Tuesday, January 31, 2017


I had just logged on this morning when our DSL service went down.  Picked up the phone to report it and didn't have a dial tone.  I used my cell phone to call it in, and it took so long that I almost ran out of battery, but I finally got a service call entered.  They say that they will have us back up by February 4th!
Meanwhile, I bought the minimum time available on our ATT wireless hotspot that we use when traveling. That's how I'm posting this, but we will be keeping everything to a minimum.

Monday, January 30, 2017


Our daughter, Cheryl, is 46 years old today.  
Now that makes me feel old - hard to believe it has been that many years since I first laid eyes on her in Spohn Hospital is Corpus Christi.
I have no idea where or when the picture above was taken, although I suspect it is a couple years old.  I "Googled" her and found this photo on line.
Cheryl is an amazing person - one I would be proud to call my friend.  I'm even prouder to call her my daughter.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

On Azalea Time

I'll admit that this year the blossoms are a  little sparse, but almost a third of our azaleas are blooming today - a good two months ahead of schedule.  It's as if they are voting to skip winter this year, and if that is true, I'll second the motion.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Rather Not

Somehow, the election of Donald Trump has led to the resurrection of Dan Rather.  Articles by Rather are showing up all over the net, and Trump haters are quoting him in posts on Facebook, etc.
Well, he is something of an expert on Fake News.  
For those who don't remember, he was the Brian Williams of his day, fired from his post as anchor of CBS News for reporting spurious charges against George Bush. He used counterfeit documents to "prove" a rumor that Bush had gone AWOL from the National Guard, and those actions led to him leaving the network in disgrace.
It amazes me that the left is now embracing him as an arbiter of how things should be.  He should have just continued to live in quiet obscurity.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Non-Political Post?

My sister would probably be described as a liberal, or progressive, or whatever the current adjective might be, and her children all seem to be even more so. 
After wearing one of those silly hats and matching last weekend, my niece put the following picture on her Facebook page today:
I thought it was a good effort, but as the first reply pointed out, her post was clearly left of center.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Aching Joints

Dachshunds are notorious for having problems with their backs, and ours are no exception.  Dusty is in the middle of an episode right now.
If Tinker has issues, it is in her lower back, Dusty seems to have more problems with her neck.  In either case, the Vet prescribes pain medication and a muscle relaxer, and the dogs seem to be fine after a couple of days. They tell us to keep them quiet, but as soon as the meds kick in, they are back to their old selves, running and jumping, chasing squirrels, etc.
The medications prescribed are tiny pills - actually 1/2 of one pill and 1/4 of the other - and the best way to be sure they take them is to wrap them in cheese. I can go to the refrigerator a dozen times and they'll ignore it, but let me get out a slice of cheese and they are immediately under foot and waiting for a treat.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Going Naked

I have not worn a watch on my wrist since the 15th of December.  If you follow my blog regularly, you know I sent my Citizen watch off for repair - the repair center got it and I authorized the repairs on the 22nd.
The repair center warned me at the time that repair, plus quality control testing, might take as much as four weeks.  What they (and I) failed to take into account was the holidays.  They were off for almost two weeks over Christmas and New Years, and then it took longer than usual to get parts shipped.  
I just got off the phone with the repair center.  They tell me the needed parts have arrived and the repairs are being made, but they still estimate another ten days.
You would think that by now I would be used to not wearing a watch - after all, it's something I often do by choice when on vacation - but I still find myself staring at my naked wrist several times a day, and it's the first thing I do when I wake up.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Too Soon

A Facebook friend from Arkansas posted a picture of jonquils budding out in his yard, two across-the-street neighbors have saucer magnolias in full bloom, my azaleas are beginning to blossom, and it's not even the end of January.
If these are indications of a very early spring, I'm all for it.  
We did have two freezing nights this year, and that's enough winter for me.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Unexpected Cash

I had an unexpected surprise Friday night - a royalty check for Missy Porter, the novel I wrote shortly after I retired.  
It wasn't a real printed-on-paper check, but an electronic payment via PayPal.  If it had been on paper, I might have framed it. 
As it was, it wasn't even enough to treat Honey to a meal at Whataburger - almost, but she would have had to pay for her own drink.
Even so, it came as a pleasant surprise.  I had almost forgotten that it was even a possibility.
If you never read my book, and think you might like to, it is still available.  You can find it HERE.

Saturday, January 21, 2017


The cats were out in force on the internet overnight, making fun of everything they could about yesterday's presidential inauguration, including Melania Trump's clothing choices - even the gorgeous Ralph Lauren outfit she wore for the swearing in and the parade.
It's hard to imagine that the same women who will be running around today wearing hand-knitted "Pussy Hats" could consider themselves arbiters of fashion, but apparently they do.
I did find one clever comment among all the nasty posts.  Someone commented that she looked like she was about to participate in the Tri-Wizard Competition from Harry Potter, Goblet of Fire.


Friday, January 20, 2017

Today's The Day

It's happening.  
In just a few hours, whether you like it or not, Donald J. Trump will become the President of the United States.
I expect a lot of good things to happen in the next few months, but also a lot of bad.  
To all of the decent, patriotic, folks on the Left planning marches, etc., please remember that it only takes a moment for a demonstration to become a mob, and even peaceful demonstrations are almost always taken over by the loudest, most violent, most radical among you - people who may not share your agenda.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

In the Hall

Finally - 
Jeff Bagwell has been elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.  It was a long time coming, but Bags led the voting this year, joining Tim Raines and Pudge Rodriguez as the latest inductees.
Bagwell batted .291 over his 15 year career.  Amazing that he ever got a hit with a batting stance like that.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

It Really Could Be Worse

For everyone distraught for whatever reason, real or imagined, over the impending inauguration of Donald Trump - cheer up, it really could be worse.
You could have got a Hillary tattoo!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

No Thanks

To: President-Elect Donald Trump
CC: Trump Transition Team, RNC, Inauguration Committee
BCC: CNN, MSNBC, et al

Dear Sir,
I have decided to respectfully decline any request to perform at your inauguration.  The fact that I have not yet been invited played no part in this decision.
Unlike those performers who may have declined out of sincerely-held political beliefs, or those “B” list performers who accepted but then pulled out over fear of what others in the entertainment industry might think, I am refusing for entirely selfish and totally non-political reasons.
You see, Sir, I have no marketable entertainment skills whatsoever.  I couldn’t draw a crowd if I set myself aflame in front of the Lincoln Memorial.
I am taking this action in the hopes that adding my name to the list of decliners will give me the fame and notoriety that my talent (or lack thereof) has thus far been unable to provide.


Sunday, January 15, 2017


Here's a Participation Trophy for all the Houston Texans fans out there - you've earned it.  
Actually we could say this is for all fans of any Houston area professional team in recent history.  We have a history of supporting teams that are just good enough to get our hopes up but never good enough to go the distance.  I sometimes feel like we would be better off in Des Moines or Savannah or Bozeman - somewhere that doesn't field any major league teams - so we could feel free to support any team we liked, or ignore professional sports completely.  Life would certainly be simpler.

Saturday, January 14, 2017


I have mentioned before that I am a founder of a Facebook Group called Addicted to Limericks.  It has been the source of a great deal of joy and some really delightful poems over the years, and has given me the chance to "meet" and interact with some very interesting and talented folks from all over the world.
We're always on the lookout for new members, so if you think you might be interested, contact me. 
Today, one of our members re-posted a limerick she wrote three year ago.  I did not comment on it at the time - not even a "like" - and I could not remember seeing it before.  
That got me wondering  what I might have been doing in January of 2014 that would have caused me to miss it.  To help solve the mystery, I turned to my daily blog posts for the month.  I didn't find anything that helps to explain it, but I did come across a great quote on the challenge of doing a daily blog ---

“Writing a daily column (or blog post) is like being married to a nymphomaniac,  just when you think you’re finished, you have to start all over.”
That was written by Ellen Goodman, the Pulitzer Prize winning author from the Boston Globe and Washington Post.  Since she is a grandmother (and married to a man) I have to wonder if the quote was her own idea or if it was plagiarized.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Snapper Snaps Back


 Last weekend, during the freeze, I noticed a shiny white object lying out in the yard.  I had no idea what it was, but waited until the temperature was back in the upper 70s to go find out.  It turned out to be the hanger rod that connects the front of the mower deck to the Snapper lawn tractor, or what the parts diagram calls a Link - Lift - Suspension - Front - Mower.
The one I picked up from the yard still resembled the one above, but it had obviously been hit by the mower, because it had several additional bends.  I got it reinstalled, but it would not fit correctly, so yesterday I took it off and attempted to straighten out some of the kinks.
I laid it on the concrete and beat on it with a hand sledge, then slid one end into the receiver hitch on the truck and bent it by hand.  It wasn't perfect, but I made a lot of progress - possibly enough for it to work.  Then I decided to give it a few more whacks with the hammer. 
I should have left well enough alone.
On the third blow, the thing bounced up and hit me back, striking me in the right eye.  It hurt like the devil, and by the time I made it to the house, blood was dripping down by cheek, but thank goodness it looked a lot worse than it was.  
Honey washed it up and had me put ice on it.  I ended up with a small cut on my cheek just below the eye socket and another little scratch on my upper eyelid.  This morning, I don't even have much of a black eye.
I'm going to try reinstalling the link later today.  I think it will work now, but if it doesn't, I'm going to order a new one.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Triple D

Food Network Super Star Guy Fieri is in town filming episodes of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. He's pictured above at one of his stops, Q-Shi, a combination barbecue and sushi joint in Spring.
He'll be back in town in a few weeks for the Superbowl, hosting the Player's Tailgate Party.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017


Before a crowd of about 18,000 of his fans in Chicago, Barack Obama delivered a farewell address last night in Chicago.  
All of the networks had scheduled 30 minutes for coverage, but the speech went more like 54 minutes, so somebody in the Obama camp must have misinformed the media - imagine that!
I'm sure that the fact-checkers have been out in force, so I won't go into that except to say that his claim that race relations have improved during his presidency is absolutely, provably, untrue.  I suppose he does believe it - is psychologically unable to believe anything else.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Taking the First

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
That's the 1st Amendment to the US Constitution.  It means that we, as Americans, enjoy the right of Free Speech.  We have a perfect right to hold opinions and say things that are totally without merit.  It gives us the right to be wrong, to be stupid, to say things that make us appear to be a total ASSHAT.  (I actually had to look that term up the first time I saw it, although it should be self-explanatory.)
You still can't yell FIRE in a crowded theater (unless it actually is on fire) and you can still be sued for libel or slander, but otherwise you are free to say anything that comes into your head.  

Lately, it seems as though we are not only allowed, but actually encouraged to say things that leave the rest of mankind scratching their collective heads and wondering how the Hell you could possibly be so wrong.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Liz and Me

That's Britain's Queen Elizabeth II on her way to church yesterday.  She has been under the weather with what palace spokesmen described as a "heavy cold" for the past couple of weeks.  When you're 90 and don't show up in public for a while, it causes quite a lot of concern.
I'd guess the entire UK breathed a sigh of relief when she made her appearance yesterday.
I never would have thought that I would have anything in common with the Queen of England, and I don't have much, but I, too, am just about over that cold-like condition that has had me down since right after Christmas.  I didn't go to church, or do anything else to get my picture in the papers, but I am feeling almost human again.

Sunday, January 8, 2017


Science defines Heat as molecular vibration, and Cold as a lack thereof. 
Since Cold is basically a negative, it is incapable of radiation. Heat can radiate, or we would never feel the warmth of the sun, but it only does so second hand.  Electro-Magnetic Waves do radiate and the molecules of the objects they strike are excited, generating radiant heat.
None of that explains why, as I sit here, I can feel the cold radiating from the window behind my back.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

I've NEVER Done That

A former classmate and current Facebook friend posted an original poem today that was too good not to share...

Needed to make a quick trip to the store...
One item I needed...no more
A quick dash in
Turned into an hour, and then
I could hardly push the cart out the door!

Unload at the house....fifteen sacks
In and out...feel a pull in my back
Get my recipe out
Let out a profane shout
The one item I need....I still lack!

-Frances Massey (Diddy) Williams-

Friday, January 6, 2017

Breaker Breaker

This morning dawned cold and drizzly with the temperature hovering just above freezing.  We had plugged in a small space heater in the living room - not so much to raise the temperature in the house, but rather to have a place to warm up after going outside to smoke.
Honey had a plate of bacon cooking in the microwave, and everything was going just fine until the space heater cycled on.  The microwave stopped, and my computer screen went black. 
I knew at once what had happened, so I changed shoes, put on my coat and went outside to reset the breaker.
Once I got it reset and we got started again, everything was OK, just a minor inconvenience, but it reminded me again how odd some of the circuits in our house are wired.  
The breaker that controls the microwave is not on the circuit with any of the wall plugs in the kitchen, but it does control the one on the front wall of the dining area. It also controls the one across the den where the heater was plugged in, and the lights over the sink in the bathroom off the master bedroom.  
In most houses, circuits are wired in some sort of logical order.  Ours are totally random and make no sense at all.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Better, Maybe

In spite of our best efforts to avoid all the sick folks at Christmas - we didn't even see our grandsons because everyone at their house was ill - I still managed to come down with something.  Not your ordinary cold, but something similar, that has had me coughing and wheezing for a week.
For my entire life, anytime I got ill, my approach has been to sleep through it - just hibernate until the symptoms went away.  Whatever this is has made that impossible.  I haven't been able to sleep more than a half hour at a time for over a week.
Last night, I only woke up once, so maybe it's on the way out.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Health Check

Today got off to a good start.  
I had an 8:30 appointment with the dermatologist to check the site where she removed a skin cancer last year. She pronounced everything OK, and we had a lively discussion about presidential politics - she's still over the moon about the Trump victory, and can't wait until January 20th.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Lights Out

I guess I got a little ahead of myself yesterday when I described the mysterious lights on the end of our back yard grille. 
The lights are gone.  I haven't seen them for the past two nights.
The only thing that has changed is that my across the street neighbor has taken down his Christmas lights.  That would seem to mean that they were the source of our little light show, but his lights were multicolored strands along the eaves of his house, and some almost invisible blue lights in the bushes along the front of his place.  You could see his lights from the vicinity of our grille, but they didn't seem bright enough to make the patterns we've been watching - certainly not intense enough to make the brilliant pin points that danced on the canvas.

Monday, January 2, 2017

My Mini-Marfa

About eight feet from our back door here at the Boggy Thicket, you'll find our grille.  Our current one is a combination charcoal and gas model with a burner on the side that will handle a good sized frying pan.  When it is not actually in use, we keep it covered with a canvas cover like the one above.
Since just before Christmas, that canvas cover has become a source of  intrigue, mystery and a whole lot of discussion. It has become our own miniature version of the Marfa lights.  
Once it is good and dark, if you watch for a minute or so you will see lights dancing on the end of the grille closest to the house. There are endless variations, but the lights seem to fall roughly into two categories - patterns of soft light about three by ten inches in size, and tiny but brilliant pin points of light that do little fairy dances on the canvas.
The fact that the light is projected on the canvas means that there has to be an external source - it has to be coming from somewhere.
So far, our best efforts have been unable to determine where that is.  There are lights across the road, but nothing that could be providing our little light show. 
My frustration level has reached the point where I've almost convinced myself that I should just sit back and enjoy the show - maybe sell tickets.

Sunday, January 1, 2017


Bah, Humbug!  
Scrooge's response to Christmas revelry does not seem to have any counterpart referring to the activities surrounding New Year's celebrations.  
I wonder why.  
New Year's is certainly more dangerous - averaging 54 DUI deaths compared to 45 at Christmas and 36 almost any other day of the year.  
You probably spend more on Christmas presents, but the stuff you buy specifically for New Year's - fireworks and booze - are usually gone by midnight, and all you have to show is a headache and (if you're lucky) a couple of burned patches in your lawn.
If I seem even more glum and grouchy than usual, it's because I got up yesterday morning with a very sore throat and had to cancel plans to attend a New Year's celebration with our next-door neighbors.  They don't know this, but I didn't miss it entirely.  At 11:30 last night, I got up, got dressed, grabbed a cigarette and a ginger ale, and watched their fireworks from my back door.  The fireworks were great and you couldn't beat the view, but I could hear them laughing and it was hard being unable to join in.
Oh well, the New Year is here with or without my help, and I sincerely wish the best to you and yours.