team with one of the lowest payrolls in the Major Leagues.

Thursday, November 16, 2017


This post may qualify as T-M-I, so don't say I didn't warn you.
I like asparagus, and for the most part, it likes me.  
If you do too, you already know that within seconds of eating asparagus it changes the odor of your urine - your pee smells like asparagus.  It is amazing how quickly that happens.
What I didn't realize, and should have, is that asparagus is also one of the world's most powerful natural diuretics.  Asparagus contains high levels of the amino acid asparagine, making it a natural diuretic. In other words, eating more of the spears can help flush excess fluid and salt from your body, which may help prevent urinary tract infections. It is also great for helping control blood pressure, etc., but it does have its drawbacks.
It is an old joke, but at my age, throwing an all-nighter means sleeping seven or eight hours without getting up to pee. The asparagus I had for supper last night had me up every hour all night long.  I probably lost three or four pounds between 10 last night and 7 this morning.
Much as I like the stuff, I may have to confine my asparagus consumption to lunch.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Me Too

It has been impossible to watch a newscast in the past few weeks without seeing a story about somebody famous being accused of inappropriate sexual behavior.  These accusations somehow amount to convictions in today's court of public opinion.
Are most of these accounts factual? I have no idea, and no way to know.  Percentages say that some of them must be, but the sheer volume of these accusations ( and the convenient timing of some of them) makes me wonder if "Me, too" hasn't become something of a fad.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017


 I first posted this five or six years ago, so you may have seen it before....
Whether it was a course I taught or one I attended, it was traditional to open the first day of class with a round of introductions.  I preferred to get each student to introduce himself  - or herself in the case of the very few female technicians.  I asked them to tell us a little about their background, about interests outside of work and what they hoped to accomplish in my class.
Other trainers used other approaches.  One that was used often (and the one I liked the least) involved pairing up the new students and giving them about five minutes to get acquainted.  They were then asked to introduce each other to the class.  My biggest objection to this method was that my partner never told the group what I thought was important about me.
Sometimes the result was even worse.  At a Ricoh class in New Jersey, I was once paired with a fellow from Long Island.  He introduced me like this:
“This is Bob.  He says he is a native Texan.  We all know everything in Texas is supposed to be bigger and better, so you’re probably wondering how this little guy  (I was five-seven and about 160) could be from Texas.
Well, he was six-five when he left home, but on the flight up from Houston, his plane hit some bad turbulence over Kentucky, and it scared the shit out of him.”
After the laughter died down, it was my turn to introduce him.  I said:
“This is Terry from Long Island.  He has taught me the big difference between Texans and New Yorkers – We wear the bullshit on the outside of our boots.”

Monday, November 13, 2017

Day(s) Off

I didn't post anything yesterday, and almost didn't today.  
Nothing's wrong. It's just that for once, I didn't have anything worthwhile to say.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Veterans Day

This is a re-post of my blog from 2015...

At the invitation of the President of the United States, I served in the Army from 1966 to 68.  I attained the rank of Specialist 5, and was awarded the Army Commendation Medal for my work with the Ft. Hood Public Information Office.
To those who say I’m not a real veteran since I never was deployed in a war zone, I will remind you that the Viet Cong never got anywhere near central Texas during my tour of duty.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Something's Just Not Wright

It is seven a.m. and I am on my way to the grocery store for bacon.  We're not out of bacon, but Honey has given me strict orders not to cook what we have on hand ever again.
 When I bought our usual Wright brand bacon the other day, I inadvertently picked up  a package of Maple flavored bacon.  It tastes OK, but 24 hours after cooking the first batch, the house still smells like maple syrup in spite of using a half can of Febreze.

Thursday, November 9, 2017


Yesterday's post was all about Honey - how much fun she had, and the joy I got from watching her shoot.
It was definitely her day, so I didn't mention that I was also shooting, or that I didn't leave the gun store empty handed. 
I purchased for myself a Glock 19 - the brand new Gen 5 edition.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Locked and Loaded

As promised, yesterday ended up being a very interesting, exciting and enjoyable day.  
My darling bride is now officially armed and dangerous.
Honey had wanted a handgun for years, but had never shot one and had no idea what she wanted - so we started the day with some expert instruction.  The instructor let her shoot a variety of weapons, and she decided on a Glock 42, a .380 semiautomatic pistol that fits her like a glove.  
For someone who had never shot before, she is seriously good. 
That target is even more impressive when you know that it represents four different weapons, was the first time she had ever shot, and that pattern on the left shoulder occurred when the instructor put one round up there to give her something to aim at besides center mass.
Honey fell in love with shooting, so I foresee a lot of our money going to range fees and ammo.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Tell Ya Tomorrow

We have an interesting day coming up today.  It's going to be a good one, but I'm not ready to talk about it yet.

Monday, November 6, 2017


Another mass shooting over the weekend - this time at a tiny crossroads town in central Texas.
Liberals are once again screaming for gun control, while 2nd amendment  advocates point out that Cain killed Abel with a rock.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Ft Hood Shootings

Today is the anniversary of the day in 2009 that Army Major Nadal Hasan went on a shooting spree at Ft. Hood, Texas.  By the time it was over, he had killed 13 and wounded 32.
Back in March, Nadal - who was convicted and sentenced to death - announced that he was going on a hunger strike.  He said he was not going to eat until he had lost down to 99 pounds as a way of protesting the fact that the US was not embracing Sharia law.
I find it interesting that after that announcement I can find no progress reports on his hunger strike.  
Maybe that's because nobody gives a damn!

Friday, November 3, 2017

Ozone Zone

It's been thirty years since scientists discovered a hole in the Ozone over Antarctica, a discovery that led to the Montreal Accords that outlawed Freon refrigerants and Halon fire extinguishers (except in submarines and airplanes) and the banning of solvents like carbon tetra-chloride and trichloroethane.
Ozone is a naturally occurring allotrope of Oxygen - a three atom version  (O3) as opposed to the two atom O2 we need to sustain life.  It has a sharp but not unpleasant odor - it's the smell you notice during a thunderstorm when lightning turns O2 to O3.
Humans have a complex and often confusing relationship with Ozone. Ozone in the stratosphere protects the earth from harmful ultraviolet rays, but more than 0.07 ppm at ground level can lead to respiratory problems and can generate an air quality alert.  Meanwhile, folks buy or rent Ozone generators to remove the smells of mold or cigarette smoke from hotel rooms, etc.
It was announced this morning that the hole in the Ozone Layer is the smallest it's been since 1988.  Hole watchers, who should be ecstatic, say it is cyclic and normal, or it's the result of Global Warming.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

We Won!

Here's the now famous Sports Illustrated cover from 2014
 And here's a "Told You So" update
 Congratulations to the Astros  for making every Houston fan's baseball dreams come true.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Halloween Hangover

How I feel on the morning of November 1st,  
It really has nothing to do with Halloween - as predicted, we had no trick-or-treaters last night - but sitting through game 6 of the World Series left me exhausted.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Well, THAT Was Quick!

I got around to using my new pressure washer for the first time yesterday. 
My old pressure washer used an adjustable tip to select the spray pattern, but the new one - like almost all washers available today - uses a series of removable tips which are attached by the use of a quick connect fitting like this...
Before starting the engine, I attached the 25° nozzle to the wand.  

I hooked the machine up to the water hose, filled it with fuel and gave it a crank.  I was very pleased to see that the Honda engine started as advertised on the very first crank.  
I pointed the wand down the driveway and when I pulled the trigger, I sent the tip into orbit!  
I say into orbit because over a half hour of searching produced no results.  
I tried looking.  
I tried raking.  
I tried going over the area with a magnet.  
I even got Honey out to help. 
Oh well, they do sell replacement tips. 
I installed the next larger tip and washed the lawnmower.  It did an acceptable job, but it would have been faster and easier with the right tip. 
It might make a better post to leave this as written, but I have to report that I found the wayward tip early this morning.  As the sun was rising, I saw a glint in the yard that proved to be sunlight reflecting off the missing tip. It was a good 25 feet further away than I would have thought possible.