Sunday, October 22, 2017

How to Watch a Ball Game - II

Unlike the night before, we were glued to the television last night watching our Houston Astros defeat the New York Yankees four to zip to win the American League Championship and a trip to the World Series.  
We did fast-forward through a bunch of commercials, and paused the TV for smoke and potty breaks and to put the dogs to bed, but we watched every play of the game start to finish and well into the post-game celebration.
One thing I did not hear mentioned on TV that is the Astros became the first team in history to win both the American and National League Championships.  The only other team to compete in both, the Milwaukee Brewers won the ALCS in 1982, but lost the NLCS in 2011.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

How to Watch a Ball Game

The Houston Astros came through last night, defeating the Yankees 7 to 1, and tying the American League Championship at 3 to 3.  
I can attest that it was a great game - Verlander was super - undefeated in post season play, and an ERA of .056, and the Astros offense finally started hitting balls where the Yankees fielders weren't lurking.  
But did I watch the game?  
The answer is yes....and no.
We started the game, watched the first couple of scoreless innings, then switched over to watch an episode of Chicago Fire that we had recorded earlier in the week.  Switching back to check progress at every commercial, we caught the entirety of the three run inning five, then, after watching last night's episode of Blue Bloods, we were back in time to see Judges homer in the eighth, and Altuve's reply in the bottom of the inning along with the three additional runs the Stros scored for good measure.
It couldn't have worked better if we had planned it - somehow, the timing just worked.  All in all, a very satisfying way to watch the game.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Game Six

This afternoon is game six of the American League Championship Series.  The Stros won the first two here, then dropped three in New York.  Now they are back home for game six and (hopefully) game seven.  Winning at home isn't a lock, but history says the home team wins the series 55% of the time.
I saw a very sincere middle-aged lady tell David Paul on TV that God told her in a vision that the Astros would win the World Series.  I hope she is right.  I'm not that confident, but I did dream last night that all nine Astros got to bat in the first inning today.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Our Guys Won

NO, NOT THE ASTROS - 
They dropped another playoff game in New York, but the Houston Rockets came through in California.
 After watching last year's NBA champs, the Golden State Warriors receive their championship rings, the Rockets came from way behind after three quarters to win by one point - 122 to 121.
 

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Character Flaw

Okay, I'll admit it.  I'm a weak person....
A couple months ago, I posted that I was trying to get back into the habit of wearing my hearing aids. It started out all right, but then life intervened.  
  • First it was Hurricane Harvey and the flooding we sustained.  
  • Then it was the cleanup. 
  • Then came the allergies that have had my head stopped up for days. 
Besides, I hear well enough to get by most of the time - well, some of the time, anyway.
Damn! I'm running out of excuses.
I need to try again.
Maybe tomorrow.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Texans

Our Houston Texans won yesterday, and a loss by Jacksonville later in the day has us tied for the lead in our division going into our bye week.
Quarterback Deshaun Watson continues to set rookie records, but what may have been the coolest thing he did on Sunday was show up at the stadium wearing a Houston Oilers jersey with Warren Moon's number one.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

The Joke's On Me

I'm really not a member of the Grammar Police, I'm not even in the Auxiliary, but I often get amused by the way things are written and/or spelled on line.   I've even mentioned a few examples on this blog.
Yesterday, I got a laugh out of a post on the local Classifieds page on Facebook. A lady had listed a free Exersaucer!
I immediately had visions of a saucer so buff it could carry your coffee cup back to the sink on its own.  I almost said something, then something told me to Google the word...
 It turns out that Exersaucer is a brand name for a series of "activity centers" for infants and toddlers manufactured by Evenflo.
I had never heard of them before, but maybe, since my grand-kids are almost adults, I have an excuse.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Flu

Yesterday, Honey and I went to our local Walgreen's Pharmacy and got our Flu shots. Like Last Year, we doubled up - getting our Pneumonia vaccine while we were at it.
Last time around, my arm was sore the day of the shots, but back to normal by the following morning.  This time, my neck and shoulder are achy, and my arm feels like it is about to fall off.  
Maybe because we got our shots on Friday the 13th?

Thursday, October 12, 2017

A L C S

After losing the first two games, the New York Yankees came back to win their division series with a 5-2 decision over the Cleveland Indians in game 5 last night.  
That means our Houston Astros will host the Yanks in the first game of the American League Championship tomorrow night.
That means, among other things, that we'll get to compare the two top candidates for MVP - Aaron Judge and Jose Altuve - as they play in the same game.
For those who were pulling for Cleveland, the Texans will be hosting their football team at NRG Stadium on Sunday.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

ALDS

After a truly terrible weekend for Houston sports fans, finally some good news.  The Houston Astros beat Boston yesterday to win the division series! 
We still don't know who we will be playing in the league championship series, or where the first game will be.  
The Yankees beat the Indians yesterday  to send that series back to Cleveland for a fifth and final game.  If the Yankees win, we'll host them here, but if the Indians prevail, we'll start the  championship series in Cleveland.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Columbus

Today is Columbus Day, a state and federal holiday. 
The holiday started in 1792 as an Italian-American heritage celebration in New York. The day was declared a federal holiday in 1937 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
There will be no mail delivery today - Postal workers and other government bureaucrats are particularly fond of Columbus because:
  • When he set sail, he didn't know where he was going.
  • When he got back, he didn't know where he had been.
  • He did it all using somebody else's money.
Oh, and somehow, along the way, he also managed to introduce smallpox to the Western Hemisphere.


Sunday, October 8, 2017

Nothing

Nothing of interest to report this morning.
Sometimes, that's a good thing.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Quiet Weekend in the Country - NOT

If I was looking forward to a quiet weekend in the country (and I'm not) this would definitely not be it. 
Wilson Graff, who we've watched grow up next door, is marrying his high school sweetheart, Kylie Price, in an outdoor ceremony just across our property line.
Looks like it's gonna be quite the wing-ding.  They have a reception tent set up that would make Ringling Brothers green with envy!
Hearty congratulations to the couple, and we'll see you in a few hours.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Satisfaction

Yesterday was a good day, with multiple events that were satisfying on several levels - 
Harris County trucks came by and removed the debris pile from the roadside in front of our house. Our yard  now looks like it did pre-Harvey.
I got our Generac generator repaired.  The tech who came yesterday morning said he could not work on it because it was four inches too close to a window that could be opened.  He said that created unacceptable liability issues for the company, so I did the work myself.  
Three oil changes and two oil filters later, it was good as new - runs like a top.
After a very unsatisfactory experience with taking Honey's laptop to Best Buy, I got an email asking me to take a survey.  I gave them a scathing review, and was amazed when I got a call yesterday from the Geek Squad manager of our local store.
They actually read those things and take them very seriously!  After discussing the situation, he is issuing a credit for the cost of the replacement hard drive.
Yeah, yesterday was a good day - the best in quite a while.
 
 

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Thought for Thursday

What with hurricanes, mass shootings, etc. there has been so much negativity over the last month or so, I thought I'd share a positive post....
 

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Won't Go Away 2

The absolute worst thing about flooding - even worse than the actual damage we sustained - is the totally frustrating way that those who are supposed to be helping find every way possible to deny your claim.
Here's the latest example:  
I mentioned yesterday that our Generac 13kW home generator had flood damage.  Our the insurance company's claims adjuster says it is  not covered, and emailed me this excerpt from the claims handbook.

He claims that being permanently hardwired into the house does not mean it is attached, and the fact that the generator is fully contained within its own steel box does not constitute being enclosed.  
I feel that he is wrong on both counts, but at this point my only option is to have him send me a rejection letter which I could then use to appeal his decision to FEMA.  I'm tempted, but at this point, I'm just not willing to descend another level into what can only be described at Bureaucratic Hell.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Harvey Just Won't Go Away

We finally got our "Getting Started" check from the flood insurance company yesterday. We also got an email from the appraiser with a blank Excel spreadsheet.  
He wants me to itemize all the contents that were lost or damaged. It seems sort of late arriving, but if I had received it last week, I would have missed something big.

 
Several years ago, we installed a Generac 13kW generator to power our home any time there is a power failure.  It has done a fine job.  I knew the water had come pretty high on the generator, but it is set to come on and "exercise" on Sunday afternoons, and it started normally the Sunday after the flood.
This past weekend, it failed to start.  I checked and found that the main fuse was blown, and the engine had water in the oil.  I have a service call scheduled, but it will be Thursday before we learn the extent of the damage.  At this point, I know that the least it will cost me is $200 just to check it out.
 
 

Monday, October 2, 2017

What Happened In Vegas

Last night, at an open-air concert in Las Vegas, a man opened fire on the crowd killing - at last report - 58 people and wounding 515.  The shooter is dead, shot by police in a hotel room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel.  
Since Stephen Paddock, the gunman is dead, we may never actually know why he chose these people, or this time and place, but everybody is rushing to put in their two cents worth:
  • Isis has issued a statement claiming that the shooter was a recent convert answering a call for mass shootings in Vegas.
  • Hillary Clinton used the event to attack the NRA saying, “The crowd fled at the sound of gunshots,” she added. “Imagine the deaths if the shooter had a silencer, which the NRA wants to make easier to get.”
  •  President Trump, addressing the nation, quoted Psalm 34:18 - "The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit."
  • Jason Aldean, who was on stage when the attack began tweeted  "Tonight has been beyond horrific. I still dont know what to say but wanted to let everyone know that Me and my Crew are safe. My Thoughts and prayers go out to everyone involved tonight. It hurts my heart that this would happen to anyone who was just coming out to enjoy what should have been a fun night." 
  • And several - too many - people have made statements like "They're Country Music fans.  Most of them were probably Republicans/Trump Supporters."

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Progress Report - Or Not

If you saw yesterday's post, I was a bit too optimistic.
No check in the mail, and the computer is still at Best Buy.
The tech who was working on it told me Friday that he should be through that evening, but it is still listed on line as under repair.  When I dropped it off, they gave me an appointment to pick it up on Monday - I'm hoping that it will be ready then.
The next mail delivery is Monday, too.
Here's hoping it's a good day.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Progress Report - Maybe Today

Two good signs of progress:
Honey's computer is almost fixed - the Geek Squad guy at Best Buy called several times yesterday afternoon while he was resetting the Microsoft Office password. Microsoft was calling our land line with an access code, and he would call for the number.  Getting Office up and running was the last thing he had to do, but he hasn't called yet to say it is ready to pick up. I'm expecting a call later this morning.
Our flood insurance has a way to check the claim status using the texting feature on my cell phone.  Yesterday is said that the claim is still being processed but that a check was sent on 9/27.  It doesn't say how much the check is for, but I'm guessing this is that "getting started" check that the adjuster authorized four weeks ago. Of course, I haven't seen it yet, but maybe it will come today.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Honey's Computer

I took Honey's computer to Best Buy yesterday morning, and yesterday afternoon the Geek Squad guy called to say the problem was a failing hard drive.  
It hadn't completely died, but it was close, and the only hope for the computer was a hard drive replacement.
He said that they would try to retrieve the data from the old hard drive, but the chances of success weren't great.
The only thing we're really concerned about is Honey's Outlook Contacts. I have a file called Honey's Contacts on my computer, but it is way out of date.
So, if you've ever received an email from Honey - or if you'd like to in the future - please send her an email now so we can rebuild her Contacts.  If she isn't on your Contacts list, you can send the email to HoneyC@embarqmail.com 

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Update - Computer and FEMA

I spent most of yesterday trying to get Honey's computer back to normal, and finally admitted defeat.  I'll be taking it to Best Buy this morning.
Meanwhile, we had a visit from a FEMA representative yesterday, and she confirmed what I suspected - we will not be getting any help from the Feds.  She told us that (even if we qualified) they would not consider giving us any money under any circumstances until our flood insurance had paid off.
The only real surprise was that she said they would only consider damage to our garage (where we had the most water) if the garage contained something (like a water heater, for example) that was necessary to live in the house.  It's just a garage with nothing inside that would make it qualify.
She was a very nice, outgoing young woman, and we had a very enjoyable visit. But, except for giving me a welcome break from working on the computer, the entire visit was a waste of her time and mine.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Healthier Than A Computer - 2

Honey wasn't the only one to have her computer lock up on the Welcome screen.  A check on line says that this happened to a whole lot of folks courtesy of the latest Windows update.  
It seems to be unique to HP computers running Windows 10.  Both HP and Microsoft are aware of the problem, but there's no fix yet.  I did find a work-around that involves disabling something called App Readiness, but so far, I have been unable to get to the screen where this can be done. Directions on how to get to the screen where this can be done are vague at best, so I'm trying to get there by trial and error.
I still have hope of getting there, but it is a very long, drawn out, process.  Just getting to a screen where I can right click on the power logo - the first step in the sequence - can take anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

I'm Healthier Than A Computer

I had my annual physical exam this morning and everything is OK.  My triglycerides are a bit high, but total Cholesterol is fine. 

When we got home, Honey's laptop was hung up on the Welcome screen.  That usually means it is installing some update or another, but this has been going on for HOURS.  
The only fix I found on line requires using the mouse, and at this point, the darn mouse is disabled.  I hate to do it, but this may require professional help.

Monday, September 25, 2017

You Have the Right

Even if you've never been arrested, I'm sure you've heard the "Miranda Warning" dozens of times on TV police dramas - the one that begins "You have the right to remain silent."
I wish that more folks would understand that this also applies to Freedom of Speech.  
The 1st Amendment gives you the Right to express any opinion, no matter how misguided it might be.  
It gives you the Right to be wrong, to be ridiculous, to be stupid.  
It gives you the Right to be a complete and total jerk.
What it does not do is give you the Obligation.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Progress?

Well, I think that I made progress, of a sort, this morning.  
I mentioned the other day that our flood insurance carrier had a number you could text to check on the status of your claim. I also mentioned that they had no record of  my claim number.  
I despise texting - I'm old enough to believe phones were made for talking - but since it is impossible to reach anybody at the insurance company by phone, I keep trying.
Today, when I tried again, I got this reply:
"I didn't understand ur response. Pls enter only #s.  If ur claim # is FNII-1-17-0000001 then enter only 170000001 or 171.  To open a new claim reply w/CLAIM"
I tried re-entering my claim number without the zeroes and received this reply: 
"Your claim is currently open.  Your claim is still being reviewed, no payments have been issued."
I guess this explains why we haven't received a check.  At least now we know that we do have a claim in process, and that's got to be progress of a sort. Right?

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Harvey Stinks

We got the new carpet installed in our living room yesterday and we are beyond pleased.  The color matches perfectly with the furniture, the color on the walls and with the tile in the entryway and kitchen - we could not have picked a better color.
The only problem is that it STINKS!  
Actually, the carpet itself is practically odorless, but the glue used to stick the pad to the floor is highly aromatic, and the smell will make you dizzy.  He didn't use much of the stuff, and I would have thought the smell would have gone away in a few hours, but I have a box fan set up in a window this morning trying to get the smell to dissipate. It seems as strong this morning as it was yesterday afternoon.
Speaking of STINKING, we are paying for the carpet out of our own pocket because we still haven't had any response from the flood insurance.  We were supposed to get a "get started" check over two weeks ago, but it has not arrived. 
The insurance carrier, which (just my luck) is headquartered in Florida, had a number you can text, include your claim number and get a report on your claim's status.  When I tried that, the response was that  they have no record of my claim number!  
Reaching an actual person is impossible.  After 25 minutes on hold, and being transferred several times, I finally got a live person, but she said her only job was to take my information and transfer it to the proper department.  She said calls were being handled in the order they were received, and that someone would call me back.
That was Wednesday.  No one has called yet.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

At the Doctor

Had a doctor's appointment this morning.  
Well, not exactly.  
Almost.
What I had was a pre-appointment appointment. 
My annual physical is coming up next week.  
In the past, I would come in to get my lab work done the week before, then see the doctor on the day of the appointment.  Now they are scheduling an extra appointment to get everything but actually seeing the doctor done the week before.  It may be more efficient for the doctor, but it is a major pain in the ass for the patient.
I got there at 8 a.m. for an 8:30 appointment, and didn't get out of there until 10:35.  
I had assumed that, once they were through with everything else, I would go directly to the drawing station for my lab work, but no - they sent me back to the lobby to sign in for my labs, which put me at number 5 in a line that takes about 1/2 hour per patient.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Like A Pirate

Today is International Talk Like a Pirate Day.  I'm not sure why, but - trust me - it is.
Reminds me of a story about Halloween.
A young fellow shows up at the front door.  
The lady who answers the doorbell asks "What are you?"
"I'm a pirate." he replies.
"Well, if you're a pirate, where are your buccaneers?"
"Under my buckin' hat."

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

She Was Poetry

I saw a quote this morning that really grabbed my attention:
"She was poetry in a world that was still learning the alphabet"
The quote was unattributed, so I went looking.  I found that it was the first and last lines of a poem titled Poetry by Alex Collier.  
To me, it was by far the best line in the poem, but here is the whole thing  - the spelling is the author's - so you can judge for yourself - 

She was poetry in a world that was still learning the alphabet.
From the smooth contures of poised metaphores and similies.
She was an art form lusted for centuries.
Mastered from the souls of pain and heart break. She was poetry in a world that was still learning the alphabet.
Molding sculpted words into beautiful masterpeices.
Sex craved similies, form words making love like the wind and the earth.
Metaphors creating depths deeper than her darkerst passions.
For she was poetry in a world that was still learning the alphabet.
-Alex Collier

Monday, September 18, 2017

'Stros

While you were watching Football this weekend, the Houston Astros clinched the American League West.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Mosquito Men

The flooding from Hurricane Harvey brought millions of mosquitoes and one of the most visible examples of how the government is actually helping.  Flyers from the U S Air Force Reserve, in specially modified C-130 cargo planes have been spraying the Greater Houston area each evening with mosquito poison.
Flights started last Thursday, and I was wondering if they hadn't got to our area yet, or if I had missed them coming over.  I got my answer last night about 8:30 - the sound of those four huge Allison engines would be hard to miss, especially when the plane is flying just above tree top level.  It moves fast, too.  It probably took us less than 20 seconds to get outside, and the plane was already out of sight.
Speaking of moving fast, when we went out, our dogs came in and went straight into their crate.  Bedtime should always be that easy.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

HRC Book Club

Nothing special going on here at the Boggy Thicket this morning, so I thought I'd pass along two reactions to Hillary's new book -



 

Friday, September 15, 2017

Why Smoking Is Better Than Flood Insurance

I never should have posted yesterday's post.  
I knew  it was too optimistic to expect what I considered a reasonable outcome, and I was right.  The adjuster called last night and told Honey that he was approving our carpet as contents - with a second deductible.  
He went on to say that if we could provide a letter from someone in government saying that the old floor contained asbestos, the insurance company would pay to have a remediation team come in and remove it.  I don't know why, since the floor pre-dated the flood by over 40 years, but that is what he said.  
That, of course, is a non-starter.  We already know that the safest (and least expensive) way to handle that old floor is simply to cover it with carpet.
I guess it could have been worse.  Our carpet contractor has a client in Kingwood whose house features a sunken living room, an architectural gimmick that was quite popular a few years ago.  Her adjuster told her that because the living room was six inches lower than the rest of the house, it would be considered a BASEMENT, and as such it was not covered by her policy!
Meanwhile, I got an email from Marlboro Cigarettes yesterday evening saying that since I lived in an area affected by Harvey they wanted to help.  I have smoked Marlboros since they came on the market, and have occasionally entered contests they sponsor on line, so I suppose they knew that I am a loyal customer. The email contained a link to a $50 Visa Debit Card!  It's an electronic debit card, valid for anything I care to purchase on line.
Weighing the results of paying several hundred dollars a year for flood insurance for almost half a century vs. smoking cigarettes for at least that long - right now, the cigarettes are winning!

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Adjusting Expectations

Our adjuster (and his brother) finally showed up yesterday.  They took a lot more measurements and took a lot more pictures.  
He told us our "getting started" check was on the way and should have been here already.  He also said they would be in town for another 10 days or so and then they were headed to Florida.  He said he will be sending his finalized estimate in by this weekend, but he has no idea how long it will take to get our final check.
The one piece of good news - and it's not carved in stone - was that he finally agreed that the floor in the living room did not constitute a "Finished" floor.  
When the house was built, the contractor installed asphalt tile, and both the tile and the mastic they used to stick it down contained asbestos.  The floor has patches that only match the original tile in thickness, and large gaps from when the house was leveled that are just the concrete slab. When we first added carpet, it was decided it was both cheaper and safer to just cover the tile rather than remove it.
All of this matters because, as the flood insurance laws are written, carpet over an Unfinished floor is considered part of the dwelling, but carpet - even wall-to-wall carpet over a "Finished" floor deemed to be part of the contents.  In our case, with the minimal damage we suffered, listing the carpet as contents, with the additional deductible, would mean we would receive next to nothing for the damage to our home.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Anticipation Two

Well, the adjuster failed to show yesterday.  
I called him about 5 p.m. and he apologized - said the email he sent saying he would be here mid-afternoon should have specified mid-afternoon on Wednesday. 
He seems like a nice young man, but he was a day late showing up the first time, too.
Waiting around is SO MUCH FUN!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Anticipation

We got the last stuff moved around and finished sweeping out the garage yesterday.  Still have a lot in there that will have to be moved out or around when they get ready to replace the drywall, but decided to leave it inside for now.
The next thing on our agenda is to WAIT - something neither I nor my bride is any good at at all.
The flood insurance adjuster is supposed to make his second visit sometime this afternoon.  Hopefully, once that happens we can get on with getting stuff repaired.

Monday, September 11, 2017

List

This is a picture of US 59 at the San Jacinto River taken near the peak of post-Harvey flooding.  
Today a neighbor published a (partial) list of businesses that were lost to floodwaters in Humble and Kingwood.  I say partial because folks are already adding to the list on Facebook.
 
Humble:
Best Buy
Marshalls
Bell furniture
Carters
Old navy
Shoe carnival
Bed bath and beyond
Petsmart
Justice
Kirklands
Pier 1
Ulta
Party city
Office Max
Mattress Firm
Lifeway
New balance
Chair king
Scrubs etc
Kohl's
Target
Subway
Costco
Taco cabana
Payless
Famous footwear
Matress one
NTB
Verizon wireless
Chuy's
Fairfield
Hampton Inn
Pappas seafood
Red lobster
T.G.I. Friday's
Nightlight pediatrics
Menchies
Toys r us/Babies r us
24 Emergency vet
Hobby lobby
Main Event
Dimassi's Mediterranean
Robert's Carpet
America's Best Contacts & Eyeglasses
Today's Vision
Natius Nursery
Amazing Lash Studio
Country inn and Suites


Kingwood:

Lone Star college
Hunan garden
Domino's pizza
Papa johns
Fudruckers
Walgreens
Carney's Tutoring
Cvs
Kingwood high school
Smoothie king
Jewelers Bench
Pet ranch
Hallmark store
Sylvan learning
Famous Footwear
McDonald's
Burger King
Raising canes
Mod pizza
Torchys
Whataburger
HEB
Orange theory
Salata
Sub zero
Tea house tapioca
Sports clips
Starbucks
Randall's
La Madeline
Wells Fargo
Chase
Exxon
AT&T
Chick-fil-A
Three B's
GNC
UPS store
Marble Slab
The little gym
Alspaughs
Kingwood photo lab
Ryan's cleaners
BBVA compass
Town center dry cleaners
Kelsey Seybold
Memorial Hermann
Kingwood Library
Gigi's cupcakes
Chachis
Russo's New York pizza
Sushi Hana
Wingstop
Fedex
Leslie's pool supplies
Amegy bank
YMCA
Sharkys
Raffas
Zamittis
Chimichurris
Pretty little things
Woodforest bank
Arturo's hair studio
Regions bank
Life storage
Campbell Chiropractic
Kingwood Barber Shop #3
Creeekwood Dental
Kingwood Family Practice
Papa Murphy's
Rachel's Hallmark Store
Mud Pie
Allergy & Asthma in Kingwood
Re/Max
S & A nails
Tipsy nails
Berry Yogurt
Dapper Darlings
Pholicious
Hin's Oriental
Kingwood Bagel
LaTique Nails
Nails of America
Sally’s Beauty Supply
PostNet
Massage Heights
VIP Nails
Face It
Huntington Learning Center
Kingwood Mathnasium
Edward Jones
Youniquely Yours Boutique
Gnome Sweet Gnome
Legacy Fitness
ZZ Gators
Local Print Solutions
Kindercare
Potbellys
MW Dry Cleaners
Darque Tan
Texas Tom's Pool Supplies
Serenity massage
AG Hair in Town Center (formerly Moriri)
MJ Nails in Town Center
Dormer Insurance
Sotheby's Martha Turner in Town Center
Fabulous Things in Town Center
Thomas Markle Jewelers
Sanke Kingwood
Eye Trends
KW Shoe & Boot Repair
Farmers Insurance- Kenneth Pickett
Personalize It
Va Va Bloom
Jacks Grocery
El Ranchero
Family Vision
Thomas Markle Jewelers
Dr. Barksdale
Mama Fu’s
Kingwood PC Repair
Stewart Title
Capital Title
Humble ISD Support Services

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Post Harvey Potpourri

Making progress on the Harvey cleanup, but still have a ways to go.
I ache all over and I'm sick and tired of mosquitoes.
J J Watt's Harvey Relief Fund has gone over $30 million. Amazing when his original goal was $200 thousand.
Dave Martin, the Houston City Councilman who represents the Kingwood area issued a statement urging people not to support the Red Cross. "I beg you not to send them a penny," he said at Wednesday's council meeting. "They are the most inept unorganized organization I've ever experienced."
The Texans play their season opener today in Houston, giving us an excuse to take a break from Harvey.  
Their opponents, the Jacksonville Jaguars, will stay here until they know what Hurricane Irma does to their hometown. 
Saw a story this morning saying that about 50 Miami- Dade County residents evacuated ahead of Irma, and left their dogs tied up in their yards!  Got to be a special place in Hell for people like that.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Don Williams

Don Williams, one of my all time favorite singers, died yesterday after a career that spanned over half a century.  I first became a fan when he was part of the Corpus Christi based Pozo Seco Singers in the 1960s,
 and I liked him even more as a solo performer.
Here are examples of his work -
 




Friday, September 8, 2017

Quote

MY QUOTE OF THE DAY: 
"Life in Lubbock, Texas, taught me two things: One is that God loves you and you're going to burn in hell. The other is that sex is the most awful, filthy thing on earth and you should save it for someone you love." - Butch Hancock, Singer/Songwriter/Musician, the Flatlanders

Thursday, September 7, 2017

No Room

Finally, a post about something except Harvey -
I had a very weird night last night.  
First, I couldn't get to sleep at all - went to bed at 10, could not relax and was up at 1 a.m. fixing myself a drink.  I finally got to sleep sometime after 1:30, only to have a weird and disturbing dream. 
I was away from home, attending a school, and staying in a hotel.  I suppose that I spent the first night at the hotel without incident, but after going to dinner following the first day of class, I returned to the hotel to find that my hotel room didn't exist.  
Rather than a more modern key card, I had an old-style room key, similar to the one above.  It clearly stated that it went to room 532, but when I took the elevator to the fifth floor the rooms went from 530 to 534 with nothing in between. The rooms across the hall were labeled 531, 533, 535, etc.
I spent what seemed like hours searching for my room, growing increasingly frustrated. I had a series of strange encounters on the way, and the hotel desk and hotel security were no help at all.  
The dream finally ended without actually coming to a conclusion.  
I never did find that darn room, but I awoke this morning in my own bed, totally exhausted.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Taking a Break

Well, we got all the wet sheet rock out yesterday and hauled it to the edge of the street.  There's still lots to do, but decided we deserved a day off, so plan to take it easy today.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Getting Started

Our flood insurance adjuster finally made it here yesterday afternoon, but it was just a preliminary visit, he'll be back - probably next week sometime - to do his final assessment.
The one thing that he did stress was that we had to get the sheet rock in the garage pulled ASAP.  
We got started on that yesterday, and a group from our next-door-neighbor's church is supposed to come help us today.  Meanwhile, we're doing it ourselves. 
The carpenter ants in the house are under control, but they ain't nothing compared to the fire ants I found in the garage wall. They had come in and built a nest between a couple studs to get out of the water.  When I pulled that piece of sheet rock and hauled it to the trailer, I got stung a half dozen times before I could let it go.

Monday, September 4, 2017

If I Were a Carpenter

Multiple Harvey-related fatalities have occurred here at the Boggy Thicket!  
Big, black Carpenter Ants decided this was the perfect time to invade our home, and we have been fighting back.  We had two different brands of ant spray on hand, and I've used both.  They both seem to work.
So far, Honey has been sweeping the utility room and kitchen just about every hour, sweeping up 20 to 30 dead and dying ants each time.  There must be several hundred in the garbage I am taking to the curb this morning.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Yard of the Month

We haven't hauled anything out to the street. The carpet we pulled out is in rolls in the garage. 
The flood insurance adjuster is supposed to come today, so our yard might still look something like this before it's all over.
 

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Free

There are reports all over the news about the unbelievable amounts of money being raised to help in the rebuilding after Harvey, but if you're not J. J. Watt or Michael Dell, there are still things you can do.
I drove past this truck in my hometown of Huffman yesterday -
 I didn't stop, but according to Facebook posts this morning, it was a couple from San Antonio who loaded their pickup with things like fresh bread and eggs and drove 200 miles to give them away.  Those who stopped said they would not take no for an answer and would not take any payment.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Cajun Navy

There have been hundreds of individuals who brought their boats to the Houston area to rescue folks stranded by Harvey.  The one group getting the most news coverage is the Cajun Navy, a bunch of Good Ol' Boys from South Louisiana who rescued literally hundreds of people in the past week.
I have a neighbor who was out doing rescues on his jet ski, and worked alongside one of the Cajun Navy crews. He couldn't say enough about the boat handling skills of the boat owner - or about the boat itself, a 20 ft skiff that's big fan was powered by a 454 chevy engine.  Shane came home saying "I'm gonna build me a boat!"
All those folks are getting for their efforts are thank yous, and I'd like to add mine.  I'm also re-posting an article that describes the situation very well:
Hundreds and hundreds of small boats pulled by countless pickups and SUVs from across the South are headed for Houston. Almost all of them driven by men. They're using their own property, sacrificing their own time, spending their own money, and risking their own lives for one reason: to help total strangers in desperate need.
Most of them are by themselves. Most are dressed like the redneck duck hunters and bass fisherman they are. Many are veterans. Most are wearing well-used gimme-hats, t-shirts, and jeans; and there's a preponderance of camo. Most are probably gun owners, and most probably voted for Trump.
These are the people the Left loves to hate, the ones Maddow mocks. The ones Maher and Olbermann just *know* they're so much better than.
These are The Quiet Ones. They don't wear masks and tear down statues. They don't, as a rule, march and demonstrate. And most have probably never been in a Whole Foods.
But they'll spend the next several days wading in cold, dirty water; dodging gators and water moccasins and fire ants; eating whatever meager rations are available; and sleeping wherever they can in dirty, damp clothes. Their reward is the tears and the hugs and the smiles from the terrified people they help. They'll deliver one boatload, and then go back for more.
When disaster strikes, it's what men do. Real men. Heroic men. American men. And then they'll knock back a few shots, or a few beers with like-minded men they've never met before, and talk about fish, or ten-point bucks, or the benefits of hollow-point ammo, or their F-150.
And the next time they hear someone talk about "the patriarchy", or "male privilege", they'll snort, turn off the TV and go to bed.
In the meantime, they'll likely be up again before dawn. To do it again. Until the helpless are rescued. And the work's done.
They're unlikely to be reimbursed. There won't be medals. They won't care. They're heroes. And it's what heroes do.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

High and Dry

Still cloudy here at the Boggy Thicket, but the flood waters have receded. We have a few small spots of standing water, but no more than we see after a good thundershower.
There are still high water rescues going on within a few miles of us, and there are no stores open that we can get to from here, but the worst (for us) is definitely over.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Even More Harvey

The flood waters here at the Boggy Thicket receded about seven inches, then started coming back up again overnight.  So far, only an inch or so - but still, not what we wanted to see.
The carpet that got soaked is still damp, but no longer saturated.  I found that the carpet shampooer does a better job of sucking out the water than the shop vac.
We're still fine, but cabin fever has definitely set in.

Monday, August 28, 2017

How High 3

Although we have had over 20 inches of rain courtesy of Harvey, the water never made it in our front door - it came right up to it, but never got in.  
The last band of heavy rain was ending, and I was feeling pretty smug when I walked barefoot across our living room carpet about one a.m. this morning...
Apparently the flood water seeped in via weep holes in the brick.  Only a fraction of an inch, but enough to ruin the carpet.  I'll be using the shop vac to dry it as much as possible.
For now, the rain here has stopped, and the water level in our yard has dropped by at least four inches overnight.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

How High's the Water 2

The weather guessers have been warning for days that Harvey was going to result in a major flooding event, and it looks like they were right.
We started out slow here at the Boggy Thicket, but the rains began in earnest yesterday.  The semiofficial rain total at the Weather Bug station in Huffman registered about six inches yesterday and over 3 1/2 since midnight last night.
Our yard is a lake all the way over the street and about halfway up the front yard across the road. We have about an inch of water on our front porch for the first time in 40 years,  but we're still about three inches away from getting water in the house. 
TV is reporting rainfall accumulations in excess of 20 inches in some areas of Harris County, with some areas having rains in excess of five inches per hour overnight.  There are some reports of water into the second floor of homes and apartments.
With that in mind, our septic system has flooded and we can't flush toilets, but otherwise we are OK.  That is unpleasant, but a very minor inconvenience compared to what some are going through.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

How High's the Water

I just happened to buy a couple cases of water like the one above last Tuesday.  They were on sale at my local Brookshire Brothers grocery for $3.00 a case. 
There have been reports on TV of price gouging due to the hurricane, and many of those reports had to do with bottled water.
One report had a local convenience store selling that same case of water for $14.99.  
Price gouging?  Maybe not.  
The store manager said the water was supposed to sell by the bottle - $1.29 per bottle, which translates to $30.96 for a 24 bottle case.  He sells water out of his refrigerated case all day long at a buck 29.  He thought he was being a good neighbor selling it for less than  half price. 

Friday, August 25, 2017

More Harvey

Hurricane Harvey continues to build. 
It's up to a Cat 2, 240 miles south of Galveston this morning, and still expected to make landfall near Corpus Christi early tomorrow as at least a Cat 3.
It is getting hard to find bread and water as far north and east as Louisiana, but at least one person in Corpus had a sense of humor.  He posted this picture of the Statue at the Selena Memorial...
 

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Harvey

Tropical Storm Harvey is growing fast.  Yesterday weathermen were saying it might reach hurricane status before making landfall -  now some forecasters are saying it may reach Category 3 status before coming ashore near Corpus Christi Friday night.  
Here at the Boggy Thicket, we were already being warned of a major rain event - heavy rains beginning Friday and continuing through Tuesday.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Just Imagine

Monday was a New Moon - just the smallest sliver.
Imagine what the eclipse would have been like if the Moon was full.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Eclipse Two

 I no longer have an arc welder - it succumbed to flood water years ago - but I still have my welding mask.  I cleaned it up and put it to good use yesterday watching the eclipse of the sun.

The first time Honey tried it, she said that all she could see was her own reflection, so I removed the headband and she was able to see the sun by just holding the mask in front of her.   
We took turns, and both agreed that even though there was only about 60% coverage from our vantage point at the Boggy Thicket, it was still pretty amazing - and we agreed to stick around to see the next one in 2024.

We still won't be in the path of totality next time, but we'll be pretty darn close.  We might even want to make a trip to Del Rio, Belton, Kerrville, Corsicana, Mineola or Texarkana. 
Dallas is squarely within the path, but it would take more than an eclipse to make me want to go there.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Eclipse

Lots of stuff I could comment on this morning:
  • Texans beat New England this weekend. OK - it's pre-season, but we beat them!
  • Black activist/comedian Dick Gregory died. (Define comedian)
  • Comedian Jerry Lewis died. (Define comedian)
  • UT removed a bunch of Confederate Statues (and one of Governor Jim Hogg) overnight. That one ought be worth a couple of posts.
  • Another Navy ship was in a wreck with a commercial vessel - this time it was the USS John McCain. (Named for the father of the Senator from Arizona)
But the big story today has to be the eclipse of the Sun.
The map shows the path of totality, and where the view of the eclipse may be hindered by cloud cover.  I post it because I have a friend and former coworker who drove from the Dallas area to Missouri to be in the path of totality.  Looks like he should have driven to Nashville, or, better yet, just stayed home.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Time Out

Over the past few weeks, those on the fringes of both the left and right have gotten more outrageous in their claims and in the way they try to promote their opinions.  
I have no doubt that there are a few on each side who genuinely believe in their cause, however misguided it may be, but I suspect that a large number of the demonstrators on both sides are simply "acting out" - demonstrating behavior that would have gotten them punished as children - just because they can.
I'd like to tell both sides to shut the Hell up, but nobody would - especially when they are being encouraged by the media and promised their 15 minutes of fame.
They probably won't pay any attention to this either, but I do have some serious advice - 
Please speak softly.  
I can't hear you when you yell!