Wednesday, August 23, 2017


I finished the cover for the wife's Kindle Fire.  I tried doing a filigree style this time.  Something I haven't tried before.  She likes flashy things so I thought this might work for her.  

If you look closely at the first two photos you can just make out a hint of red.  That is the filigree, where I cut completely through the leather and place a colorful material behind to shine through. Unfortunately the photo just doesn't catch it very well.  I like contrast so the turquoise thread was my choice for her.  She seems to like it, maybe she is just being nice.  I may try this again.  I like the look for certain things.

I am a Yelp reviewer.  I review  just about anything, from food to services etc.  I got some feedback from one of the places I recently reviewed.  They offered me a better experience to my full satisfaction.  I had dinged them twice.  This is a taco place.  I am very particular when it comes to tacos.  I think I know my stuff and what a taco should be due to the many years of eating them down here in this part of the State of Texas.  The biggest complaint I had was the price.  From near 4$ apiece to over 5$.  For a taco?!?!?!  Are you kidding me?  Two tacos and a drink and I am over 10$.  I don't think so.  Granted they are on the edge of the hoity toity part of Libtardville.  I guess I can't blame them for taking advantage of their situation.  I told them, thanks but I doubted they would lower their prices and increase the size of their tacos for me since that was my biggest complaint. 
Yes, they were rather small too, not even average size.  

I am pretty particular about my Tex-Mex food.  Libtardville has that going for it.  It is the home of Tex-Mex.  I don't care where you go, the so called Tex-Mex elsewhere just isn't the same.  Even in Libtardville we will get these chain's that think they know what they are doing with Tex-Mex.  Some get very popular, but if you look at the clientele they attract, you know right away it isn't authentic.  
Yeah, I always ding them pretty hard on Yelp.  Imposters.  

So what is true Tex-Mex to me?  The easiest way for me to tell is by their enchiladas.  The tortillas that are used MUST be the red tortillas.  If they are anything else, pass them by.  Yes, there is a significant difference.  The yellow corn or white corn tortillas will get so soggy it is like eating slop. The red will hold their texture and and actually give you something to chew instead of soup.  Also, this is a Libtardville invention.  If you see it anywhere else, they stole it or ar from here.  Puffy Tacos. They are exactly what they sound like.  The tortilla or shell has been fried to a puffy texture.  
You might have a choice of chicken or beef filling.  Sometimes you can get one of each.  If you are trying them the first time I would suggest getting one of each.  They will most likely fall apart in your hand before you are through, so resort to the fork. 

There will always be a side of rice and beans.  These can vary widely in quality.  Most places it is just an afterthought.  Anyway, for my tastes and experience it is the little 'hole-in-the wall' place that gets it right most of the time.  They probably use Abuelas recipes that have been handed down over years. 
Check the parking lots of those places, they will generally be packed and the clientele is what you would expect to see in an authentic place.  They sometimes look a little seedy, but that's OK if they are clean, and keeps the Yankees away.  Yeah, my definition of Yankee is probably different too.  It's pretty much anyone that is not a native.  Born and raised.  Yes, if you couldn't tell I can be very opinionated.

Happy Trails

Tuesday, August 22, 2017


Underwhelming.  That is the word I would use to describe our eclipse viewing.  We were at Son#1's home as I mentioned previously.  My Mom was ready to leave about an hour and half after they arrived and it was only 30 minutes until peak eclipse time.  They always leave early at every event. Which always puzzles me since she likes to get out and socialize as much as possible and that doesn't happen all that often for them anymore.  We did convince them to stay through the peak anyway.

My Granddaughter was very excited about the eclipse.  Mom evidently spent a good deal of time teaching them about it and they constructed an eclipse viewer out of a cardboard box and other materials.  I guess you could say her anticipation was palpable.  Was she ever disappointed.  She got this hang dog look after a few minutes and it persisted until we left.  I tried to find out what was bothering her and her words were 'I thought it would be cooler than this.'  Yeah, me too.  We had 61% coverage here and I thought it would be significant enough to see some light change at least.  It didn't turn out that way at all.  I am guessing it would have to be in the 80%+ range to see a significant difference.  I tried to console her about it and she wasn't having it.  We will have a near full eclipse here in 7 years.  That is an eternity to a child.  She told me she would be 16 by that time in that same manner she had on her face.  I still tried to cheer her up and told her she would be a sweet 16 then. 
There was a faint smile that lasted a couple seconds.  Hopefully her disappointment didn't last much longer after we left.

The half moon shapes of the shadows of light filtering through tree leaves also was harder to see.  In fact we couldn't see it at all without a piece of cardboard laid on the ground to help define it.  The shapes were getting lost in the grass.  

Yes, I was a bit disappointed too, but it was great to see how much time the network news spent on the eclipse.  Something other then all the doom and gloom news for a change.  That, at least was refreshing.  

Happy Trails

Monday, August 21, 2017


I am not really sure how to classify this weekend.  Kim had a pretty good day at the resort, but it was longer than usual and harder.  Consequently it has her down physically and that can last a few days. 
She appears to be better this morning, somewhat.  I am glad as she has planned brunch for my Mother's 85th birthday.  This will take place at Son #1's home.  So we will have to head over there in a few minutes in order to get everything accomplished.  I hope the traffic cooperates.  

I have been trying to have a meeting with my congregations' leadership for the past three months to ask some questions.  After 3 months it was sprung on me with little notice.  I was getting weird a vibe earlier and got a feeling it was going to be antagonistic which surprised me.  That part was at least a misunderstanding.  It was very trying but I had worthy support and I believe I acquitted myself in an appropriate manner and they got the message.  It was also a reminder that they are just men, like myself and can make mistakes and errors in judgement.  There are times when we all can learn something new or at least understand the other's perspective better.  I can't go into details, I put this here for my own failing memory.  The anticipation of this meeting was what made this whole weekend harder than usual for me and that affected the rib also.  

We will have only a 61% eclipse here.  That is enough to see that something is happening.  I understand that my Grandkids are very excited about it.  I assume we will still be at their house when this occurs around 1:00 PM.  It will be fun to watch their reactions.  I want to point out to them the shadows under the trees and how they look 'half moon' during the eclipse.  I have seen that a couple times and that to me is the most impressive thing about an eclipse.  The light filtering through the trees gets this weird half moon shape.  I have never heard it explained and I haven't 'googled' it either. No idea why or how it happens, I just enjoy the wonder of it.

I have a strange physical thing happening to me.  I have a slight tremor with fine motor skills.  I notice it mostly when trying to text on my phone.  My right hand has enough of a tremor that it makes it a little harder to accomplish.  If I am overly tired it is even more pronounced.  I guess most people have some sort of tremor to overly tired muscles at some point, that is what this is like.  I had gotten the weedeater going Thursday or Friday and the right arm felt strained.  It still does today and the tremor is noticeably more pronounced.  I think it is mostly due to the problems in my neck with all the compressed discs and pinched nerves.  I will need to mention this during a physical I have scheduled for next month.  No, I am not worried, so that is good.  Although it can play havoc with my leather work.  Fine detail will be a chore if it gets worse.  I already try to avoid heavy physical exertion with my arms/hands when I know I have leather to work.  Getting old isn't for pansies.

Happy Trails

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Pulled The Plug

I admittedly spend far too much time on the PC.  Much of it is spent on the book of faces.  About the time my Granddaughter was born my Daughter-in-law convinced me I needed to get on in order to see recent photos she would post.  How could I resist as I had in the past?  I got more and more caught up in FB over the years.  I enjoyed it a lot.  Over the past few years I let the political and other similar type articles become a major focus for me.  Almost everyday I would get to shaking my head over the idiocy I would see with those posts.  I already avoid network news due to the garbage they spew most of the time.  It has spilled over into the local news at times also.  No, I didn't delete my account yet, as I have a couple business pages I tend to.  I just will be not looking at my personal page.  

Lately, with all the antifa garbage and much more stupidity I just felt like it was time to take a break from it.  Yes, I found old friends and we stay in touch that way.  I will miss some of the interaction I had with them for the most part.  I decided it was better for me to get off for awhile, not only to keep my sanity, but to keep from reacting to something stupid by saying something just as stupid.  I don't need to be saying things in the heat of the moment.  I get misunderstood enough in normal life without adding that to the mix.  Text and typed messages and posts can be so easily misunderstood since they don't convey inflection and emotion and facial expression.  It can be bad thing, I have seen it happen in my work place.  I don't need my friends and especially my family being alienated due to a misunderstanding.  Yes, I could TRY to keep from posting responses to things, but sometimes the temptation to respond is much too great.  Especially when error or truth is involved.  I seem to always get in trouble with things like that, especially with my family.  I don't need that.  Well, not 'always.'  I just don't need to have them misunderstanding me even in the least.  

So, yeah, maybe I am surrendering.  Maybe I am just avoiding being a 'trigger' by being triggered. 
Sorry I couldn't resist using the latest catch phrase.  Call it what you will, I still have this outlet.  I am old and tired.  Yes, I worry about the world my Grandchildren will be having to deal with.  Things are happening so much faster now, I know I am behind the curve most of the time.  I just have to get a break from the crazies for a while.  

Happy Trails

Thursday, August 17, 2017


I have been a lover of history as long as I can remember.  Even before it was taught at the lower level of elementary school I was always asking questions about things that happened in the past.  We didn't get exposed to real history classes until 3rd grade, and that wasn't an official course, it was due to a teacher that had a love for all things Texas.  She taught some of the history of early Texas.  Yes, she was my favorite teacher and that is partly due to her love of history and Texas.

Consequently, get pretty wound up when I see the distortion of history to meet a political agenda and destroy the other opposing side or bait them into doing something to use against them and say: 'I told you so.'  I won't go into a lengthy discussion about the correct history they distort for their own purposes, it would fall on deaf ears.  The others that know the true history don't need to hear it again.  
This isn't a new phenomena, this distorting of history.  Almost every event in history has two sides and the one that wins generally writes the history.  It is then prettied up to justify many of the things that were done by their side.  The narrative changes to make them look holier than the defeated. 
Nothing will change that now.  It has gone on far too long and most don't want to know the truth, it would hurt their sensibilities and these SJW's would need to find another reason to be the jack asses they are.  Well, maybe not.  Most would adhere to the adage: 'Once a jackass, always a jackass.'  You have probably heard that applied some other way.  It is not always true for everyone.  There might be one or two that would actually change their stripes, but there will be 100 more to take his place.

I want to leave you with these quotes, that reveal the truth about the character of two people that opposed each other.

"In this enlightened age, there are few I believe, but would acknowledge, that slavery as an institution is a moral and political evil in any country."

And then:

"I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races...I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of Negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races from living together on terms of social and political equality.  And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be a position of superior and inferior, and I as much as any other man am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race."

Which of these comments comes from a white supremacist?  Can you guess who said which?  Most of you probably already know.  Robert E. Lee wrote the first quote in a letter in 1856 while stationed in Texas, 5 years before the War of Secession. The second quote was spoken by none other than Abraham Lincoln in one of the Douglas/Lincoln debates just before the same war.

Who was the white supremacist?

Tuesday, August 15, 2017


Was feeling a bit nostalgic Monday.  That almost always involves cowboys from my childhood.

And then to a lament about days gone by

Happy Trails

Monday, August 14, 2017


Hot weekend here, so I didn't get much accomplished.  I stayed inside with the AC mostly.  I did get started on a leather cover for the wife's Kindle Fire.  I am trying something new (to me).  Filigree is what it is called.  It will be easier to show you than explain it here.  So you will have to wait for pics when I am finished.

Last week I mentioned the rally in downtown libtardville.  The Libs that run the government want to remove a monument to the Confederate Dead.  I kicked around the idea of attending and was on the fence about it.  Other than the +100 degree temps that probably would have put me down I discovered there were several groups that were going to attend, not just the one I belong to.  Some that do things just to antagonize to make their point.  I don't agree with their tactics and don't want to be associated with them even by accident.  So I didn't go.  The city, in all their great wisdom granted a permit to a counter rally (Black Lives Matter) at the same time at the same location.  IMO they are just asking for trouble.  Maybe that is what they wanted.  Hoping the Far Right protesters would do something to the Far Left protesters so they could prove their point that they are filled with hate. Giving them more ammunition.  Yeah, open carry was going on there too.  I don't oppose open carry, but what's the motivation for that here?  Don't tell me that it is just to exercise your constitutional rights.  That isn't motivation.  What is the point in doing that at something like this other than to feed the fire of those on the left.  That would be news they could use to further their agenda.  

Other than one of the far left being arrested for violence (they wouldn't get specific) it was a peaceful rally with everyone chanting slogans back and forth.  I am thankful it didn't turn into a Charlottesville.  I really didn't expect that to happen here anyway.  The only way it would is because outsiders would have prompted it.  Some of those groups I mentioned were just that, outsiders.  It could have gotten ugly.  Will this rally have any effect?  Probably not.  The new mayor is probably farther left than Mitch Landrieu in New Orleans and we see what he did there with those Confederate Monuments.  I expect the same.  No rallies will stop that type of mind.

A lot of other things have been going on that I just don't have the words to chronicle it all.  It's been a trying day.

Happy Trails

Saturday, August 12, 2017


Friday morning we had plans to do several things.  Visit a friend that just had surgery, have some breakfast tacos on our way and head over the next town for something the wife wanted.  Not a real big day but enough to keep us busy for a few hours.  Those few hours wound up being a little longer than anticipated. 

To get into the area we needed to go to, to see our friend and eat tacos requires a trip into town. 
There are really only 3 ways in that all parallel each other and only one is a major roadway (4 lane divided.)  That is also one of the busiest most hair pulling drives in our county of over 2 million.  It is something we have learned to avoid at the worst times.  We approached that road at about 8:45 AM, this should be on the outside edge of rush hour.  No idea what was going on but the highway was backed up to the area where we usually get on.  So we diverted to one of the parallel roadways.  I picked the wrong one.  Everyone else had the same idea.  We made a 180 to head to the other parallel roadway.  That was a drive in itself.  We finally arrived at the hospital about 2 hours later.  Yes we ate first so that took some time.

After our visit we headed out to the other destination.  It happens to be in one of the top 5 growing counties in the US.  It also sits on one of the major N/S interstates, IH 35.  No traffic jams this time but there was more traffic than usual.  

By the time we did that errand and started home we had to divert one more time due to traffic.  It felt like I had been driving forever by the time we got home.  All told it was probably 150 miles and more time than was planned.  I like to drive, but this day with all the many diversions and the overwhelming amount of traffic, I think staying home would have been a better idea.

No, it's not as bad here as maybe some places in Dallas and Houston, but for me, that has seen what it used to be and what it has become in just a few years, it's hard to take in the amount of growth we have seen.  They just started a 4 year major rebuild of the one major highway we use to get into town.
SMH.  We are making contingencies for alternate routes for various thing we do.  Some will work fine, others, not so much.

No, I'm not whining.  Lamenting, yeah, that's it, lamenting lol.

Happy Trails

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Catching Up

The wife has been doing pretty well over at the resort these last couple weeks.  She has even sold a few of my leather pieces.  This holster sold almost one year to the day I made it.

It had always gotten a lot of interest but no takers until this weekend.  I have made a biker wallet with the same pattern on it and it gets the same attention.

But it seems that since it is not black it is not as desireable.  So I made this one.

Black is much harder for me to make and thus I left of the webbing.  Then I made something for myself, which is actually very rare.  For my phone.

The leatherman scabbards I made for my fireman friend was apparently much more appreciated than I thought.  He sent me this photo.  Cool.

Then Sunday he gave me this.

A very cool coin from his Technical Rescue Squad.  This means a lot to me.  I was pretty much speechless.  The Fire Dept. there doesn't even have a coin of their own, but the rescue squad does and I have one.  It will go next to my 1st Bn 75th Rangers coin.  Both of my Grandfathers were Firefighters, so this means a lot to me.

Happy Trails

Tuesday, August 8, 2017


Yes, I said rain, and lots of it.  It's not all that unusual for this time of year but it is a week or two early.  We woke up to our weather alarms going off and telling us about flooding.  Surprised me since I haven't been paying attention to the news and weather.  We had plans to go to my parents today.  
However the rain is staying around for a while and part of the road over there has flooded.  The flooding is on elevated ramps that are around 100 foot in the air.

Not a good picture but those upper ramps are the ones flooded.

We have gotten 2.6 inches here at the house so far this morning with more on the way.  It is much needed here on the edge of the desert so I won't complain.  We will probably wait on going to my parents house.

Happy Trails

Monday, August 7, 2017


The big city to the South of me has joined in the fray against all things Confederate.  There have been a few minor thing previously but this is the big one.  They have finally fallen into line with the rest of the PC crowd.  Whether they have just finally gotten the courage to act since every place else is doing something to get in the news or it's the new even more left wing mayor and city council that was just elected in May.  There was a small rally with a local blm group.  Then one of the councilmen picked up the ball and then another.  The blm rall was pretty small, less than 40.

They spout the usual claptrap and get more press than anybody else because it fits the media agenda.  
The city council has already voted to consider relocating it.  This monument is over 100 years old. 
This monument was rededicated on the 100th anniversary (I was there for that) and there were about 100 folks attending that.  

This monument has been in this park, Travis Park, named after the Alamo hero that happened to own a slave.  So I would guess the next step will be to rename the park.  It only makes sense if you use their line of thinking.  Then any reference to the slave owners and traders that fought at the Alamo etc.  It can go on and on and on.

There is a counter rally planned for August 12.  There are groups from all over Texas planning to attend.  I know there will be more than the blm turnout.  I'm on the fence about attending.  I don't really believe that rallies and such have much effect in the minds of those on the wrong side of history and that control the government.  They will do what they want regardless of how many or times protestors show up.  This in the city that plans to fight our governor about their Sanctuary city designation.

We are as divided in Texas as the rest of the nation.  The big cities, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, Austin and Libtardville is blue, very blue. the rest of the State is red.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Can't Get Started

I have several 'honey-do's' that I just can't seem to get enough motivation other than to think, 'oh yeah, I need to do that.'  I have a couple small rooms that I need to paint, the hallway that goes into the bathroom I recently painted (several months ago).  The washroom is another and the one I most dread.  It has the washer and dryer that will have to be moved, a pantry that is freestanding and then the water heater and some huge overhead cabinets.  That one has been on that list a looong time.  It is really in need of new paint and a good cleaning.  I also need to regrout the shower in one of the bathrooms.  It is not a little grout either.  It's pretty extensive and it's big shower.  Not to mention the garage is a huge mess and needs to be addressed but that will have to wait for cooler weather.  It is just too hot in there for anything productive.

The wife talked with Son #2 the other day.  He will be buying an engagement ring shortly.  He will be heading to the city where his young lady lives over Labor Day and the plan is that they will be officially engaged.  I assume she will say yes as she has pretty much said yes already.  This will be the formality if speaking with her Father and getting his blessing mostly.  Yes, he knows it's coming.

With the exceptionally hot weather we are currently having my yard is looking pretty poorly.  Water restrictions don't help.  We are currently limited to one day a week and only for certain hours.  Not enough time to cover everything.  So I just hit the critical spots and hope the other spots can survive until it's their turn or we get a little rain.  It is still a couple weeks until real chances of rain return. 
But it's not a sure thing here on the edge of a desert.

Kim and I are both working on learning some leather braiding techniques.  We both notice that leather braided bracelets etc. seem to be more in vogue.  So we will try our hand at that and see how it pays off.  It should work well with some of my leather work also.  Kim made contact at the resort with a wholesaler.  She is very interested in Kim's work with jewelry.  This wholesaler likes the fact that Kim's designs are very unique, one of a kind items.  She bought a good amount of items from her with the possibility of more in the future.  This could be good for the off months when she is not working at the resort.

Well, I gotta get back at the leather for now.  See what I did there?  Put off the other stuff again.

Happy Trails