Friday, April 29, 2016

Catching Up

A few things to get caught up on for the week.  I had my annual physical Monday morning.  All the blood work came back as normal, my cholesterol was off a bit.  The good cholesterol was down some.  Lack of exercise most likely.  Not enough to make any changes to the statin meds.  My fault, been pretty sedentary since my surgery.  The doc and I discussed a few things and he was gone.  No real exam, listened to one spot on my chest.  Very short time and I feel like I didn't really get a physical.  Don't get me wrong, getting out quickly is a blessing.  But I don't see how he can find anything wrong if he isn't thorough.  I know he uses the blood tests as the main info about how healthy I am, or not.  Is it that way with every doctor?  Every physical I have ever had has gotten shorter and shorter to where it is now just a check up.  I wonder if the new federal coding has had any effect on this.

The truck was taken in for the brake job Thursday morning.  It was about as bad as I was prepared for, new rotors, wasn't cheap.  I added a front bearing repack at their suggestion.  After that many miles and never having it done, I just did it while they had it.    They also got the recall on the airbags fixed.  Good to have this behind me.

Have been experiencing some issues with the gums around a wisdom tooth.  This happens, but not too often.  The dentist was content to just leave it alone.  Early Thursday morning it woke me up.  The whole side of my face and head hurting.  Took some motrin and the pain eased enough to go back to sleep.  This has gone on longer than usual and is much worse.  I assume I will have to have the tooth/tusk removed.  Since it is so far back it is hard to brush and almost impossible to floss around.  On occasion it will get a little inflamed, but this is more.

I called my dentist and have an appointment Friday at 8:30 AM.  Our dental insurance is no longer good with this dentist.  In fact we haven't been able to find a dentist that will accept it.  Had it for 20 years and now no one will take it.  I have to wait until open enrollment to sign up for a another one that will be accepted.  A full year of wasted premiums and I will have to pay out of my pocket for this visit.  Just what we need after paying for a brake job.  SMH.

Happy Trails

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Truck

Thursday morning I am finally taking my truck in to the dealer for some work. I have a recall notice for the airbags and I need a brake job on the front. The rear brakes may need some attention but I won't get those done, I am pretty confident they are OK. I just don't want the additional cost at this time. 

The brakes have been doing that stuttering thing when the rotors get warped for some time. They have also started a growling noise. Whenever I hit the brakes a little hard it makes Kim nervous, maybe she thinks it won't stop. She started bugging me to get them done. So they will get done. Kim has complained about the early appointment time 8:00 AM over in the next town. She is not a morning person and has threatened to let me go and wait until she gets there LOL. 

I used to do all my own work like this. But over the years I became less and less inclined to work on any of our vehicles. One of the main reasons is the technology of vehicles has out paced my knowledge. It makes it hard to diagnose issues and it is much too expensive now to buy a part that you think will fix the problem and have it not be the issue. Plus, I have spent more than my share of working on junkers to keep them running that I have gotten to where I loathe the work. 

Yes, the dealer will probably be a bit more expensive than the local corner garage. But I have learned over the years, I know it will get done right (most of the time) and I can get OEM parts that last much much longer.  It is worth that peace of mind to me, especially because we keep a vehicle longer than most. I have had this one 12 years and don't expect to get rid of it anytime soon. 

Happy Trails

Monday, April 25, 2016

Friday, April 22, 2016

Friday

Grandkids are here.  Keeps us a little busy, so not much time or thought goes into posting something here.

I did get my hearing aids back from repair at Costco Wednesday evening.  Something just seemed off, one side was louder than the other, or so it seemed.  Maybe a few days to readjust to them was what I needed.  Yes, I am deafer in one ear than the other.  By Thursday evening they were really bugging me.  I can make some adjustments on my own with an 'app' on the wife's phone.  No, I am still in the stone age of cell phones, no smart phone for me yet.  I just don't use a phone much at all so why pay all that extra.  If I want to get on the www I will do that at home, not when I am away busy with other things.

The hearing aids have bluetooth so they can pair up with the phone so you cab access the app.  It wouldn't work this time.  Messed with it off and on all day Friday.  No dice.  By that time I had decided to go back to Costco and see if they could get it to work.  Later that evening I started experiencing the same issues that lead me to take them back for repair.  

I was at Costco just after they opened at 10 AM Friday.  They were busy enough that I had to leave them and will return at 3:30 PM for adjustments to see if they can fix them up.  If not, back for repair.  Yup, another trip into town, but I have become pretty used to hearing better, so I will do what I need to do to get these things back working right.

We have two engagements for supper Friday night.  This rarely if ever happens so we had to decline one, which we were loathe to do.  But the first engagement was made almost a month ago.  It would be funny if something happened and we could do neither.  It would be just my luck.

Happy Trails

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Fiesta

It's that time of year in San Antonio.  The biggest party of the year.  There are events all over the city at any one time from the previous Thursday through next week.  

Parades, at least 4, and they are all big.  The biggest is on the last Saturday night, the Fiesta Flambeau.  It is such a big deal here.  When I was younger even into my early adulthood you were able to just show up and find a spot to enjoy the night parade.  It was very enjoyable, the evening provided relief from the heat and every parade entry had some sort of lighting effects.  Now it has gotten so big that if you don't purchase tickets for a spot to watch, you won't see it unless you stay home.  There are estimates of 300K to 500K parade watchers at this one.  

I marched in it once a few years ago, in the vanguard portraying a Texas CSA infantry private.  It is a very different perspective being in it as opposed to watching.  It's only about 3 miles long winding through the streets of downtown and in front of the Alamo.  But when you are wearing a 19th century jean wool uniform and hobnail brogans it seems much much longer.  


These are not from that parade, this was in Boerne, a small town to the north.  I didn't have pics of the big one.

Glad I did it once, but I will leave that to the younger folks.  It was in the upper 80's but by the time we got to the end I was having issues just putting one foot in front of the other.  One of several heat related issues I experienced wearing that wool uniform.  I can't imagine doing that in the summer much less fighting a battle in one.  The heat actually forced me to retire from doing living history.  I didn't need to be passing out in front of school kids or boy scouts.

OK, I got a bit off track.  The weather is playing havoc this year with Fiesta.  Heavy rain and thunder storms are predicted throughout.  Many events will carry on and some may even be cancelled.  But there are always the hearty party bunch here and there will be many libations consumed anyway.  San Antonians don't need much of an excuse to party, so a little rain (or a lot) is just another reason to fiesta.

We don't attend any of the events anymore.  It is a real PITB to get into downtown during Fiesta.  Parking?  You've got to be kidding!  Even if you find parking you are going to pay through the nose.  It's mostly the younger crowd anyway that attends the events, a crowd we are long past in being qualified for.  But if you don't mind crowds and you enjoy getting everyone's beer spilled on you then this is perfect for you.

Happy Trails

 

 


Monday, April 18, 2016

Rain

We woke up very early Monday morning.  In fact I think 'the Rib' didn't really ever sleep.  We have been getting rain and thunderstorms since Sunday afternoon.  Sunday night (early Monday morning) major rains and thunder started up.  This makes 'the Rib' very nervous so she doesn't sleep much if at all.  Not to mention Buster can be a nervous wreck from the thunder.  We give him some over the counter natural supplements that supposedly take the edge off.  It works well enough that he isn't up pacing around or jumping into the bed with us.  We don't always get it to him in time.

The plan was for us to head into town early give some of my precious blood to the vampires at the doctor's office in preparation for an upcoming yearly exam.  Then we would go get some breakfast since I had to be fasting.  Well the weather had been severe enough that 'the Rib' didn't want to leave Buster at home alone, even though there seemed to be a break in the storms.  We had had 3.5 inches over night.  There is a 100% chance of more of the same for the rest of the day and most of the week.  Other parts of Texas have fared even worse with as much as 20 inches.

Plans for a trip to the Padre Island National Seashore will be postponed it seems.  So we will occupy ourselves with things around the house, I have some leather to work, and maybe a trip over to my parents.  Then the GrandKids will be here some time Thursday.  

If your getting some of this much needed rain or are out in it for some reason, please stay safe and don't do what always seems to happen with these events.  Don't take that chance crossing that water just to save time.  

Happy Trails

Zoo Day

We finally got some good weather this past week and made a trip to the local zoo.  We met the GrandKids and that lady that lives with them.  We were really looking forward to this, a mid week trip to the zoo with less folks than on the weekend or holiday.  We would have the place pretty much to ourselves.  Wrong.  It never downed on me that every second and third grader in the county would be having a field trip also.  

They were pretty unruly, but the parents were even worse at times.  Several times I would be standing next to one that felt the need to scream at 'William.'  They were much louder and more obnoxious than William.  Glad my hearing aids were in the shop.

We actually become members for not much more than the entry fee for the both of us.  I'm sure we will go again so it will pay off.

It's been more years than I can remember that we have been to the zoo.  They do a good job changing exhibits to more animal friendly enclosures along with new animals I had never seen before.  Like the Opaki.  Looks like a horse designed by the government.




There are several exhibits that you get charged extra to enter, that grates a little even though it isn't much.  One such was the Butterfly enclosure.  That was pretty cool.



                        video


It was a fun day with the Gkids.  After 4 hours my butt was dragging.  I haven't been very active since my surgery and it really was evident.  I really need to get busy with some exercise.....maybe next week.  Sorry about the butterfly sex photo.

Happy Trails.

Friday, April 15, 2016

More Garden

The garden is looking pretty good.  Tried a new thing this time.  I wrapped the new tomato cages in clear plastic.  It has a bit of a green house effect.  I got the idea from my garden guru.  Last year we planted our gardens at the same time.  He was harvesting much sooner than I was.  From what I can tell, my plants are doing much better this year (faster growth).  I already have blooms.

Strawberries are very tart, the few I have picked.  They were very sweet last fall.  No idea what is up with them.  I don't even get enough to do any good.  I may just let them go away next year and use the space for something else.

The onions are going gangbusters.  The one I picked was very very strong.  The smell almost knocked me out.  they can be used for cooking, not sure about eating raw, may not be sweet enough.  They won't be fully mature until June.  Maybe they will mellow out by then.  I'll try a different breed next time, probably the Texas 10-15.  October 15 = 10-15, that's the day they are supposed to be planted.





Happy Trails

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Costco



Made our usual monthly trip into town to re-supply at Costco.  It's the one store I enjoy going to.  I had gotten some hearing aids there back in September I think.  I have been more than pleased with them, plus my insurance came through in a big way.  I guess they didn't mind saving few hundred dollars even when they aren't part of their network.

I had recently experienced some wind noise.  You know the stuff you here when you watch a video shot outside during a windy day?  Yeah, that's what I was picking up.  It wasn't too bad, but if they could do something to limit it or even stop it I would be even happier.  At Costco I explained the issue and they said there were a few things they can check.  I went back to shopping while they were trying to work on the issue.

They did find an issue but couldn't completely correct it.  They wanted to send it off for repair but weren't sure they could do anything.  They had made some adjustments.  I decided to try out the adjustments before sending it in.  Nope, it didn't work out.

I took them back in first thing Monday.  The right hearing aid was cutting in and out, like it was making adjustments, but it was making me feel lopsided or dizzy.  It wouldn't quit.  These things talk to each other so they can optimize the sound they pick up.  Evidently there weren't talking to each other at times.  They sent them in and I hope they get them fixed up.  I have a lot of faith in Costco and the way they handle members.

For the lost couple years I have been able to pick up Kim's Mother's Day present there.  They had what she wanted and so I was able to get that booger off my back too.  Here is what she has wanted every time.   


Here it this years, it's becoming a collection.


They are pretty cheap considering what you see at the trendy shops that sell similar things.  Plus I didn't have to SHOP!!!!  That's the biggest issue for my lazy self.  WIN WIN!

Happy Trails

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Past Week Busy



This past week was a whirlwind of activity.  Plenty of activity at home doing the usual and some small leather projects.  We ate out much more than usual for us.  Once or twice is the norm.  Last week and into the first part of this week we tripled that amount or more.  We met with various folks/family members on those occassions.  Some were moving away and others were here to visit conduct business. 

It's very convenient to meet over a meal at a restaurant.  No one has to scramble to cook or clean the house for guests.  Plus you don't have to spend as much time with someone if you don't want to.  On the other side, your conversation is limited due to noise (for me and my bad hearing) and seating, (you can't talk easily with those at the other end of the table.)  It has it's trade-offs. 

In the long run it hurts developing better relationships.  I think this is limited by the short time we spend in a restaurant.  You can't really delve into issues there and see what makes the other person tick or if there have been significant changes in their lives that affect the way they look at the world. 

My parents and their generation did much more in the way of entertaining friends and family long ago.  Rarely did we ever meet up with others to eat and visit.  It was always at one or the others home.  As a whole I think our society has suffered due to this, but it's just my opinion. 

We always enjoy having others over, but we do it so rarely now.  Even family.  Everyone is just too busy and we live far enough out that it takes an effort to get here and us there.  We talk about making it a thing to invite others over at least once a month, but it never happens.  We are definitely in a rut where that is concerned.   

I like being hospitable to friends and family and like to show off my cooking at times.  Mostly BBQ.  But as expensive as beef has gotten we rarely ever buy what's necessary for a good BBQ.  Have you priced a 15# brisket lately?  I can't remember the last time I bought one or even shopped for one.  40-50$ I have a hard time wrapping my head around that.  Yes it lasts a while, but that isn't in my thoughts when I buy one.

I read a while back that beef prices would be coming down.  I assume due to the lower fuel costs and more rain.  It ain't happened yet.  The cattle growers here sold then all of a couple years ago due top the 3 year drought.  I assume they haven't replenished their herds enough to affect the markets.

OK, I'm rambling...

Happy Trails

Monday, April 11, 2016

Leather

Just a photo of something new I tried from a kit, a passport wallet.
Now I have a pattern for others.





Nothing on the horizon for the coming week, but I'm sure something will come up. 

Until then,

Happy Trails

Friday, April 8, 2016

Friday

I had an appointment for the Ophthalmologist.  Every 6 months he tortures me with a his extremely bright lights while pinning my eye lid open.  Evidently I have very sensitive eyes.  I tell him I would rather go to the dentist.  He just chuckles.  Little does he know I am serious.  He is a very nice guy so it makes it tolerable.

As I was heading out the door to my appointment, his office calls and tells me they haven't gotten the usual referral from my PCP.  They had called them but they said they would get to it when they could, they were too busy.  They wanted me to try and see if I could get results.  When I call I almost always get voicemail and maybe a call back at the end of the day.  That wasn't going to help with this appointment.  I call anyway just in case there is a chance I get a live body.  Nope, no dice, I leave a not so friendly voicemail.  I doubt I will hear back.  The appointment is rescheduled for late May.  I didn't want to go anyway, but it just delays the torture.  Yeah, I'm a wienie about these appointments.

So I will work on some leather that would have had to wait until my eyesight returned to normal after the dilation.  It seems to take forever.  

Not a lot going on, just observing the circus of an election disaster has been entertaining and frustrating at the same time.  It can't end soon enough.

Happy Trails.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Prayers

Was chatting with a friend at church about the current run for President on the Republican side.  He was lamenting the way Cruz is running his campaign.  He wants him to be more specific in his public statements on various issues.  I have seen several videos of him doing just that.  He couldn't understand why he hadn't seen or heard any of this.  I told him I saw them on conservative news websites, but never on the network news.  (He is a CPA so doesn't have the time I have at this time of year.)  They (the network news) only want to talk about sex scandals and the like.  The network wonks are deathly afraid of Cruz, they know he does exactly as he says and it terrifies them.

I check Matt Drudges site once in a while.  Not much but some, when I'm bored.  Lately on the book of faces he has posted almost nothing but what I call anti-Cruz articles, sex scandal stuff.  In fact he was the first one I saw to post this stuff.  Most of the articles just seem like they are throwing crap against the wall and see if it will stick.  The comments on those are very upset with Drudge for posting unsubstantiated articles.  I have to say I am also very surprised?  Is Drudge a Trump guy?  That is what came to my mind.

Back to my chat with my friend:  He threw out the idea that Trump was a Democratic plant or maybe even a hildabeast plant.  I have entertained those ideas from the beginning.  I think the libtards have a fear that after 8 years the disaster in the White House has been, they realize it will be very hard to retain power regardless of who their nominee is.  It amazes me how much staying power Trump's campaign has had over the months with all the moronic things and actions that have come from him.  But lately it seems to be piling up even more and is starting to take it's toll.  A lot of the most recent garbage I believe is directly related to him and his campaign.  Fear tactics.  He is losing his iron grip on the nomination and it is causing him to resort to even more dirty tricks in my opinion.  

I could go on and on but I won't...for now.  All this has makes for some interesting conversations but I truly believe this is one if not THE most important election in my lifetime.  I will be praying about this quite a bit in the months to come.  I hope you will too.

Happy Trails

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

No Schedule

It's funny how things work out with our week.  I usually ask Kim on Sunday evening what we have coming up for the week.  That way I' not surprised by something or how I can go about arranging things that I feel need to get done or want to do.  

She advised me that there was nothing except meeting her brother for lunch before he moves to another city in far West Texas.  Alpine to be exact.  So the week was going to relatively free.  However, there are quite a few things I need to get done.  So being free is a relative term.  

First, there is some minor plumbing, replacing the guts to one of the toilets.  Trip to Home Depot.  We have extremely hard water and things get corroded with the limestone that is in the water, pretty quickly.  We replace water heaters much to often due to this not to mention all the other things that get messed up with this stuff.  We knew next to nothing about water softeners at the time we built.  We opted out since the builder couldn't offer us softener free water to the outside hose bibs.  At the time the only option was a softener using salt.  That will kill your lawn.  So I opted out.  Little did I know that the water where we are is much much harder than where we lived before.  Wish I knew more then.  There was no WWW to research back then.

OK, back on subject.  I can make myself busy with a ton of yard work.  Cutting grass, trimming shrubs, and just general clean up to keep myself busier than I want to be.  Kim forgot also that we postponed the Zoo trip to this week, that maybe squeezed in also.

Finished up one of the leather phone cases I had an order for.  I think it turned out pretty well.  I made a few modifications to the kit to meet the needs of the client.  Added a belt clip instead of the leather belt loop and a magnetic closure instead of the Velcro closure.  Forgot to record a photo of it, but now I have a pattern for that size phone.  A couple more leather projects will get started this week also.  Another phone case and a passport wallet a customer of Kim's asked about.  There willbe other things also that crop up that will change plans or rearrange the schedule.  Funny how not having anything on the schedule relates to extra busy at times.  But this ain't a newsflash to the retired.

Happy Trails

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Zoo Postponed

We had planned to meet the Grandkids and those people that live with them at the zoo Friday morning about 9 AM.  That would require me to fight the tail end op rush hour to get there in time.  Was NOT looking forward to that battle.  My youngest son and Kim's brother and his wife were going to join us.  

Friday morning and it is very very windy and in the 50's with a 50% chance of rain.  About the time we were to head out it got even more windy.  Things started blowing across the yard and Kim tells me it's hailing.  Wasn't expecting that.  The hail was about pea size, no damage other than knocking small branches and the rest of the oak tassels that plague us this time of year.  She decides this isn't a real good sign of how it will be at the zoo.  

About that time she got a call from one of the resorts, the good one.  They were wondering if she could come over today.  Great timing.  I didn't have to fight that traffic I was dreading.  It's exponentially worse on Friday's, all day.  If she makes a few bucks it will have turned out pretty good after all.

Happy Trails.