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.

Monday, October 30, 2017


If you watched both the Texans-Seahawks game and the World Series Game 5 yesterday, you are probably  certainly exhausted this morning, and you probably noticed some eerie similarities that almost make you feel sympathy for the Dodgers.
  • Like L.A., the Texans went into one of the loudest stadiums in the country. 
  • Like the Dodgers, they grabbed an early lead.
  • Our Quarterback, Deshaun Watson, connected for 19 of 30 passes for 402 yards and four scores while gaining 67 yards on eight carries - more than enough to win a typical NFL contest, and the Texans still came up short.
  • The lead continued to change hands right up  to the final seconds of the contest.
  • The Texans lost 38 to 41 in what sportswriters are calling the most entertaining game of the NFL season, and a few hours later, the Dodgers fell 13 to 12 in a 5 plus hour marathon to the Astros.
Don't get me wrong - I'm ecstatic over the Astros win.  I really didn't want to see them headed back to Los Angeles with the series tied. But when anyone plays that hard for that long and loses - you have to feel a little sympathy for a moment or two, then move on and savor the victory. 

Sunday, October 29, 2017


Today may only be the 29th, but if history holds true, we have already had Halloween here at the Boggy Thicket.  
The annual Halloween Hayride was held yesterday, and we probably gave out all the candy we'll be asked for this year.
This year, there were three tractors pulling trailers containing 20 to 30 goblins apiece (along with their mommies) and escorted by a dozen or so Gators, Rangers and other four-wheel drive vehicles.
Costumes were varied, with your typical pirates, princesses and cowboys.  Honey's favorite was a little girl - probably not quite a year old - dressed as a little lamb. I'll admit she took the cuteness factor to a whole new level.  Personally, I couldn't decide between a 10 year old who looked exactly like Olivia Newton John in the final scenes of Grease, and a teenager who couldn't yell trick-or-treat because her lips were sewn shut.

Saturday, October 28, 2017


I mentioned back on April First that, at my age, whenever I do strenuous exercise I find muscles I didn't know (or had forgotten) I had.  
Back then, doing a brake job while on my knees caused a serious strain on my gluteous maximus resulting in a very sore butt.  It happened again yesterday when I was working on a sink drain under the kitchen counter.  I spent some time on my back with my head inside the counter, but I did most of the job on my knees, stretching to reach the pipes.
I can now confirm that plumbing, like brake jobs, can be a real pain in the ass.

Friday, October 27, 2017

My Wife Left Me

My wife left me this morning!

That's OK.  She leaves four or five days a week, and so far, she has always come back after four or five miles. 
I've only had to go pick her up a couple of times in the last five years - once when she was attacked by a neighbor's dog, and a few times when she got caught in the rain.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

The Check(s) In the Mail

I mentioned back on the last day of September that our Flood Insurance company had set up a way to check the status of Hurricane Harvey claims by using the texting feature on your cell phone. At the time, it showed the claim as Open and said the "getting started" check had been sent.
I have been checking the site every day or so since, and there was no change until yesterday.  
Yesterday the site showed the claim as Closed and said the last check (for about $500) had been cut on the 24th. 
The site also had a number to call if there were any questions.  I called it and was amazed when it was actually answered by a real person.  
He told me they had sent not just one, but a total of three checks on the 24th. We added up the totals, and it was still only about half of what the adjuster had authorized for payment.
He had no idea why there were three checks, or why they didn't add up to what we were expecting to receive.  His best advice was to cash the checks when they arrive and wait to see what happens next. 
I guess we will do that - don't have much choice at this point - but the frustration level from Harvey just keeps on keeping on.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017


There is an old superstition that says that if you hear an owl in daylight it means someone is going to die.  
If there was any truth to that, the old Boggy Thicket would be hip deep in cadavers.
We have several owls who live here, and they are not shy about sharing their opinions at any  time of day or night.  They are just as likely to get together and gossip mid afternoon as they are at midnight.
Sounds Like 

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Cordless Phone

Figures released back in May show that we here at the Boggy Thicket are now in the minority.  Less than 50%  of US homes now have a land-line phone, and 6.5% have only a hard-wired telephone.
We're not quite that bad - we do have cell phones, and probably use them more than our  land line. 
Lately, our cordless phone has been in a snit.  Both the base and the telephone appear to be working normally, they just refuse to communicate with each other.  Neither has a reset button, and removing power from each had no effect, so yesterday, I picked up a new cordless phone at WalMart.
I was pleasantly surprised by how cheap they have become - years ago, our first cordless phone cost about $70, but I got this one for less than $15 - but I was dismayed when the handset failed to charge. 
I was ready to take it back when I realized that it was all my fault.  I had placed the handset in the cradle facing the wall, and it will only make electrical connection when facing out.
Our old phone would charge either way, but this one is specifically designed to only charge when the handset screen and buttons are visible. 

Monday, October 23, 2017

Bottom of the Barrel

I have been writing this blog since March of 2010, trying to post one entry per day.  
I've come pretty close to achieving that goal, but sometimes it's a challenge - today is one of those days....
Here is the highlight of my day...


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

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


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


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


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


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


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 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


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.