Sunday, April 30, 2017

My Latest Limerick

I just passed the Bar exam. Wow!
I’m a gen-you-wine lawyer, now
A real-life attorney
Next stop on my journey
A position at Dewey, Cheatham and Howe

Saturday, April 29, 2017


The first 100 days of the Donald Trump presidency have been marked by the most vicious attacks on any president in history.  While some may have been justified - based on valid disagreement on how the country should be run - many, if not most, have been mean spirited attacks on his looks, his family, and his speaking style.
Typical of this type of attack is the Donald Trump dog poop bag.  Yes, they're real - you can buy them here -
I don't know whether to be appalled at this, or applaud the entrepreneurial spirit of the website creators.  
I do know the bags are not a good deal.  
45 bags (3 rolls of 15) for $13 comes to 29 cents a bag (plus shipping) for something that is usually free at RV parks and dog parks around the country.  You would have to really hate Trump to justify that kind of unnecessary expense.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Texans Get A Tiger

In the first round of the NFL draft last night, the Houston Texans traded up to select Quarterback Deshaun Watson of Clemson.  
Lord knows we've needed a winning quarterback, and he just might be the one. In his sophomore season, Watson led his team to the National Championship (4,104 passing yards, 35 passing touchdowns; 1,105 rushing yards, including 12 scores) and won the Davey O'Brien and Payton Manning Awards as the nation's top quarterback. Watson didn't take home as much hardware in 2016, but he still led Clemson to a national title while garnering second-team All-American honors (4,593 yards, 41 TDs, 17 INTs, 67.0 completion pct; 629 yards, nine TDs rushing). 
Houston GM Rick Smith and Coach Bill O'Brien both say Watson will start the season as backup to Tom Savage, but there is obviously hope that he has the stuff to take over and lead the Texans to glory.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Merit Badges

It was a long time ago, but I do remember that one of the major parts of being a Boy Scout was earning merit badges and displaying them on a sash anytime you were in uniform.   Things have changed a lot since then, but they are still a big deal, the qualifications for Eagle Scout include at least 21 merit badges in several specific categories.
Earn a total of 21 merit badges (10 more than required for the Life rank),
including these 13 merit badges: (a) First Aid, (b) Citizenship in the Community,
(c) Citizenship in the Nation, (d) Citizenship in the World, (e) Communication,
(f) Cooking, (g) Personal Fitness, (h) Emergency Preparedness OR Lifesaving,
(i) Environmental Science OR Sustainability, (j) Personal Management,
(k) Swimming OR Hiking OR Cycling, (l) Camping, and (m) Family Life.
You must choose only one of the merit badges listed in categories h, i, and k.
Any additional merit badge(s) earned in those categories may be counted as
one of your eight optional merit badges used to make your total of 21.
There are a gazillion more badges available now than there were back in my days in Scouting, many of them for activities that didn't exist back then - everything from animation to robotics.  
There are even a whole batch of fictitious badges displayed on line. Things like:
or my personal favorite:

Wednesday, April 26, 2017


The word is out this morning that Jeff Goldblum will reprise his role as Dr. Ian Malcolm in the upcoming Jurassic World sequel. I am a big fan of both Goldblum and the Jurassic series, and Dr. Malcolm is one of my favorite characters of all time.
Although he has never won any significant awards for his work, Goldblum has managed to be in the money, playing significant supporting roles in several of the highest grossing movies of all time - the Jurassic series, and Independence Day to name a few.  He was also in such classics as Silverado, and the Big Chill, and plays  Grandmaster, one of the Elders of the Universe in Marvel's upcoming Thor: Ragnarok. 
He has starred in several TV series over the years, and I always wanted them to be better than they were.  In spite of that, he remains one of my all time favorite actors.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Tearing It Down

A couple of nights ago, under cover of darkness, workers wearing masks and flak jackets dismantled and hauled off the first of four statues in New Orleans commemorating heroes of the civil war South.  
Even those who think these attacks on our history are unjustified abominations might have to agree that a case could be made for this one.  Not a statue, but an obelisk, it marked the place where white Orleanians fought the police during Reconstruction.  
Still, the fact that city fathers chose to tear it down at night and in secret must show how unpopular the decision was with much of the population.
I find it interesting that they chose to do the deed in the pre-dawn hours of Confederate Memorial Day, a day that is still an official state holiday in Mississippi and Alabama.

Monday, April 24, 2017

British Peddlers

My old pal, Travis Shelton, was complaining this morning on Facebook about the number of ads on US television featuring spokesmen with British accents.  His post struck a nerve, since Honey and I were just talking about that last week.
I guess it got its start about 15 years ago with Brit actor Jake Wood as the voice of the Geico Gecko, and it went from there.  On American television today, British actresses sing the praises of everything from Viagra to toothpaste to toilet paper. 
Apparently American ad agencies have decided that British accents sound classier, better educated, and appeal to what they think is an American sense of  inferiority.
I don't buy it, and I don't buy any of the products they are pushing, either.
For what it's worth the whole ad thing works both ways, with many American actors getting voice-over gigs in ads aired in the UK.
This British Toyota ad features the voice of Garrison Keillor, of Prairie Home Companion fame.  You can't get much more American than that.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Typing Class

Back in the dark ages when there were such things as typewriters and typing classes, we all learned this in school - The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog's back.
What we probably didn't realize was that it actually happened.


Saturday, April 22, 2017

Oh Deer

My wife has a thing about deer.  She loves to see them.  So much so that whenever we are on one of our long trips, any morning she sees one she knows it's going to be a good day. Looking for that first deer of the day has gotten to be something of a tradition.
Just about daybreak this morning, Honey was sitting at our back door when she saw a deer walking along the property line between  our place and the Graff's.  It stopped and looked back over its shoulder, then walked on. Soon it was followed by another.  It also stopped in full view and then was followed by a third.  For once, our dogs were quiet, and all three deer walked slowly by without a care.
Yeah, it's going to be a good day.

Friday, April 21, 2017


Our hometown Houston Texans still have major questions at quarterback, but at least we now know who we will be playing and where this year:

Houston Texans Schedule - 2017

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Death and Karma

Yesterday was a sad day. 
It was the anniversary of the disaster at the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, and the bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. 
The memory of these terrible events was overshadowed by news that two killers, Steve Stephens - the so-called Facebook killer - and Aaron Hernandez - the NFL star convicted of murder - had both committed suicide, and that Bill O'Reilly had been dumped by Fox News.
It is an interesting quirk of our judicial system that Hernandez may now have his conviction overturned, since he died before exhausting all of his appeals.
O'Reilly, on the other hand, was never convicted (or even charged) with anything, and continues to maintain his innocence.  In today's political climate, I doubt that even suicide would get him off the hook.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017


After an almost nonexistent winter, a very early spring was celebrated by our Camellias. We only have two plants, one red and one with light pink blossoms.  Both of them bloomed their hearts out this year.

There were a few blossoms that opened too early, just in time for the only hard freeze of the year.  That led to a remarkable phenomenon - the blossoms turned brown, but then they refused to fall off.
Today, a couple months after all the unfrozen buds have blossomed and fallen to the ground, there are still at least a half dozen blooms like the one above.  Sad, in a way, but impressive.


Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Well, That Sucks

Here at the Boggy Thicket, we have a septic system and a separate line, with a grease trap, that handles the output from the kitchen sink and dishwasher.  For those city folk unfamiliar with this kind of thing, that grease trap is sort of a mini-septic tank, complete with its own field lines.  
All septic systems will eventually need service, but we have been remarkably lucky.  Until yesterday, the only time we have had to have someone come out is when someone drove  over the septic tank and half the cover fell into the tank.  Over the years, I have serviced that grease trap myself every five years or so.
Yesterday morning, I called for help.  
The grease trap was stopped up and after thinking about it, I decided I am now officially too old to dig it up and empty it myself.  I called a local company,  Mr. Pumper, and they had someone out by one o'clock. 

The fellow who showed up was friendly as a puppy, and before he ever got started we learned that he had grown up in Pearland, was the owner's twin brother (younger by 20 minutes) and that their parents lived in Onalaska.  I was thanking my lucky stars that he wasn't charging by the hour.
Once he did get started, he was all business, and did an excellent job. The cost was surprisingly reasonable, and I would not hesitate to recommend this company to anyone.  

Monday, April 17, 2017

Q & A

This is not original, just something I saw on line and decided to share:

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Devil of a Question

Saw a post this morning where a mom said she planned to devil the eggs her kids found and serve them for lunch after church.
Is serving deviled eggs for Easter sacrilegious?

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Easter Egg Surprise

When I was six years old, I had two best friends - David Chappell, who lived next door, and Randall Brooks, who lived across the street.  There was no end to the devilment we got into - we were constantly daring each other to try things that make me wonder today how we survived.
That Easter, one of us ( I think it was Randall) got the idea of hiding a dozen or so of the Easter Eggs we found, with the idea of throwing them at stuff on Halloween.
They didn't make it that long - six year olds don't have that much patience - but we did leave them until August when we threw them at a neighbor's chain-link fence.  
The smell really can't be imagined, but try.  Suffice it to say it was noticeable all over the neighborhood.
We all got spankings, and had to clean up the foul mess we'd made , but we agreed later that it was probably worth it.

Friday, April 14, 2017

An Easter Story

I first posted this here in 2012.  It remains one of my favorite Easter stories.....

A man was driving down a country road on a beautiful spring day when a rabbit ran out in front of his car.  He tried to swerve, but felt a bump and knew that he had hit it. When he stopped and went back to the flattened bunny, one look told him it was gone. 
Then he noticed the basket.
“Oh no!” he cried, “I’ve killed the Easter Bunny.”
Just then another car stopped and a young lady got out to see what was the matter.  When he explained what happened, she told him she thought she could help.
She went back to her car, dug in a grocery bag and came back with a bottle. She dumped the contents on the rabbit and rubbed it vigorously into its fur.
All of a sudden the rabbit jumped up, grabbed the basket and hopped off down the road.  After it had gone about fifty feet, it stopped and waved.  Then it hopped a little farther and turned to wave again, continuing to hop and wave until it was out of sight.
“That was amazing.” said the fellow. “What is that stuff?”
She held up the now empty bottle of conditioner so he could read the label.  “See.” she said “Restores lifeless hair and adds a permanent wave.”

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Colored Chicks

I try to think of myself as a good person - non-judgemental, with malice toward none.  Most of the time, I am, but sometimes the imp of the perverse rears his evil little head.
This morning, someone put a post on the local classifieds asking, "Does anyone know where I can find some cheap colored chicks?"

God help me,  my first reaction was "Jensen Drive between Quitman Street and Collingsworth."

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Bunny Bruise

One of the more annoying costs of getting old is the requirement that I must take a blood thinner. I complain about it a lot.  It doesn't really hurt anything, but it does leave me with a lot of unexplained bruises. 
I have sworn that a butterfly could land on my arm and leave a bruise, and I have also warned my loving wife that I could accuse her of elderly abuse at any time and have the evidence to prove it.  The doctor who prescribed the stuff isn't very compassionate - just tells me to wear long shirts.
I woke up this morning with a new bruise decorating the back of my hand.
 Just in time for Easter, I'm sporting a silhouette of the Easter Bunny!

Monday, April 10, 2017

Possum Ivy

I finished the weed eating around the fence line yesterday.  It didn't take long, and I did not break a sweat, so I didn't shower as usual when I was done.  I just brushed off and came in the house.  
I did wash my hands and arms when I came in, but it may have been too little too late.
When I woke this morning I had two spots that are itching like crazy - one on my left forearm and one on the back of my right index finger.  I'm almost sure they are the result of poison ivy, so I'm going to start a two-pronged attack with Benadryl and Calamine Lotion.
Of course, it could have been worse.  Sixty years ago, as part of an Order of the Arrow initiation, a fellow boy scout spent the night sleeping in a patch of what he called "Possum Ivy" at Camp Strake and had to be hospitalized the next day.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

The Best Answer

Without going into too much detail, I've been looking for a nice restaurant - someplace to take friends - in a town that I've been to before but don't know well.
I'd tried Google and Yelp with only limited success, so I turned to for suggestions.  
I explained the situation, and the sort of place I was looking for, someplace not too fancy with excellent food, and got several helpful replies.  One reply wasn't so helpful, but it did make me laugh.  
A guy from Virginia said, "Whataburger.  As soon as we cross into Texas, we start looking for a Whataburger, and stop at the first one we can find!"

Saturday, April 8, 2017

If the Shoe Fits

A Facebook friend posted a picture of one of these devices, asking if we remembered when store clerks actually measured your feet before selling you a pair of shoes. 
That experience is rapidly going by the wayside, and shoe stores are apparently not far behind - Payless announced this week that they are closing 140 stores. In this age of on-line shopping, convenience seems to have won out over the comfort of properly fitted footwear.
I am old enough to not only remember that mechanical device, I remember sticking my feet in an X-ray machine to see how the new shoes fit.
You put on the new shoes, then placed your feet in the slot, and X-rays shot up through them from the bottom.  These un-shielded devices generated X-rays about midway between the power of a mammogram and a chest X-ray.  Probably safe enough for a kid who only got new shoes once or twice a year, but they had to be hell on shoe salesmen who ever wanted to father children.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Cutting Off The Head

Yesterday, in response to Syrian leader Bashar al Assad's use of Sarin gas against his own people, the US fired 50 Cruse missiles against a Syrian airfield.  Syria, Russia and Iran have condemned the attack, but the rest of the world's leaders have almost universally hailed it as a measured response to a reprehensible act.
It seems to me that a more appropriate response would be to take out  Assad himself. 
Whenever this is mentioned, media quickly points out that this would be a violation of international law.  I don't think that is true.  Assassination of a head of state has been considered a no-no since about the 17th century, but only  if the nations involved are not at war.  Gerald Ford issued executive orders banning the CIA from assassinating foreign heads of state after a botched attempt on the life of Fidel Castro, but Reagan sent planes to bomb the home of Muammar Gaddafi. 
I think the real reason going after a head of state is universally frowned upon is fear of reciprocity.  It places a huge target on the back of the leader of the country that orders the hit.
But is it illegal.
No, it is not.
As Voltaire said, "Killing a man is murder unless it is done to the sound of trumpets."
In Assad's case, maybe it's time to strike up the band.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

It's A Joke!

In what had to be the best, most effective, April Fools joke of the year, there was an article published saying that the Wyoming wildlife agency had released 90 kangaroos into the wild in an effort to see how they would adapt to the semi-arid climate.
Six days into the month, I saw a Facebook post this morning expressing dismay over the fact that the marsupials were being introduced in an area that had up to now hosted pronghorn and bison. The writer - who still hadn't got the joke - was outraged.
I think the joke worked so well because we have a history of screwing around with the environment,  usually with disastrous results. Consider the introduction of Kudzu to control soil erosion in Georgia, or the introduction of Nutria to control weeds in Louisiana rice canals, or the Asian Carp originally introduced to southern fish ponds and that are now threatening native species as far north as the Great Lakes.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Just Checking

One of our first acts after getting a travel trailer was to join the Good Sam Club, an organization that offers, among other things, discounts at RV parks across the country.  They also offer a program called Good Sam Roadside Assistance, which provides help when you encounter mechanical problems on the road.  
We have been GSRA members for nine years, and the program has paid for itself more years than not. In those years when we haven't used the service, the peace of mind has been worth the expense.
I was doing some on-line banking this past weekend, and saw an unauthorized one dollar charge from Good Sam on my debit card.  The last time I saw a similar charge, the billing company had been hacked.  The bank contacted me that time, and issued a new debit card with a different number.  This time, a call to the bank showed this as a valid charge, and the lady on the phone advised me to contact Good Sam.
I did, and I got a logical, if somewhat odd, explanation - Our Good Sam Roadside Assistance is set up for automatic renewal and will expire the end of June.  The Good Sam representative explained that before they bill for renewal they send a bill for a dollar to make sure the card listed on the account is still in effect.
I suppose that makes sense.  It does give them time to contact the customer and update billing procedures before coverage expires, but I can't think of any other company that handles things this way.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017


March Madness is finally over - Gonzaga fell to North Carolina 71 to 65 last night.  We didn't watch, don't follow college basketball, and Honey resents the fact that it usurps time when the network normally shows some of her favorite shows. She did ask this year "What's a Gonzaga."
I told her I thought it was a Catholic school - I was right, but that was all I knew.
A bit of research this morning told me that it is a Jesuit college in Spokane, Washington.  It was named for Saint Aloysius Gonzaga, an Italian nobleman who gave up wealth and power to join the church. He fell ill while tending the sick during an epidemic, and died at the age of 22. 
He was Canonized in 1726, and is the patron saint of students, and also of AIDS patients and care-givers.
The other thing I learned this morning is that Aloysius and Luigi are variations of the same name.  They don't look (or sound) anything alike, but one is Latin and the other Italian for the same person.