Daily Archives: January 22, 2021

Another Sad Day . . .

Jan and I both got bad news today.

I found out that my cousin Marjorie’s husband, Dr. Walter Walker, died yesterday.

Margie and Walter 2020

He was 91 and in good health until recently. But he collapsed a couple of days ago and couldn’t get up. And when they took him to the hospital, they found he had advanced bone cancer.

We had just seen them last February when we visited them up in Athens, AL. So g;ad we got see him then.

He will be missed by many.

And Jan found out today that her cousin Rhonda died a couple of days ago up in Tennessee. We don’t yet know what she died from, but it sounds like she had been ill for some time. She was only 66 years old.

And of course, I lost two of my aunts a day apart back in December. And this year isn’t off to a good start.

Thought for the Day:

“I didn’t kill him – He decided to stop breathing after I shot him…”

January 22, 2012

Buzzers and Tabasco . . .

Jan and I are big fans of dragons, and I recently found these two neat pictures on the Internet and wanted to share them.

Dragon 2

Tabasco Dragon

I really like the Tabasco baby bottle. The way I like spicy hot food, I wonder if I had one of these.

On another note, the turn signal indicator on the rig does not make enough noise for me to hear it. Jan can hear it from the passenger seat, but due to too many gun shots and and playing loud bands, I can’t.

So today as I was going through one of the bins, I came across a little 12vdc buzzer unit and decided to fix the problem.

I removed the flasher unit (that’s the red box) from under the dashboard panel and made up a couple of spade lug jumpers. crimping the buzzer leads into the jumpers.

Buzzer 1

I then Gorilla Taped the buzzer (that’s the little black unit) to the side of the flasher unit.

Here’s another shot of the leads.

Buzzer 2

I then plugged the jumpers into the flasher socket and checked it out. Loud and Clear!

While I’m on a roll, I also want to do one as a ‘headlights on’ alarm. I’ve got the diodes, but I’ll have to look and see if I have another buzzer. If not, they’re only a couple of bucks.

Other than this, it was a pretty quiet day. Jan cleaned (company’s coming) and I worked on some projects outside. For lunch Jan heated up some delicious leftover Mexican. I think it was almost better than originally.

Then around 5pm, I headed over to my client’s office to do some stuff that’s easier done when no one’s on the network.

Thought for the Day:

“…. that he is incapable of staying on the river of a thought, and is constantly lured down tributaries from which he can never quite work his way back–you can see him batting the little paddles of his mind against the weeds, trying desperately to return to the river but not remembering where it is, or where it was going.”



January 22, 2013

Bird Blind . . .

Once again, after walking a little over a mile around the park, we sat outside and enjoyed our coffee and the view.

Galveston Bay View Site 80


Here’s Pinkie, our resident Roseate Spoonbill, along with some of the Ibises.

Pinkie and the Ibises


And here’s Old Blue, the Great Blue Heron that hangs out around here.

Giant Blue Heron and Pinkie


But after goofing off all morning, it was back to work. Today was the day to take a crack at restringing my blinds.

As it turns out, it’s not really hard, just kind of time-consuming. Here I’ve laid out the 4 parts in the order that they will be assembled.

Blind Repair 2


My first task to measure out the two sets of strings I’ll be using.

The formula is:   Width + 1/2 Width + Height x 2 = length of string needed. Since this is a 4 string blind, two sets will be needed.

Blind Repair 3


When I first took my blind apart I discovered it used two springs instead of just one like most stringing diagrams I had found.

But a little more research yielded this diagram.

Blind String Pattern

Next I took each string, folded it in half, and then looped it through each spring.

Blind Repair 4

Then using a stiff piece of wire as a needle, I threaded one string through the folded over ‘eye’ and taped it over.

Blind Repair 5


Then following the diagram, I started threading the cord through the ‘night’ section of the blind.

Blind Repair 6


Then I did the same thing with the lower ‘day’ section.

Blind Repair 7


Here’s the blind laid out and completely strung.

Blind Repair 8


Then all I had to do was slide the pieces together, and put the endcaps on. But since it was getting late, I decided to wait until tomorrow to rehang it.

Blind Repair 9


While I was working on the blinds, Jan was removing every thing from one of our slide pantries, so I could repair several of the shelves that had broken due to too much weight.

Jan also used this chance to go through the contents and throw away any thing with expired dates.

Pantry 1


A little judicious repair with some heavy duty zip ties fixed things up.

Pantry 2


About 5:30 Jan and I headed up to Webster for dinner and some shopping. Dinner was Chili’s, and the shopping was Sam’s Club for prescriptions and Kroger’s for some groceries, and then it was home for the night.

Thought for the Day:

The government should fear the citizens . . . not the other way around.



January 22, 2014

Girls with Guns . . .

Jan and I started out this morning with a 1 mile walk around the park before enjoying our coffee and muffins sitting outside. And enjoying it while we can, because tomorrow the weather gets pretty crappy for the next several days.

We’re looking at several days of rain, with a HIGH of 37 on Friday.  BRR!

I want my Global Warming, and I want it NOW!   Excess body heat only goes so far.

About noon I headed out to a couple of clients, and looking for a couple of new computers for other clients. And by the time I’d taken care of everything and gotten back to the rig, it was about 5:30.  And my beautiful wife had dinner ready.

Saw an article online about ‘Machine Gun Tourism’. For some reason when I first saw the title I thought it said “Machine Gun Terrorism”, which kind of made sense.

But then I figured out what they were talking about. Renting out machine guns for tourists to try their hand. And when we were in Las Vegas in 2010, Jan did her part to keep tourism alive.

And this was at “The Gun Store” location mentioned in the article. She’s firing her new favorite toy, a Thompson Submachine Gun.

Jan And Her Thompson 1

Jan And Her Thompson 2

And apparently it runs in the family, because here’s our granddaughter Piper in Houston, firing a Smith & Wesson 500 .50 cal. revolver, considered the most powerful handgun in the world.

Piper's First Gun

I’ve shot one of these a couple of times and they’re a handful.  Piper said she enjoyed the feeling of power it gave her.

Also according the article, you can now fire one of these at “The Gun Store”.


This is a belt-fed M249 Light Machine Gun, and I want one.

Just the thing for those pesky squirrels.

“The only difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits.” – Albert Einstein



January 22, 2015

Sticker Free . . .

Well, it started raining last night and has continued to rain most of the day. In fact they issued flood warnings for the area, maybe even as much as 2 to 4 inches overnight. Tomorrow is forecast to be about the same, but starting Saturday, it’s supposed to clear up for a few days at least

One thing nice about being here at Lake Conroe is no more stickers. Or as we used to call them on the Gulf, sandspurs. What ever you called them, they hurt like hell when you step on one. They come in the rig on your shoes, socks, and even your pant legs.

And we found out they also come in on Mister. So we have to frisk him after he’s been outside. Otherwise they fall off his fur and then snuggle down in the rugs, lying in wait like little landmines, just waiting for a bare foot.

Even worse, often when you pull them out of your foot, you get a spine broken off in your finger that’s so small that you can’t pull it out, but you will feel it every time you touch something.

About 4pm, Jan was jonsing for Cracker Barrel’s Thursday Turkey and Dressing, so much so that we ignored the pouring rain, and headed down the Interstate to the CB for dinner. One thing we both like there is that they have real dressing (cornbread dressing, the only REAL dressing) and REAL cornbread muffins (you know, the ones made with only cornmeal and not half-flour, and not so much sugar that they taste like cake.). It’s always good, and tonight was no exception. Delicious.

And even better for me, we got out of there with no extraneous gift shop purchases.

Leaving the restaurant, we had planned to make a Wal-Mart stop for a few things, but the weather was, as Jan described it, “just too yucky.” So we just headed home for the night.


Thought for the Day:

A simple rule of life: if you can be blamed, you’re responsible.



January 22, 2016

RunPee and Flixster Too . . .

We walked our walk this morning, but stopped after the first 1.01 mile loop, because it was just too COLD. Although it was sunny, it was 44 degrees and windy when we headed out, and it didn’t get any warmer along the way.  But we made up for the short walk a little later.

About 2pm Jan and I headed out for some shopping, but our first stop was here in the park. Jan’s Mary Kay lady is parked over in the ‘D’ section and we stopped off so Jan could pick up some makeup she’d ordered and catch up. Then it was off to Sam’s Club and Wal-Mart

On the way over, Jan suggested that we use Runkeeper to track our walking around the stores. I kind of figured that the GPS wouldn’t work inside the big steel buildings like that, but I was wrong.

Yeah, yeah, I am wrong once in a while.

Anyway, it worked. I turn it on when we left the truck at Sam’s and then off when we got back to the truck and drove next door to Wal-Mart. Then on and off at the truck there too.

And this is what we got.


We actually walked further shopping than we did this morning. So I may try this again.

Since we often see movies around the country as we travel, we have 3 phone apps that we use to help us out.

The first one is Flixster, Flixster_thumb[7]which lets you see all the theaters in an area and how far they are away from your location. Then you can see all the movies being shown at a certain theater, and the times the movie is being shown. And you can even buy tickets online for the show.

And sometimes even more useful, you can start with the movie you want to see, and Flixster will tell you what local theaters it’s showing in.

The next movie app is Silent Mode Timer Free. Silent Timer Free_thumb[5]Ever go to a movie, put your phone on mute and then forget about it until hours later, missing incoming calls? Well, Silent Mode is the perfect app for that.

All you do is open the app, and set the time. You can either set the elapsed time for Silent Timer to mute phone, i.e. if the movie is 2 hours and 15 minutes long, I would set the timer for 2 hours and 45 minutes to allow for previews and credits. Then just click the Set Timer button.

Or you can just set the actual time you want your phone to turn back on. Easy to use, and it’s free.

Last up is a favorite app of ours that I’ve talked about before called RunPee. RunPee_thumb[2]Just look up the movie you’re going to see and the app tells you the best 2 or 3 times to . . . wait for it . . . Run Pee.

Not only does the app tell you the times, it also tells you how long your window of opportunity is, what’s happening while you’re gone, and gives the ‘trigger phrase’ for when to leave. Or you can use the app’s timer that vibrates at 2 minutes before, 1 minute before, and then at the actual time. In addition, RunPee also gives you a synopsis of  the first few minutes of the movie in case you’re running late.

It’s actually very funny to be sitting a crowded theater, feel your phone vibrate, and see 4 or 5 people jump up and head out.  Sometimes I just want to yell out as everyone heads to the exit, “Run Pee!”

But one of our favorite parts is that the app also tells you if there’s anything after the credits. A lot of movies, especially Sci-Fi ones like we like, give you a taste of the next movie in the series after the credits. And many times, comedies will do outtakes, also.

But it’s really disappointing to sit through10 minutes of credits, and then . . . NOTHING. Especially when you probably should have taken that last RunPee opportunity.

BTW there was nothing after yesterday’s Star Wars.

Thought for the Day:

Just so you know for your next State Dinner.

Fancy Place Setting_thumb[1]

My question is, where does the big glass of Sweet Tea go?



January 22, 2019

Four Hours Later . . .

And I don’t know any more than I did to start with.

Today was my one-month later eye doctor appointment after my initial maybe-diagnosis of Fuch’s Dystrophy in my left eye.

This all started last year when I had to get new glasses and an eye test to renew my South Dakota driver’s license. The Sam’s Club optometrist said I had a cataract . But when I went to Jan’s cataract guy, he said I had a tiny one, but that wasn’t what was causing my vision problems, i.e., my left eye won’t correct to better than 20/100. But he said he was a ‘retina’ guy, and I really should see the practice’s ‘cornea’ guy.

So when I saw him he ran a bunch of baseline tests and sent me home with a couple of drops to be applied 4 times daily. So today was the follow up.

And after a four hour wait, nothing’s really changed.  So he went over several possible remedies (two different types of surgery) different (more expensive) drops, or my favorite, leave it alone and check back in 6 months.

He said that there’s no harm, and it will give us a longer baseline to look for any changes.

So, as I said, after 4 hours of waiting, 2:30 to 6:30, I’m just as in the dark as before.

Coming home, we stopped at the Cheddar’s in Webster for dinner before getting home a little before 8pm.

A nice, though non-productive day.

Thought for the Day:

Behind every angry woman is a man who has no idea what he did wrong.


January 22, 2020

Some Sad News . . .

I spent most of the evening trying to set things up so I can reluctantly upgrade my desktop computer from rock-stable Win7 to Win10.

I’m doing a complete system image (iso) of the hard drive first before I install Win10 on top of it. I would actually prefer to do a clean install but I’ve got a couple of older programs that I use regularly and can’t find the CD’s for.

But with the ISO file I can just reinstall the image and I’m back where I started. In the meantime I’ll keep looking for the missing CD’s.

Although it rained pretty much all day today, tomorrow’s supposed to be a little nicer. So I’m going to do some prep work for our upcoming oil leak test drive this coming Sunday.

Some Sad News.

I got a text message from one of cousins this evening saying that my uncle Tom Calvin had died this morning.

He was 93, and he and my Aunt Lenette had been married for 70 years. He’s the last of my mother’s brothers, and the last of my direct relatives on my mother’s or my father’s side.

Tom and Lenette Calvin

But Tom’s real claim to fame is in the football world, both as one of the oldest living NFL players, and his coaching abilities in the state of Alabama, where he is known as the Winningest Coach in Alabama History.

After playing for the University of Alabama where he led the Crimson Tide in rushing and played in the 1948 Sugar Bowl, he played 4 years for the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1952 to 1955. He was actually drafted for the 1951 season, but turned it down because he didn’t think the money was enough, so he took a job as a high school coach. But the next year, Art Rooney, the team owner, personally wooed him back to the Steelers with a bigger contract.

Tom even had his own Wikipedia page.

Not to be outdone, my Aunt Lenette was a Olympic level gymnastics coach and worked with Bela Karolyi and other well-known coaches at several Olympics, including Japan in 1998 and others.

I had hoped to see him when we’re up in Alabama next month. He will be missed.

Thought For The Day:

You’d think by now that Wile E. Coyote would have figured out that Acme Products Corp. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Roadrunner Inc.

(BTW the ‘E.’ stands for Ethelbert

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