Saturday, June 30, 2018


I saw this news article and the video the other day.  Low Life Scum  I just can't fathom the type of mindset that does this sort of thing, but especially the pond scum bottom feeders that rifled the man's pockets and walk away unconcerned.   Yes, I know this garbage happens more often than we know, I'm not that naive.  But it really got me tight in the jaws to see this woman bystander going through his pockets unconcerned that he needed help with life threatening injuries and walks away.  There is a special place in hell for these type animals.

This is the society that is becoming more and more prevalent today.  I blame a lot on the politicians that have given handouts to those that have no desire to work for themselves or their families.  This attitude that has developed over the last couple or three generations is mostly due to the fact they have been raised with no accountability.  Each successive generation just enlarges this section of the populace.  This cannot be sustained.  One day it will all come back to haunt us for allowing our politicians to do this.  Yes, it is much  more complicated and detailed that I don't want to delve into.  But the longer this goes on, we get farther and farther from a society that has a sense of morality and responsibility.  We may be too far gone as it is.  I hope not, but I don't see any organized group that is stepping up to offer solutions.  May the Lord help us and step in. 

I still wish you Happy Trails, even though I am not feeling so happy.

I am having some issues with blogger sending me email notifications when a comment has been made.  It has just stopped doing it for some reason and I haven't been able to correct it.  Any ideas?

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Printer Messed Up

While I was looking through the old photo scrapbook of my Grandfather's Army adventures along the Texas border with Mexico a couple posts back, I found another old photo I thought was very interesting.   I was going to scan it along with at least one more to use in another post.  However, my printer/scanner is giving me an error message and I can't fix it.  There are various error messages in the handbook, but not this one.  The manufacturers website offers some fixes that I have tried but nothing far.  I have sent them an email and hopefully they will respond in a few days.  I suspect though, that since it is out of warranty for many years now, they will want me to take it to a repair shop.  Just thinking ahead, this thing is 10 years old and I don't think I should put any money into it for repairs when it would cost less to just get a new one.  WE don't need anything that is fancy or has a lot of bells and whistles.  So if we don't get help from the manufacturer, I have already picked out another.

As a teaser, the photo I came across involves my family and the Alamo.  No, none of my family was involved in the 1836 battle.  this would have been in the very early 1900's, maybe 1909ish.  Since I love the Alamo I thought it was extremely cool, others may not think so, that's OK too.  

I hope I get this printer issue worked out soon so I can get that photo scanned.

We have been pretty busy running around and visiting sick folks and my parents etc, just life things that seem to take up a lot of time.  I don't feel I have had a lot of free time of late but I can't really list anything significant to talk about.

I did sit in on an online class for leather work and how to obtain a new dying technique I am wanting to try out.  I have done this several times and I always learn a few things I didn't know and am able to incorporate that into my work.  It is a pretty cheap and easy way to learn from the masters and enhance my skill.  It allows me to learn something new without driving hundreds or thousand of miles to the big shows where they have classes for some of the same things.  These are usually specialized techniques that don't usually get taught anywhere.  It is something a particular leather worker has perfected on his own and then shares it with those that may want to try it or a variation of it.  For 25$ for one hour, I think it is a bargain.

Happy Trails

Tuesday, June 26, 2018


Yes, I have been quiet for a few days.  It's not that I have not been busy, I have.  Just not anything worthy to post about.  It happens more and more these days it seems.  I have been dealing with personal issues and concerns that I won't air here.  I'll just say that Satan is real and active and his handiwork can come unawares.  He works through those you may never expect.

On a much better note, the wife and I got this in a text message yesterday:

Yup, the first look at our new Grandchild.  Too early to tell if there is a 'tale' or not.  This was basically the doctor confirmation 1st visit.  It just became more real.  This will be our 3rd Grand.  WE didn't really expect anymore, so this is a great blessing.  It's the first Grand for my Daughter in laws parents.  I am pretty sure they are ecstatic as we were with our first.  It never gets old.

The garden has really slowed down and this is another subpar year for production.  However the marigolds can  be claimed a complete success.  They have kept the stink bugs away and the squirrels that I have had so much trouble with the last two years.  


Saturday, June 23, 2018

Old Photos

I'm talking really old photos.  Like 98 years old.  I follow the Museum of the Big Bend on the book of faces.  If you are not familiar with the Big Bend, it is an area in West Texas, almost as far as you can go West in Texas relatively speaking.  The Rio Grande River makes a huge bend giving Texas part of its distinctive shape that it is well known for worldwide.  The museum posted some old photos a while back and got me to thinking about some that I have that were taken by my Grandfather while he was in the Army Air Service.  There was no 'air force' in those days it was still part of the Army.  The specific unit he was in was the 464th Aero Squadron.  They were based at Kelly Field in San Antonio.

My Grandfather joined at the age of 19.5 years in 1919.  He wasn't sent somewhere across the country to do his time, he was assigned to his hometown, San Antonio.  His squadron was tasked with building emergency landing strips for the DeHavilland DH4 biplanes they used to patrol the border during those days.  From the photos he took, apparently crash landings were pretty common with those old planes.  Things were still a bit tense with the Villistas in Mexico in those days, so I assume that was part of the reason for the patrols, although smuggling was what he said was going on.  They started building the air strips in McAllen, Texas and worked their way along the Rio Grande all the way to Ajo, Arizona.  He put together an album of photos from this adventure that I find fascinating.  He used one of those old Kodak box cameras and got some amazing shots.  I have that camera and the album. 

I decided to contact the museum and see if they would like to see the photos.  No, not the originals.  I won't let those out of my hands.  I offered to digitize them and send them.  I would only scan the photos relating to the Big Bend area as there are way too many others and they wouldn't really be related to what they do.  They are considering printing them out for their Archives.  I hope they can use them and others can see something I think is pretty cool.  

Be sure and 'click' on the photos for a better view and maybe you can see my Grandfather's notes.

This is my Grandfather 

These are most of them.

Happy Trails

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Short Day Trip

We chucked everything that we had to do and just headed out on the road for a short day trip around the area.  Part of the trip was around one of the older if not oldest man made lakes in this area, Medina Lake.  It is a lake that was built by the Medina Irrigation Company to provide water to the many farms just to the south around Castroville and Hondo.  Consequently it is not a constant level lake and can suffer greatly in times of drought.  You can see in the photos I have below that it is not anywhere near full and has been much much lower than it is now.  It plays havoc with the economics of the area as evidenced by the many abandoned businesses and homes.  Unfortunately as with most area in Texas the entire lake is surrounded by private property, so you can't get close unless you pay.  We didn't.

A few more photos of the sunset that was so spectacular Wednesday evening on our drive home from the church house.  It was changing ever so quickly with various colors.  I shot these through the windshield of my truck.  Stopping to get out and I would have missed some of the most brilliant it was changing so fast.  These just don't do God's handiwork justice.  What a great way to end the day.

Happy Trails

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Mediterranean Food for Father's Day (Monday)

I am running a little behind on posting here.  Just not feeling the mojo.  Father's Day was very quiet here at the homestead.  We didn't go anywhere nor did anyone come over.  Both the Sons and I had various duties at our respective congregations that would make late to any gathering so we opted to not make others wait for us with no idea how long it would be.  I did call my Dad.  I tried several times and my phone just wouldn't connect but he could tell it was me calling so he called me.  We just didn't have enough available time to drive over to see him and still be on time for my other commitment at church.  We will try to see him sometime this week.  

We, my Sons and their families, agreed to meet Monday evening for a meal at a restaurant near us for Father's Day.  They have been trying to get me to try Mediterranean food at this particular chain for a while.  I was game, I was curious what it was like.  I have to admit I am pretty much a meat and potatoes guy, but I do love me some Tex Mex and occasional Chinese.  That's about as far off the reservation I venture with food.  I opted for a beef shawarma plate as it was recommended to me by one of my boys.  I have to say the various spices and sauces are very different than anything I have tried.  Nothing was bad although I am not so sure I like something they call tahini sauce.  Just very strange in my mouth.  I don't usually eat any sauce on my meats wanting to get the full flavor of the seasonings and the meat itself.  Apparently that is not the way to eat this style meat.  It is on the tough side and doesn't seem to have much seasoning so the sauces are there to add to it.  But for me that tahini stuff doesn't really help it any.  It comes with a Greek Salad and whatever dressing they use and it was OK and hummus.  Now I like hummus, but this was the most bland stuff and I am not real sure why or how it should be eaten.  I have always used it as some sort of dip so I dipped my shawarma in it. Meh, is all I can say about that hummus.  About the naan, wow.  Now that is something I could get used too.  It's like a giant fluffy flour tortilla but a bit heavier.  They give you some Olive Oil with some sort of spices that look like dirt.  Don't let that stop you from trying it though.  It is pretty good.  So I guess the jury is still out for my venture into Mediterranean food.  It wasn't bad by any means, just way different than what I am used to.  I will have to go again and try something different.  I did notice a significant aftertaste for a while after we left, nothing unpleasant.  I am sure it was the completely different spices they use that I have never come across before.  It was interesting.

The major rain that was predicted for us has been disappointing.  Just a few scattered showers that don't do much good at all other than to make it even more humid.  It has kept the temps from getting as high as they have been but the humidity makes up for that.  We had hoped for some really significant rains.  It is supposed to continue like this the rest of the week.  Hopefully it will get better but the chance diminish each day.

Happy Trails

Friday, June 15, 2018

It's Over

VBS is finally over.  I don't really do anything, at least not teaching like the ladies do, and I am tired.  It's just two hours and I feel beat today.  There's something about the pews at our church that just mess my back up quicker than anything else.  I am stiff and sore and moving slowly.  K does a tremendous job with VBS, she is every talented in that regard, but she is worn out too.  We skipped the picnic that was planned afterward and cleaned up and put things way so we wouldn't have to come back tomorrow to do it.  It is rewarding work and we are glad to volunteer but we are both getting long in the tooth.  It is time for those younger than us to take over.  We were taking a step back this year and it didn't happen.  K was supposed to just be a helper instead of a teacher.  The teacher thing was thrust on her unawares the very first day.  She handled it beautifully without complaint, without any preparation.  

The landscape here is getting crunchy.  Lack of rain and high heat will do that down here on the edge of the Chihuahuan Desert.  It is expected and yes we still complain.  However, we have hope for some significant amounts of rain starting Saturday and increasing into next week.  While this is unusual for this time of year it isn't unheard of.  We even get some flooding at times with these events.  Flooding is never wanted but we have come to rely on these events due to our water source coming from one aquifer and nothing else.  We are on stage 2 water restrictions.  This will remain in effect until we get significant amounts of rainfall in the right places to recharge this underground aquifer.  If we get enough rain the restrictions can be eased 10 days after the levels stay at or above the set marker.  I am hopeful but it is tempered with the reality it will only be temporary and we will be back to restrictions again.  We are hopeful though.

I traded emails with a friend I worked with recently.  It seems he has gone back to work in the consulting market.  It turns out that there are two others we worked with also at the same firm.  Good for them.  He was supposed to work just 25-30 hours a week.  It turned into a full time job which probably means overtime also in that field.  Me, I am staying retired, I don't want to go back to anything remotely like working a schedule after being out this long.  Uh-uh, not even.  

Father's Day is this weekend.  We have no plans.  VBS being this week hinders having much in the way of any plans.  So I don't know if we will see our kids or not.  Son #1 has in-laws here so they may have plans with them. Son#2 has gone over to my Dad's in the past, but that was before he got married.  These sort of holidays are sometimes harder to deal with when there are sooo many people to consider.  These things usually get planned at the last minute, like Saturday evening.  Whatever you have planned, I hope your Father's Day is a good one.

Happy Trails

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Light This Week

I will be up at the church building in the mornings this week helping out with VBS.  Consequently posting will likely be a little lighter than usual unless my mind wakes up a bit more.

We are having fun coming up with suggested names for the 'on the way' Grandkid.  Several have been shot down without so much as a thought.  Wynn Chester, Remington Colt, Duke Eastwood are all no goes.  Of course it is the Daughter in Law that is so disagreeable to these excellent names.  It's all in fun and part of the joy of having kids and Grandkids.  There have been numerous others that have equally been shot down.  I thought Ronald Reagan was a fine choice and to make it more appealing to my comic book writer Son changed it to Raygun.  He immediately changed that to Ray Gun.  But alas, that didn't fly either.  Well she is from Arizona and not Texas so we have that to deal with LOL.

Happy Trails

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Happy News Revealed-and a Request for Help From My Readers That May Know

A friend is having a huge estate sale this weekend.  We had been given early access.  The wife had a few things she was looking for, I went along to temper her purchases, I didn't do a very good job.  They had a ton of stuff and they weren't trying to make money just trying to get rid of it.  I did find several small bags of pocket knives. I got 10 or 11 old knives for 7$.  They went to the Grandkids, their Dad, Son #2 and a neighbor kid.  I kept one, it is in the photo below.  Also picked up a box of 45 ACP.  It looks really old and is in the photo below.  I have never heard of 'kleanbore priming' and don't know anything about these rounds.  Are they safe to shoot?  If you can help me out and keep me from blowing my hand off it would be appreciated if you can tell me what you know.  They are wadcutters.

The wife found a few other random items.  We also got an older refrigerator for 20$.  I moved it yesterday with the help of a friend.  It wound up being a bigger job than we expected.  We had to remove the doors from the fridge to get it out of the house.  I guess they built the house around the fridge.  The doors leading out of the house were not the usual width, they were the width of interior doors.  Then the friends wife showed up to shop.  So we waited around even longer.  Since I was relying on his truck trailer and muscle I had no problem at all waiting, besides they are really great people.  

Today will be spent cleaning up the fridge and getting it cooled down and moved into place to replace the one we have that is having issues.  This one goes in the garage as extra freezer space and for cold drinks that take up so much room in the house fridge.  It's just a convenience thing for bulk items.

The other great news I alluded to a couple posts back is, we are getting another Grandchild.  Son #2 and his new bride gave us this extremely great news and we are having so much fun with it and suggesting names.  Of course I have to mess with them on names and such.  Son #2 is freaking out a little.  This was an accident and he is under a lot of pressure with his work at the moment.  I tried to help him out and hope he can just try to enjoy the moment, this only happens once on your life-the first child.  It should be an exceedingly happy time filled with joy and wonder.  It was for me, I hope it can be for him too.

Oh, and it you can help me out with the ammo condition, thank you.

Happy Trails

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Fun and Games With Internet Trolls

I got a friend request on the book of faces this week.  This was from someone I did not know.  This happens occasionally but it is usually hot chicks that I am sure are genuine.  I do not add them as a friend.  But I do 'mess' with them on occasion.  Come to find out this internet troll sent a request to my wife also.  

This is a screenshot of this jackwagon's FB page.  AS you can see he has taken some photos off the internet of a military man.  There is some resemblance but I wasn't buying it.  I took a little closer look at the photos he represents as himself.  I don't think you will be able to see them in this photo but you probably can by googling Lt. Gen. George Casey, US Army Chief of Staff.  Yeah, you can see the name on his uniform.  What a maroon.  Do people really fall for this?  

I messaged Mr. Frank Wilson:  

Me: 'Wow, a friend request from a General, I am honored, but I have to ask why me?'  
Frank:  'Hello, where are you located dear'  Dear?  what a jackwagon
Me: I am not a 'dear'  You are a fraud, and I have reported you for stolen valor.

It didn't get any further he deleted the profile immediately.  So I didn't get to have more fun with this thing.  I was too PO'ed that he was so stupid about using photos from someone so well known that I called him out before I got to string him along more.  Ah well, maybe his next try he won't masquerade as someone in the military.  Yes I did report him to FB but I doubt they can or will do anything.  No idea how to report someone for stolen valor to authorities.

Happy Trails

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Oh My Aching....

The wife told me last night that we needed to move a refrigerator.  The extra one we use as a freezer and cold drinks is having some issues.  One of our friends is having an estate sale and has a BIG one.  For 20$ she couldn't pass it up.  She had bought it for Son #2 but he can't deal with it now.  I am not able to lift anything remotely heavy with my back like it is without paying the price.  Son #1 can't help until the 23rd.  I don't like the way I will have to move it.  It will have to be laid down in the bed of my small Ranger.  You always take a chance laying one down.  But if you leave it standing up for a day or so without plugging it in, you might be OK.  That is what I am hoping for anyway.  If it dies on me I'll just have it hauled off by the guy that came and got my old BBQ pits.

The thing that bugs me the most is I obsess over little things like this.  Yeah, I know, don't sweat the small stuff.  Something that should be and is pretty simple I blow up into a big deal.  I wasn't like this years ago.  Now that I have some physical limitations it bothers me more than it should.  I was always the guy that could be counted on to help you move, whether it was just a refrigerator or your entire household.  Not being able to help others in the way I used to bugs me.  Having to ask for help is what REALLY bugs me.  I know, but my mind is a wacky place these days.

Happy Trails 

Monday, June 4, 2018


My mind is a jumbled mess.  I can't seem to get my thoughts sorted out into an intelligible process.  I mentioned a while back about having an emotional weekend and how it involved loved ones.  There was more of the same this weekend.  The only difference was it was unexpected.  I took it like a kick in the gut.  My mind has been running way to fast than I am used to.  Consequently I zone out a lot.  So I am not even sure how this particular post will turn out.  

Satan is real.  He is at work everyday in our lives.  Some people will even blame their actions on him, trying to avoid responsibility for the things they have done.  Yet, we have the ability to choose.  Whether to fall for his lies and succumb to temptation or to choose to walk away or keep your mouth shut.  Gossip and outright lies have and continue to be more hurtful than most anything.  The scars run deep and can last forever.  Even when forgiven, those things can still linger resulting in lack of trust.  Physical scars can last too and be damaging long term.  But I submit the emotional and psychological damage is much worse than the physical in almost every instance.  This sort of thing damages more than the person it is directed at.  There is a huge amount of collateral damage if you will.  Loved ones get involved and they get hit in the fall out.  One event can get out of control due to the way people perceive things and then the tongues start to wag looking for sympathy or, unfortunately, to get pay back.  Satan knows the tongue is his strongest weapon.  It is easy for us to 'talk' about things or others.  It can start out as information sharing and turn to something much uglier.  Lives can be changed/destroyed with a few careless words.  Those that take this path will have to answer ultimately for their actions.

Sorry for the mini sermon-this helps get my mind sorted.

There is some great news too.  I am not allowed to say exactly what it is at this moment.  It will be kept under wraps for the time being.  Unfortunately this comes at the same time as all the garbage and it detracts from this great news.

Friday, June 1, 2018


You would think after a full week of no new posts I might, just might have something worthy or interesting to write about.  Well you would be wrong.  😕 

The plumber came Thursday and got the pressure regulator installed.  Without asking he installed a cut off valve at the same time.  No extra charge.  Sweet!  We hadn't even talked about it.  

Picked the first tomatoes of the year.  Just a couple and they aren't very big at all, smallish actually.  It is new hybrid I am trying out that ripens faster and is heat resistant.  As hot as it is getting here, much hotter for this time of year than usual, it will affect my tomato production.  When it gets really hot, the plants stop setting fruit.  There are quite a few green ones already thankfully, but it the heat keeps up like this, about 5-8* hotter than normal, that may be all we get.  However, after all I have done to prepare and prevent tomato blossom rot, I still chucked three over the fence that had it.  if you aren't familiar with tomato blossom rot, the bottom of the tomato where the blossom will sometime still be attached will rot, turn blackish brown.  You may not see it until you pick it and turn it over, the tomato looks just fine otherwise.  This has been an ongoing issue for me.  From what I read it is due to a lack of calcium in the soil.  I read where adding bone meal should help with this.  I did exactly as prescribed on the directions.  I also added epsom salt as I have before.  This is something that has worked for me in the past but apparently it doesn't last.  So now I am not sure what to do next.  I will add much more bone meal than prescribed along with more epsom salts and hope that solves the issue for the remaining tomatoes.  I don't know.

Happy Trails