Wednesday, January 18, 2017


I got nothing, here are some cartoons to brighten your day

Yeah, I know I'm warped.

Happy Trails

Friday, January 13, 2017


I am sitting here waiting for the cable company to show up between 8 am and 9 am.  It is now 9:15 am and no sign of them.  Not even the usual phone call.  Our cable provider was Time Warner and they have sold out to Spectrum.  So I have been dealing with them off and on the last few days.  First was that the price of our service increased by 25$.  I got them to lower it to even lower than the previous price.  Are you kidding me?  Why not just give me that price to begin with instead of getting me all tight in the jaws and having to complain to two or three others before I get satisfaction.  

When they gave me the new price they also switched me over to the new coding they use.  That may a couple of the digital converters we had obsolete.  Consequently I had to travel in to town to get rid of that old equipment and get a new box.  Of course they couldn't get the stupid thing to work right out of the box.  They have to activate it over the phone for some unknown reason.  They couldn't get it to work.  The most annoying thing it dealing with Mujabur and her accent and the continual reading off a script instead of listening to what I was actually saying.  After about 30 minutes of this i finally gave up and told her good bye.

We were supposed to head to my parents house to help with some packing for their move.  Now I sit here waiting on this cable jack leg to show.  I wouldn't be surprised if they never show.  

As far as the parents moving, they have to be out by the 31st as my cousin has rented the house.  It has made my mother feel more pressure.  Since they are just moving across the street, she thinks this will be an easy move.  I beg to differ.  I think it will be much harder.  They will try to move things by carrying them across the street, 'since it's so close.'  They have already started and have made almost no headway.  They think they can rely on their housekeeper and a handyman to move most everything.  The housekeeper doesn't want to IMO and the handyman is a disabled  guy that is less than reliable.  They have already run into problems with this and they have just started.  This can get ugly.  It may kill my mother.

Happy Trails

Wednesday, January 11, 2017


The wife uses Quickbooks to keep track of her business finances.  Since things have been pretty slow lately she hadn't used it since Oct. 2 when she filed her State sales taxes.  She attempted to do the same today and wouldn't you know it, she could make it work.  She admits she is technically challenged and will have me try to fix things.  This time I failed.  At least it seemed so.  After several attempts to make it work I got on the phone and called them.  Apparently one of the Win 10 updates made her version obsolete.  Also the company that owns Quickbooks no longer supports her version. 
We got it in 2010.  Consequently we had to update by buying new software.  That stuff ain't cheap.
So after about an hour and a half she was back up and running.  What a scam.

The washer drain also had issues again.  Several tries over the last couple days with Liquid Plumber got the drain going again.  I know I will have to eventually call a plumber.  I suspect there are roots in the lines despite my using copper sulfate at least once a year.  I also had an electrical issue that I couldn't figure out.  I had drained our hot water heater as I do several times a year due to our extremely hard water.  When I do this, I turn the breaker off to the hot water heater.  A couple hours later Kim tells me there is no hot water.  OK, I figure I must have forgotten to flip the breaker.  Nope it was on yet I was getting no indication of power on my volt meter at the hot water heater.  Not good.  So I run out to the breaker box again to satisfy myself that the breaker was in the right position and I just missed it.  I flipped it back and forth just to make sure I wasn't seeing things.  Went back and the water heater is doing it's thing again.  Maybe the breaker is going out or something had gotten lodged in the contacts and came loose when I flipped it.  I don't know.  I do know we have hot water.  Yeah, a new breaker is a good idea.  I will wait anyway.

The joys of being a home owner.  Ah well it certainly could be worse.

Happy Trails.

Monday, January 9, 2017

The Great Texas Blizzard

I stole this from the book of faces.  It pretty much sums up the attitude about cold weather in the Southern part of the State among the natives.

No we didn't get any snow, and not even any precipitation in my neck of the woods.  But evidently we just missed some ice.  There were 4 major intersections that have elevated bridges near us that had to be shut down due to ice.  It is an annual occurrence (almost), having to shut down highways since we don't know how to drive on ice.  Some might say we don't know how do drive on anything.  The local authorities over plan and overreact to icy conditions here.  I know this from first hand experience having been a road hand for over 30 years.  It's funny and exasperating to see them at work at the HQ they set up for these 'disaster' events.  Each year they reinvent the wheel and everyone wants things 'their way' as if they know more than the others. The jockeying for influence is a trip.

They get criticized mercilessly for whatever actions they take and get blamed for shutting down roads for not much at all.  They have also been drug over the coals for not reacting fast enough.  A fatal accident on icy roads brings out the trolls.  No one seems to understand that your safety is no one's responsibility but your own.  I could go on and on but I'm sure you get the picture.  The public has no idea how much time and resources are put into just planning for an event like this.  It will never be perfect.  

We have some vegetation damage again.  It was below freezing far to long for our measures to save everything.  But 'we will rebuild.'  It will give us a chance to make some changes to the landscape and clean up overgrown areas.  There will be some good come of this IMO.

This week they are predicting near Spring like temps.  So that will allow us outside to start the clean up of the dead vegetation.  Today, though, I will start on a cover for my new Kindle Fire.  I don't really have the right leather for this, but I do have a really expensive piece I had been saving.  It is much thicker than what I usually use, by as much as 3 times.  I plan on tooling it a bit and hopefully it will turn out OK.  Pics when I'm done.

Happy Trails.

Thursday, January 5, 2017


I have been dealing with a new Rx provider for all our meds.  I get 90 days worth since it they are maintenance meds.  I had obtained some at the local pharmacy as I didn't want them sitting in the mailbox enduring the 100+ degree heat in the summer.  Changing from one company to another is a PITB.  This new company no longer covers the 'brand' meds I have been taking for years.  I can still take them if I want to pay out of pocket.  But at the price they charge for diabetes meds that ain't gonna happen.  So I will need to have all my meds changed over to other brands by my doctor.  Not a big deal except the folks that handle that for him always screw it up.  Always.  I will need to go in to see him before my usual 6 month visit in order to get the scripts so I don't run out.  Then in September my medical insurance company changes.  I hope my doctor is on their network, otherwise I will have to find another doctor.

Have a new dentist too.  Went Monday for a cleaning, something that is very important for a diabetic.
That was the most thorough exam I have ever had.  I think we made a good choice.  We are trying to do this without insurance.  The cost of the insurance over the year outstrips the cost of regular visits. 
It still is another hit to the wallet I wish we didn't have.  But we went without for almost 2 years and I paid the price of the neglect.

The weather has been pretty nice, in the mid 70's the last few days, but tomorrow we will get another cold blast with some significantly lower temps.  They will be low enough to kill off the rest of the tender outdoor vegetation we have planted, if I don't do a better job of covering them than I did last time.  We lost a lot of plants that survived much colder weather before.  The wind found the weak spots in my work at covering them.  So next spring we will see if we need to replant or not.

Today I will spend getting ready for the colder weather bring some more firewood up from the stack and Kim says she will make some sort of soup she wants to try out.  I'm game for that.  Drained the hot water heater and quite a bit of limestone came out, not as much as last time.  I need to do that every 3 months but I most often go longer.  

This time of year the cedar pollen goes crazy.  There are many rich allergists in this part of the State. When the wind blows there is so much pollen it looks like smoke and your vehicles get very dusty.  I am not allergic but I know many that are, Kim is very allergic and we live right in the middle of that crap.  It's a miserable time of year for those folks.

Picked up my deer meat yesterday and got about 28-30 lbs.  Was going to make chili right away but Kim wants me to hold off so she can make that soup.  

Happy Trails

Monday, January 2, 2017

The New Year

New Year's eve was OK for the most part.  Kim had a really good day at the resort finally.  She has only worked four days since the end of summer so this was certainly a great thing for us.  We played games with the Grandkids and I read to them.  The game was 'Life.'  I know that is a really old game and I had never played it prior.  But it turned out to be pretty fun with the Grands.  I read to them from a book I bought online.  It is one that was an introduction for me on Texas History when I was in third grade.  I already knew a considerable amount about Texas, we all did back then, but this book piqued my interest even more.  So I thought might be a good thing for the Grands.  It is fiction, I don't think a non fiction book would work as well for their age.  Johnny Texas, can it have a better name? It is out of print but I found quite a few used ones online.  So I picked one up.  The oldest seems to be following pretty well, but the Grandson seems to get bored after a bit.  He has a lot of energy at 6 years old and this may be a bit to slow for him.  Anyway, I am enjoying it and maybe one day they will remember this time.

It did not rain as I had hoped for on NYE.  It was pretty quiet, more so than usual up until about an hour before midnight.  Then the racket started to get heavy.  Yes, midnight was as bad as it's ever been and went on for another couple hours.  I can live with the midnight celebrations but two hours after?  That is a PITB and totally inconsiderate.  I know some of the biggest offenders have dogs too and don't understand how they can put them through that.  Jack Wagons.

I got in the way of Buster's jaws the other day.  Totally my fault.  The UPS guy delivered a package on the front porch and Buster went nuts doing his job keeping us alerted and safe.  Usually when this happens I put him out back so he won't be tempted to run out the front door as he has in the past. This time I got lazy and made him go over to the wife instead while I was just gong to reach out the door and pick up the package.  Well he was much to amped up from that bad guy being on his porch.  I didn't see him turn and come to the door as I opened it and he charged out.  I grabbed him and in his excitement he got my forearm.  Bled like a stuck pig and hurt like heck.  He got me good.  You might think he shouldn't have done that and I agree totally.  But I also knew how he zones out when he is protecting us.  I have had similar things happen before but nothing like this and it is rare.  Even though it pissed me off I totally blame myself. 

A lot of folks have said things about how bad this past year was and are looking forward to a better 2017.  Not sure why they think this one was worse than usual.  It does seem there were a lot more celebrity deaths that made the news.  Several big names recently made it seem worse maybe.  The electioneering was certainly remarkable and may have added to that sense of 'bad.'  I am not sure I agree that it was worse than most others in recent history.  While looking at it from a personal standpoint we can all point to various things that stick out for ourselves.  Financial woes, health issues, deaths in the family etc.  It's all a matter of perspective, what affected each of us personally will determine how we look at the world.  For us, we have had better times financially, especially with Kim's business changes this last year.  Our health is always a concern these days but we neither one had to have surgery or anything remotely close.  My parent issues and the frustration there were probably the biggest stress for us, and it isn't over yet, as they are in the process of moving again.  All in all it's just life to me, I don't break it down year to year most of the time.

Kim has a BIG birthday number coming up this year.  I was teasing her that she would officially be 'old.'  She wasn't having it.  She has never had a party for her birthday since we have been together, so maybe this is the year.  I have a little less than 2 months to figure this out.

Happy Trails

Saturday, December 31, 2016

New Year's Eve

The Grandkids will be here tonight while their parents host a party at their home.  This is a regular occurrence.  We aren't partiers and apparently neither are most of our friends.  Just as well.  With the crazy amount of fireworks around here, it's really hard on the dog.  Even inside the house it gets pretty loud.  Buster gets really nervous with all that racket.  

Some of those fireworks are as loud as the 6lb mountain howitzer my friend would bring to various living history events.  We would set that off with about 1 lb of black powder.  It was very loud.  He usually let the police know ahead of time in case they got calls.  There is a chance for rain, maybe that will happen and keep the noise to a minimum.  But I doubt that would either.  The amount of money they must spend must be crazy.   I doubt they would let all those fireworks($) just sit due to rain.  There are some very elaborate displays around here.

Kim will head to the resort today for a last ditch effort to close out the year on a high note.  Then she will stop and pick up the Grandkids on the way home.  I will try to watch some football and clean up a few things.  We spent yesterday running errands and putting away all the Christmas decorations.  I wasn't quite ready for them to go away.  Kim does such a great job with the decorations, she works hard at it and it looks great.  They aren't up long enough for all the work it takes and how nice it looks.  But she was ready for it to go away and all the clutter of the tree taking up space.  I should have taken a few photos to show you her handy work, but they never do it justice.  It is something that has to be seen in person.  Too bad only us and the Grands go to see it this year.

Y'all have a safe New Year's eve and don't party irresponsibly if you are doing that.  I hope your New Year is better than the last.

And as always...Happy Trails