In Case You've Wondered

My blog is where my wandering thoughts are interspersed with stuff I made up. So, if while reading you find yourself confused about the context, don't feel alone. I get confused, too.

If you're here for the stories, I started another blog:

One other thing: sometimes I write words you refuse to use in front of children, or polite company, unless you have a flat tire, or hit your thumb with a hammer.

I don't use them to offend; I use them to embellish.

Saturday, December 30, 2023

Perceptions Count

 Maine has a Secretary of State that arbitrarily decided to remove Trump from the ballot. This gives me the impression Maine backs someone that should be charged for the crime of using their office, or color of law, to deprive citizens of their rights guaranteed by the Constitution. Personally, I feel that when they don't publicly put her in stocks, pelt her with rotten vegetables, and then throw her in jail, she hasn't been punished as necessary.

My Suggestion for Sustainability

In the spirit of preserving our resources, I suggest all mailed advertisements, solicitations, catalogs, and anything best described as "junk mail" be printed on septic safe toilet paper. Considering what I throw away almost every day, it would help with my budget, and maybe give me some enjoyment when using a politicians effort to put a feather in their cap during my morning sabbatical. 

Finding the Correct Words

 I usually use "fed up" to describe my feeling about current affairs. It doesn't seem to correctly describe my frustration, furious anger, loathing, amazement, angst, vindictiveness, and wanting severe punishment for the evil people that are ruining the United States. There are plenty of curse words that help, but my wife doesn't like me to use them. So, to the puss-gut, pieces of puke, low life, reprobates that are part of the current fiasco, may your crotches catch on fire, and your hands be tied.

Wednesday, December 27, 2023

I Have to Share This Picture

Dogs have a tendency to choose where they want to be. They respond to attention, and my great nephew's dog decided to move in. Being retired, having time to spend with him, letting him in when it's cold out, and keeping food around for when he's hungry led to him staying most of the day. That, and he started not going home at night and ignoring their calls to come home. We'd bring him home after dark, but late one night, after we thought he was home, I was awakened by a bark outside. I opened the door to find him standing at the door with a pitiful look on his face. He'd ignored the calls of his master, or his master thought he was in. Regardless he stayed that night, my wife would ask my niece if he could stay on some nights, and it's now official he has a new home. 

I've had dogs, and a menagerie of different pets over time; including monkeys. All take a piece of your heart, and some are a lifetime of responsibility. My divorce years ago led to no pets, and my new wife was hesitant to have any pets, except fish. I was the same, since the loss when they pass is something I don't relish, but this little dog has found a place in our heart. He's a ball of energy during the day, but when the day is done, he rests all night. 

Sunday, December 24, 2023

Christmas Along the Path

If age brings only one thing, it brings the realization the path of life is never a boring trip with little scenery. People are met, new places are seen, vistas amaze, and you never return to a place you've been before. It's a journey that ends eventually, but only what we call here, and beyond is only a new journey.

If I had only one piece of advice to offer anyone, it would be to cherish the moment in time we call Christmas. It's so powerful of an event, even wars have stopped to allow the day to be unblemished by greed and hate. It symbolizes all that's good. It demands hope that the evils of the world can eventually end; and the message of Christ is embraced as a lifestyle, instead of a hollow, patronizing effort to control with fear. 

So, tomorrow we have another day where time stands still for many, and their effort for a peaceful day should be respected. It stands as a shining example of what can be achieved, and embracing the moment can only bring good.

Merry Christmas to all that visit. May the day be one that is cast into a happy memory so vivid it lasts for a lifetime.

Friday, December 22, 2023

It's Amazing

 Everything wrong is finally arbitrated at the Supreme Court. When you look at some of the justices, realize they're as ignorant as a bag full of hammers, and realize they vote on something that is ruled by something they've never read, it's apparent the creek is full, and the paddle is missing.

Tuesday, December 19, 2023

It Was Stopped...

...but you have to consider the desecrating, low life, pieces of puke-shit are still up to their efforts. Regardless of a temporary injunction, they won't stop until all commission members are lined up, shot at sunrise, and their treason is ended. That, and the Army officers that neglected their duty are court-martialed for their involvement, given twenty public lashes and dishonorably discharged. 

Saturday, December 16, 2023

Christmas Bots are Busy

 I was looking at my stats. Usually, I might get around a hundred, to maybe a few hundred visits a day. Yesterday thousands came to visit. While it would be a little flattering for so many humans to come visit my site, I'm not so vain to believe some astounding event led to the sudden popularity. So, logic says the bots are busy. It's the Christmas season, and some cash is needed by those that scrounge the internet for revenue. Unfortunately, they are probably wasting time, but their tenacity is admirable.

Thursday, December 14, 2023

Vultures Roosting

 Behind a neighbor's, black vultures would accumulate a few years ago, when one of his goats died in the back of his land. They made short work of it, but over time, I've noticed they found a roosting spot in the trees, and will stay for long periods of time. They'll leave in the morning, circle high over the surrounding area, and come back at night. 

Yesterday, in the early afternoon, I noticed many had landed by the pond in the back, and were foraging for the clams exposed by the shrinking pond. The drought exposed many, and over time, those that don't go for deeper water will eventually die in the shallower water. Wading in the shallow edge, a vulture would find one, and soon have to defend the small meal from the other vultures. 

I counted over thirty by the pond, in the trees, and on the fence. Many were just preening, and others sleeping with their heads tucked under their wings. I'd wondered where vultures went at night, and now have an answer. They've found a place to roost, and in the next nesting season, they'll probably lay eggs on the ground and raise more vultures. Since they mate for life, I have a feeling they'll stay for years, unless something, or someone, disturbs their nesting site. They're interesting to watch, and have a purpose to dispose of what most people have no desire to dispose of. 

Monday, December 11, 2023

They Must Have a Lot of Money

 Harvard has lost 1 billion according to one alumni. Any private venture would have tanked due to the error of choosing a president from whatever the EEO fairy tossed out as a choice. We'll see what happens, but I envision firings, law suits, plenty of racial hype, and what was once a noted university looking as incompetent as a third grade class of handicapped children.

Here's the url if the link doesn't work.

Thursday, December 7, 2023

I Think They Got What They Wanted

It doesn't take a lot of thinking to realize the Palestinians are not welcome in most of the Middle East. As a problem, and with the atrocities committed by Hamas, it appears the entire Middle East now has an avenue to take care of a problem created almost 80 years ago. Hamas fighters are surrendering in large numbers, and what Israel does with these prisoners is unknown. I have a feeling many will ultimately be executed, when they appear in the numerous videos of those that were involved. What happens to the rest is unknown, but they chose their path, and Israel is not known for mercy to those that are considered a danger. 

How this turns out is yet to be seen, but after the brutal attack of Israel, brutality won't end with surrendering. Other countries in the Middle East will probably condemn Israel, but breathe a sigh of relief a problem is being solved.

Friday, December 1, 2023

They're All Criminals

 If I walk into someone's home without permission, I decided at that moment I might be a criminal. If I walk into someone's home, knowing I didn't have permission, and knew I was  unwelcome, I committed a criminal act, and would have no defense for my actions, regardless of who told me I could. If I paid someone to smuggle me into someone's home, with the full knowledge that my action was forbidden, I've now become part of criminal enterprise, which adds another criminal charge. 

Illegal aliens are criminals; every last one of them, and they should be charged, deported, and their handlers jailed to prevent more criminal actions. Border law enforcement officials that turn their head, or allow the criminals to enter, should be charged with sedition, criminal conspiracy, and immediately removed from their job until their trial. The same charges should be applied to those that house, lease, rent or harbor criminals that entered the U.S. illegally. 

This is all so simple, and if it requires shutting down the borders completely to stop this madness, then do so. I'm sure it will affect the economy, but it couldn't be any worse of an effect than Bidenomics.

Thursday, November 30, 2023

Ignoring a Market

 I've watched Disney fade into whatever it now represents. At one time, it represented what most people called entertainment untainted by things, or events, that contradicted the values of most families. Now? I really don't know what the goal is, but it contradicts what any business trying to survive will do when the original plan was working. Regardless of how the market changes, if there is a customer willing to spend on you market model, eliminating that customer is guaranteed to be a chance most wouldn't take for trying to attract an ethereal customer. 

How will this end? If Disney continues in the direction it is now heading, it either completely removes the effort to attract the original customer that supported the brand, or decides the original customer is more than necessary for a profit and the interest of investors. Muddling along as it is will continue the slide in an increasing bottom line in the red, and the eventual end of a brand that once stood for entertainment the entire family could enjoy without wondering if some uncomfortable subject would destroy the entertainment.  At this point, I wonder if the brand has gone so far as to never be profitable. If so, investors will bail, and Disney will disappear.

Sunday, November 26, 2023

Shopping Warily

 Decades ago, an inspector for my project was mugged while Christmas shopping at the local mall. He was best described as a stocky, strong young man. He'd played football in high school, and was far from a weakling. Still he was mugged. He had an arm full of packages, they hit him after hiding behind some cars and were gone before he had a chance to fight. He never recovered his gifts, and the police couldn't really do much. 

You have to be wary. Park where there are people, with plenty of light, and if you're alone, never forget to observe the parking lot before you go to your vehicle. If you have that feeling something isn't right, find a security guard, or a policeman, and have them escort your. If that's not available, wait until there are more shoppers going the same way, and carefully examine around your vehicle before you walk up to unlock the door. Never fill your arms with packages, unless you have someone with you that you know can help. 

I despise that fact there are those willing to steal like a coyote attacking a small dog. They're the scourge of the earth, and in my opinion, if caught, should be sentenced to 20 years of hard labor. If convicted twice, they should be punished like a wild coyote that lost it's fear of men.

Thursday, November 23, 2023


 I awoke to cloudy skies. A jet passing below the lead gray dome made it seem as a great, stone roof covered the world. It's a little below forty degrees and the wind is calm. I probably have experienced Thanksgivings with this type of weather in the past, but I don't remember any specifically. 

Yesterday was more of what I remember of Thanksgiving. The sky was azure with a few high cirrus. The wind was brisk from the north, and an occasional whiff of wood smoke was found. It made me think of times at my grandparents; and the gatherings we had on Thanksgiving. 

The smells of the cooking dinner were intoxicating. Roast turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, hot rolls and the numerous pies cooling on the counter. My grandfathers burning barrel in the alley was filling the air with the odor of burning leaves and the clear blue skies were almost too bright to look at. 

Almost all that gathered there are gone. Some left by age, and others by tragedy, or illness. Only memories remain and I keep them gathered in my thoughts on Thanksgiving. 

Happy Thanksgiving to all that visit. Treasure every moment with family and friends. Most of us are truly blessed and giving thanks for those blessings is best when it is shared.


Monday, November 20, 2023

A New Daily Visitor

 Abou two months ago, when the drought was still accented by brutal heat, I was out watering the roses and filling the bird bath. I'd moved to the bird bath, when I noticed the peahen by the fence around the roses and slowly working her way toward me. Thinking she might be thirsty, I sprayed enough on the ground between us to make a small puddle. She immediately made her way to the puddle and started drinking. 

A few days later, I was watering again. I watered the roses, went to the bird bath to fill it, turned, and was surprised by the peahen standing only about three feet away. I filled the bird bath, and she kept following me. Thinking she was hungry, I went to the small can we keep the bird food in, scooped out a small pile near my feet, and she immediately came to eat. 

Since then, she comes almost daily. She announces she's near with a  noise I can only describe as that of a peahen. I go to the can, scoop her out a small pile of food, and she's content. If she decides to stay longer, I'll break up a slice of bread for her eat. She'll get very close, but not too close. 

I don't know how long this will last, but the neighbor is contemplating a peacock for her as a companion. I wish he would, and they can both come over for a meal.

Thursday, November 16, 2023

Dreary With More Dreary in the Forecast

We had about four inches of rain during the last two weeks. This week has been cloudy, occasional mist, temperatures in the low sixties, and a general dreariness that permeates. More is forecast. In fact, forecasters are believing we'll have more of the same this Winter, except it will become colder. It's not my favorite weather, but beats the excessive heat we endured only a few months ago. As long as the dreariness doesn't include freezing temperatures, I'll take it, and get used to sloshing through a mushy yard.

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Inconsistencies, Agencies and Courts

 A local community (Port Arthur, Texas) has a huge construction project in progress to build a LNG facility. It will be the third such facility in the area, and bring a tremendous amount of revenue to the local city where it's located. Unfortunately, some don't like where it is being built, don't want it to be there, and managed to have the project shut down by the Fifth Circuit of Appeals. 

Years ago, the area where these facilities are located were very rural. In one location, even the construction of homes wasn't perceived, since the land wasn't for sale. Owned by the city, only long term leases were allowed by permission. That changed, and some bought land on a brackish inland lake that attracted sports fishing, was close to the city, and allowed relief from city living. 

Port Arthur, Texas is best described as the farthest southeast part of Texas. It's surrounded by petrochemical refineries, and the city limits include the same. Surrounding the city is a hurricane protection levee that has an as-built elevation of around 15 feet above sea level. The city can flood during a hurricane, but even Ike, and Rita, didn't breach the levee and the city was spared most of the terrible flooding from the surges. Harvey was a different critter, but the problems of flooding from that storm were mostly due to the inability of the drainage district from anticipating the event and necessary procedures for pumping weren't activated in time. Rain caused the flooding and not a hurricane surge.

Port Arthur is bordered by other cities, which restrict new home construction, and the city itself has lost the citizens that would have had the vision to keep the city as a place where people want to live. It has a lot of unused real estate, but it's outside the levee, is best described as low elevation coastal plains, and developing the land is much more expensive than any developer can envision. Industrial developers are a different matter. With a convenient ship channel, two rail lines, and multiple highways, the area has a purpose other than homes. 

In the mid 90's, Chenier started building an LNG facility right across the river from Port Arthur in Louisiana. Soon after that, Golden Pass started the construction of the same type of facility in Texas by Port Arthur. Both facilities were designed to turn liquified natural gas into a vapor for U.S. consumers. Chenier came on line long enough for one ship to arrive. Golden Pass was incomplete at that time, and both soon found the market had turned their facilities into huge money pits. Discoveries in domestic natural gas ended the market for imports, so both facilities were idled. This led to another plan.

If both facilities could be converted to turning natural gas vapor into a liquid, the market for export was something to be taken advantage of. Of course, this involved some legal work, permits and investors, but all came together for the conversions. Chenier was completed and started online. Golden Pass is projected to be finished in 2024. 

To understand the magnitude of this construction, you would have to  watch it over years. The tens of billions required is almost mind boggling and the number of workers is something to behold. Traffic was, and is, a problem. Housing is the same. Construction of this magnitude requires thousands of travelers and many live in travel trailers. The demand for RV parks increased dramatically, and housing costs went up. Many travel the 90 miles from the Houston area twice daily for the high paying construction jobs. Without enough locals to man the projects, workers come from out of state, out of country and all over Texas for the jobs. To make things better for the workers, Port Arthur LNG is now in the process of building an LNG export facility. As phases in the work change, many will just have to change to another project within a few miles of the other project. For some construction travelers, this is as good as it gets. They have a long term source of income, and don't have to travel again to another location for years.

Now, due to Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ)irregularities in permitting, an environmental group found a way to shut down the newest project. The Fifth Circuit Opinion is here. It's a good opinion, since it states arbitrary ways of permitting isn't the correct way to handle regulations. The bad thing is it shuts down the project, many workers may find they have to leave, and this is all happening at a time of year when government agencies go into slow motion for the holidays and push off to next year anything they can. With attorneys and courts involved, many workers may find their lives drastically changed due to the lack of income.

Reading the opinion exposes many things needing addressing. That, and when you consider how much of a dead-end the environmental group will face, the fact what they're most trying to protect is only a few homes that weren't there thirty years ago, the emission guidelines that are impossible to achieve, and the economic impact on Port Arthur, this entire mess was avoidable. How it turns out is to be seen, but if the permitting process is straightened out, the project will go forward and the environmental group will find their efforts are generally frowned upon. That, and I see the group shrinking when the small group of people affected find they can sell their property at a substantial profit to the facility owners and move elsewhere. Those so hardheaded to remain will still have to deal with the fact a noisy, large and busy shipping facility is still there. All their efforts to prevent the change will be fruitless and probably expensive. That, and since the most affected areas by the facilities lay outside the protection levee, another hurricane Rita, or Ike, will inundate, lead to evacuation, and returning to a home too damaged to live in. 

Monday, November 13, 2023

Eye Trouble

About a week ago, my left eye felt as though a small particle was under the eyelid. I've had this happen before and felt it would probably come out why I slept. It didn't, although it was more of an annoyance. It didn't hurt, but I didn't like the feeling. I figured it was a hair, or some other particle that isn't abrasive, and it would take longer to finally work its way out. I tried washing my eye with an eye-wash solution in an eye cup, but it didn't change anything.

Saturday brought a different feeling. I felt a little pain, and when I touched that area of my eyelid, it caused pain. I told my wife, we loaded up, and went to an urgent-care facility to have someone take a look. 

The nurse practitioner placed a numbing drop, some dye, and looked to see if there was an abrasion or foreign object in my eye. They found nothing, but swabbed my eyelids for debris. With nothing found, they prescribed some antibiotic drops and recommend visiting an ophthalmologist if it became did. 

When the pain woke me at about 4:00 am Sunday morning, my eye was not only sore, light caused  the eye to adjust and it hurt like the dickens. I took some acetaminophen for the pain, and continued with the eye drops. My plan was to go to the doctor on Monday (if I could get an appointment) of go to an emergency room. If the pain became worse during the day, I'd bite the bullet and go spend way too much time in an emergency room and probably end up not seeing an ophthalmologist. It was bothersome, and painful, but it didn't become worse. Luckily, it was cloudy outdoors, and keeping my eye closed helped. I was wondering if going to urgent-care was that good of an idea. Where I had just a little redness before I went, my eye now looked my iris was swimming in a pool of blood.

This morning I called, found a doctor that would see me, and went to my appointment. I had no idea what was wrong, but knew only a doctor could make a good diagnoses. My wife, and I, left early, since it was raining and traffic could be terrible.

During the visit, the nurse examined my eye before the doctor came in. They couldn't find anything, and the light they used to examine closely caused pain like someone poking me in the eye. The doctor did the same, and to aggravate what already hurt, turned my eyelid up to see if there was something they missed. They didn't find anything and diagnosed iritis, which from what I've read, is a broad term for many underlying problems. The doctor also suggested it could be ocular arthritis, which can be something I'd have to live with, and could happen again. I was prescribed a steroid to add to my antibiotic drops and told to make another appointment ten days in the future, since the doctor would be out of town next week. That, and to return if the symptoms became worse. 

We picked up my prescription on the way home, and I started the steroids. After a few hours, I went to examine my eye in the mirror, and found something yellow by my tear-duct outside my eye. I wiped it on the end of my finger, went for the magnifying glass, and examined it with my wife. It appeared to be a tiny thin blade of yellow grass, or something similar, and very small. Judging how my eye is feeling much better, I'm thinking it was there all the time, all the manipulation of my eye lid finally loosened it, and the drops washed it from eye. I know it had been there since the beginning because the yellow was caused by the dye used for the examination.

So now, the redness is there, but fading quickly, light doesn't bother me anymore, and that feeling of something in my eye is almost gone. Whatever it was, and how it got there is a mystery, but I'm glad it's gone. 

What Will Work

 Somebody writes the code for the voting machines. I'm betting if you round up a half dozen, water-board one in front of the other, you'll find how the illegal voting is done.

Saturday, November 11, 2023

As The Memories Slide Into the Past

There are millions of veterans. Everyone knows one, most don't have a clue about the service of many, and too many veteran's monumental experiences are forever lost to the past. It's the way it has always been, and many veterans have locked away memories they never wanted to share. 

My family had many veterans going back to the first World War. Almost all of them are now gone, and their stories are forever lost. I can't thank them for their service, but I can thank those that are still here. 

Thank you. Regardless of your position, experience, or time, you gave part of your life to protect your country. It was an honorable task, and you deserve recognition for you effort. May this day be one of celebration and peace.

Friday, November 10, 2023

Bad News for Some

It's looking like some photojournalists  were imbedded in the Hamas attacks that led to the massacre of civilians in Israel. I have a feeling Mossad is now actively pursuing these "journalists" and will solve a problem. Their only hope will be if they're eliminated instead of captured for interrogation. Regardless, they are now marked.  

Sunday, November 5, 2023

Three Sisters of the Texas Hill Country

 After a short trip, and observing the terrain, much of the Texas Hill Country is being overtaken by urbanites fleeing the cities. I can understand their actions. Austin, and San Antonio, have become cities that will succumb to the errors of believing law enforcement should be punished for protecting the citizens. It is what it is, but anyone with resources to leave the blight will do so as soon as possible. Unfortunately, some beautiful areas are being consumed by cookie cutter subdivisions and strip centers. 

When you get away from the urban areas, and take some trips down the backroads, you find three highways called the "Three Sisters", which are also called the "Twisted Sisters". They /shouldn't/can't be traveled at a high rate of speed, and in many places, the lack of shoulders prevents stopping for a better view. Still, ranch roads 335,336,and 337 allow scenery that rivals any in the United States. 

This photo is 0n Ranch Road 337 between Vanderpool and Leakey. I don't know how crowded it is during the weekend, but during the week, mostly locals travel the route, and there aren't that many locals. Since it's a "go-to" trip for motorcyclist, I have a feeling the weekend brings more traffic. There are multiple cabins for rent in the area, and the hotels in the surrounding larger cities offer places to stay.  The smaller local towns are filled with attractions and local businesses. 

Saturday, November 4, 2023

Daylight Saving Again

After perusing my posts of the past, I realized I've posted a few times about what I consider stupidity. It's that time again, the line is forming, and the Gen-Pop herd will march into the new time zone.

Monday, October 30, 2023

High Water Pants

My wife watches the shopping channels. Some have clothes, which I assume are fashionable, but I've noticed many are high water pants. We had those when I was a kid, except they were generally not preferred, since they were either a hand-me-down, or all that could be acquired by a parent struggling. I guess I'm not sophisticated enough. Still, regardless of fashion, they're high water pants.

Electric Flops

According to a news report I read, automobile manufacturers are taking a huge hit on manufacturing things that people don't want. They took the gamble, eliminated some of revenues of those investing in the companies, and pretty well indicated foolishness seems to abound in corporate America. Regardless of the hype about electric vehicles, they aren't wanted, become even less wanted when the limitations are exposed, and only those with more money than sense will pay the cost for a what is basically a very expensive toy.

Saturday, October 28, 2023

Well, It Looked Liked It Worked Awhile

 I had a ganglion cyst surgically removed from my wrist over a year ago. The other day, I noticed it has returned. According to my surgeon, it was a possibility, but highly unlikely. According to my wrist, he didn't get the root. So, now I wait to see if it causes enough pain to seek professional help for removal. I think I'll seek another doctor. 

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

In The Palmetto Flat

 It's been years since I squirrel hunted. It was once a yearly thing, since Texas has a season on the critters, and hunting them alone was a peaceful trek into the woods of the Big Thicket. That, and a properly prepared squirrel and sausage gumbo is a tasty treat. 

I remember one early Fall day when I trekked into an area to see if I could find some squirrels. It was still, cloudy, and the fall leaves occasionally fell from the trees. My footsteps seemed loud, and I had to move slowly to prevent startling the prey I sought. As I moved through the woods, I came upon a palmetto flat. At about a half acre, and with the ground damp, I silently started crossing toward the hardwood trees on the other side. There would be acorns and maybe some squirrels. 

I was halfway in crossing, when I head the rustling in the edge of the woods. Unlike a small animal, the rustling was loud and made by more than one animal. I could see over the palmettos, so I looked toward the sounds, but could only see the tops of the palmettos moving from what was below. 

I had a shotgun, but it was filled with bird shot, and would be useless against what I now suspected. It was only moments before I smelled their foul smell and grunts as they rooted through the palmettos. I knew there were feral pigs in the woods, but at my disadvantage, I knew I should have strapped something more substantial to my hip. 

I stood completely still. I knew that if I could smell them, they probably wouldn't wind me, since they came from the upwind side. I waited as they moved along only a few yards from where I stood. I couldn't see them, but had my shotgun ready if they came upon me. I had no idea if they would just move along if they found me, or I would soon be involved in a life struggle against a drove of pissed off hogs.

I didn't need to find out. They passed near, but out of my sight and soon were back into the woods. I waited until I couldn't hear them any longer, made my way out of the palmettos the same way I came, and eventually was out of the woods where I started. 

I think the worst part was knowing I had nowhere to run. That, and the nearest tree was farther than I could outrun a drove of pigs. I chalked it up to experience and made a note on how not to hunt where I didn't have an escape.

Thursday, October 19, 2023

It's Easy to Explain

People aren't buying homes. They're too expensive, overpriced, the interest rate for mortgages is too high, and the economy is looking flakey. There, I've explained the problem and regardless of what some think, all the government meddling anticipated will only make it worse. That's what caused the problem. 

Do I get some kind of reward for my simple explanation? After all, people are getting paid the big bucks for long articles, graphs, and tons of BS that have the same explanation.

Saturday, October 14, 2023

You Don't See This Very Often

We weren't far from the Hill Country, where it was the total ring of fire eclipse, but we were in an area that had 85% blockage. This wasn't my first, but it was still a sight to see. The difference in light is obvious, shadows are different, and many probably never really noticed. 

We won't have another for a long, long time. I'll chalk this one up as probably my last. 

Thursday, October 12, 2023

Choosing Sides

 My gut feeling about the terrorist attack in Israel is that the entire truth will never be known, the most wealthy will profit from the deaths, most governments are either ignorant, or complicit, and the final result will be a continuation of the madness of cults formed from desperation. Still, everyone will be forced to choose sides, and I choose the side that forbids violence against innocent people, eliminates those that profit from death, and makes every step to guarantee liberty to all people. 

So, which side is that? I have no idea. I only can pray for God to sort out the mess.

Sunday, October 8, 2023

First Taste of Fall

 Autumn is slow to arrive in my neck of the woods. This morning, we were down to 48 degrees and the high temperature was in the mid 70's. Two weeks ago the temperature was reaching 100 and no end of the hot weather was in sight. We probably won't get a frost until November, and some years the coldest temperatures are in early December. We'll see how this year will be, but the cooler weather is a relief.

Friday, October 6, 2023

It Takes Too Long

 I was reading a local news report about a murderer receiving a life sentence for a murder in 2020. Three years have passed, and the only reason this trial took too long is the ridiculous amount of wasted time accomplished by those in the legal profession. It's the way of our "justice system" that leaves justice laying in the gutter.

Some things take too long, and the list is long. The economy sucks, and those causing the problem are allowed to take their time in playing with the economy. Treasonous officials are allowed to retire because the amount of time they are never prosecuted is allowed to happen. Influencers slush billions from taxpayers and those trusted with preventing such things are managing the slush with all the time they need to accomplish their goal of extreme wealth. The list goes on, but taking too long eventually leads to hasty actions inspired by fear or anger. 

Hopefully, the peaceful solutions to the evil happen before the violent solutions. Time will tell, but survival is a strong inspiration for action, and too many see the looming threat to their survival.

Thursday, October 5, 2023

The Same as Meth Heads

In a theoretical way, our system of government is a wonderful testament to liberty and rights. In practice, it's no different than the chaos of a house full of meth heads, except the drug is power and the actual working of our government officials is the same as the rotten teeth in the mouth of a meth addict. 

Sunday, October 1, 2023

Something to Look For

 Some local folks' law suit has been accepted by the U.S. Supreme Court. The suit contends TxDot created a "dam" by raising the interstate and building solid concrete barrier walls. The impeded drainage caused severe flooding during the heavy rains of Harvey and Imelda. I think they're right. During Harvey, a substantial amount of the barrier wall wasn't complete. The flooding was intense, but Hurricane Imelda increased the height of the flood water since more of the barrier wall was completed. Water levels were around 18 inches higher, which flooded homes that didn't flood during Hurricane Harvey.

When I started working construction, an old timer told me that when I decided to buy a home, I should look at how high the foundation is above the nearest road. Since a road can essentially be a dam, being above the top of the dam is necessary to keep flooding to a minimum. In the situation with the Interstate, areas that never flooded were inundated, and in spite of the intense rainfall, a contributing factor in the flood damage was the increased height of the structure of the interstate. Since the disaster, large sections of the solid barrier were replaced with a different barrier that allows water to flow through. 

How will this turn out? I don't know, but it will add awareness of how infrastructure projects can cause harm. Engineers should be completely aware of the impacts of their designs, and the public should be compensated when the designs cause economic harm.

I have to add something I observed a few years ago.

When I was fairly new in construction, I had a conversation with an engineer about how they determined the sizes of drainage structures. He told me they designed the structures under the assumption the structures would be silted up. A round pipe would be designed to move enough water even if it was silted to the spring line, which is half full.

Decades later, I told a new engineer about what the old engineer told me years before. In a condescending way, he told me they only designed the drainage structures as though they were completely empty. It made me wonder if he really thought about what I said. Designing for the contingencies makes sense. Believing the conditions will always be perfect doesn't.

Saturday, September 30, 2023

A Trip on a Fishing Charter Boat

Years ago, a major supplier for the construction company I worked for offered a charter fishing trip to the key players in the company. I really wasn't interested, but it was one of those things you do to keep up with the important hob-knobbing. I went, and it turned out to be an interesting day. 

We caught a bus for Galveston. It was filled, and reinforced my reasons for not liking busses. I wasn't dressed for the cold temperature of the bus, so the trip wasn't pleasant. It took about an hour to reach the dock, we loaded up, and boat full of about 20 people headed out before daybreak. 

The Galveston ship channel at sunrise can only be described as beautiful on a summer morning. In the cabin the beer drinking was starting. That, and they were making sandwiches loaded with everything including raw onion. I watched the people for the signs of seasickness. I knew one heave would pollute the air and make the trip out unpleasant. 

On the way, I watched the nocturnal thunderstorms in the distance come closer, the seas start to rise, and the promise of some rough weather. We soon reached what's called a sea breeze front, and the thunderstorms brought some large swells with the rain. We eventually sailed through the area of bad weather and reached the fishing area at around 11:00 am. I was glad, since some were already becoming seasick from the rough ride.

The Gulf was a beautiful blue, the sea was choppy, and we started fishing. It was a struggle to keep my feet, and over time, some abandoned their rod to go enjoy the fragrant cabin area of what was a converted crew boat. Looking through the window confirmed I didn't want to go back inside. Some already had their heads on the tables and occasionally were throwing up. 

A light rain started, and I kept fishing. Trigger fish were eating our bait before we were deep enough for snapper, but eventually I got a strike. With one strong tug, I hooked a snapper. With one strong tug by the snapper, my rod slipped from my hands and disappeared the in the clear, blue water. 

I looked over at my boss, who smiled and handed me the rod from the man that left to go inside. I continued fishing, spent way too much time rebaiting hooks robbed by trigger fish, and eventually landed two red snappers. 

It was time to go, since the trip back would take hours. I leaned on the rail, enjoyed the warm rain, and stayed there until we reached the dock. It was now getting dark and the hands started filleting fish for those that caught fish. We left after dark, the bus ride was even colder, and they let us out at the hotel where we parked our vehicles.

I eventually cooked the red snapper, which I don't like. It has too strong of a taste, and regardless of people telling me it was cleaned wrong, I won't eat it again. Still the trip was interesting, and another thing to write about. 

Sunday, September 24, 2023

Watching a Mesoscale System Approaching

 The weather folks call a large area of thunderstorms a mesoscale complex of storms. We get them occasionally, and some can be very strong. We have one approaching, which at this time appears to not be real strong in our area. That can change, and the outflows from the storms can create stronger storms as the system moves. 

From what I can see, the system will arrive just about the time when a children's birthday party will start down the road. Hopefully, they don't have to deflate the inflatable water slide, and seek cover. Yesterday would have been a better day, but hindsight always shows such things.

They system died out before it reached us and we only received some high clouds. The children's party was a success and everyone had a good time.

Thursday, September 21, 2023

Summer Returns

 After a brief spell of cooler weather, with low humidity, the temperature is back up and the humidity at Summer levels. I think it's supposed to only last about another week, and more rain will sure be welcome. It's been a long, hot season and we need some relief. 

As far as politics, and current events, everything is still screwed up, those needing to be in jail are still walking free, and the cost of living is exceeding what I anticipated. May those causing so many of the problems be punished severely for their transgressions. Punish them many times and punish them again.

Saturday, September 16, 2023

Paxton is Acquited

It's all over the news, with different summaries, but with the same result. Paxton's impeachment  trial is over, there wasn't any evidence to convict, and those that ran to the FBI without any evidence have placed holes in their feet. It did expose some traitors, which is good. May they live out their lives as pariahs of stupidity.

Thursday, September 14, 2023

Condenser Coils, Fire Ants, and Rain

Yesterday was hot, even though it wasn't as hot as the last few weeks. The drought was still in full force, and after looking at my A/C condenser coils, I decided they needed cleaning. 

I removed the outside covers, wet the coils with water, and then sprayed professional coil cleaner on the coils. Even diluted as required, the amount of brown foam that appeared showed there was too much dust on the coils. Rinsing led to a stream of brown water from the flush of water. After dousing the coils until the water ran clear, I buttoned everything back up and fired up the A/C. I was a little surprised on how quiet the unit became. The fan must have been working hard to move air through the coils. I'd checked them at the first of the season, and they were still clean from last year's cleaning.

Inspired, I went to my sister-in-law's and did the same. I had one sister-in-law to help with putting the units back together, which really made the tedious task of keeping everything in place during reassembly much easier. There was one problem: fire ants. The last outside unit must have had a nest near the unit, and it was a large nest. When it's dry, they don't make mounds, and large colonies can be hidden. When the flush of water hit the ground, they came out to terrorize those flooding out their nest. The stings were painful, and they were rewarded for their effort with spraying insecticide where they accumulated. 

It was a successful venture, and all the units will be ready for next season. We had around 3 inches of rain today, which eliminated the dust that clogged the units, and what few cutting left this season won't allow the amount of dust we had over the last few month. 

We're a long way from ending the drought, and some places have received little rain. More is expected, and when we accumulate enough, the fire bans may be lifted. Still, with all the dead vegetation, dry winter winds ahead, and the danger of fools deciding to burn their trash, the ban might not be lifted for a long time.

Tuesday, September 12, 2023

The Day After

September 12, 2001 was the day it all started to sink in. More information was available, the desolation of the Twin Towers was now apparent, and the anger was beginning to swell. The final effect was a clear understanding of how ignoring what the Israelis did to prevent hijackings led to the disaster and the knee jerk reaction of ridiculous methods began. 

So, here we are today, millions of illegals crossing the border with impunity, bizarre happenings to food processing plants, known terrorists being apprehended at the border, and the question of how many got through. Some think another attack will happen again, if it does, the final result will be retribution against all that seem foreign. This can be stopped by making it illegal for anyone to rent, lease, hire, or house anyone that doesn't have legal documentation to be in the United States. They'll leave on their own. It worked in Carrolton Texas, until the government stepped in and stopped the process. 

Saturday, September 9, 2023

The Problem is Obvious

New Mexico's governor is attempting to end 2nd amendment rights for a month for "public safety". Her problem - which is obvious - is that not only is she as ignorant as a box of rocks, her attempt to void rights not only is a definite reason to have her removed from office, she faces criminal charges for her efforts. If I had to guess, she is today's shining example of EEO insanity. May her final legacy be as the dumbass that shot herself in the foot, while ignoring her oath to uphold the Constitution.

Finally, Some rain

We had a little rain today, when a line of thunderstorms passed through. According to weather forecasters, a weak front, impulses on the front, and outflow boundaries caused the quick thunderstorms that passed through. On the radar, it was impressive. On the ground, it was apparent most of the radar signatures were from the clouds. That, or the rain mostly evaporated before reaching the ground. I can see how that would happen, since it was exceptionally dry and the temperature was around 100 degrees. 

It's now 2:00 am and a second round is here. Lots of lightening, but from watching, it's mostly cloud to cloud with the occasional cloud to ground lightening. It is raining, but far from the deluge you would think by looking at the radar. I'll take it, and be glad whatever is causing my sinuses to act up to be washed into the outfalls. 

Tomorrow we're forecast to have some more rain, but from my experience, the early morning line of thunderstorms will prevent the squall line from forming again. Whatever happens, a little more rain would sure be appreciated. 

Meanwhile, it's glaringly apparent politicians, attorneys, judges and reprobates are hoping their meddling in the survival of people will wait while they posture and pontificate. They need to hurry. People are beyond restless. 

Tuesday, September 5, 2023

It's Been 12 Years

 Sometime over the weekend, my visitor counter turned over one million. That's monumental to me, although to some that's accomplished in less than a year, or in less time than that. It took 12 years to reach this point, and I have to thank all that visited, even the rascally bots. 

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

They'll Be Crying

 A local school district determined their funding by what I consider a bet on a long shot. With actual property values not as high as their projected value, the school district is having a budget squeeze. I don't feel sorry for them, or any other school district. Every year, property taxes that fund most of the school district budgets are raised by the 10% allowed by law. Otherwise, they get a 10% raise every year, and the lowly taxpayer has to foot the bill, unless they want to abstain and have their property taken at gunpoint. 

With the housing bubble about to burst,  property values will fall, and taxing entities will start crying. I have no sympathy. All I can say to them is "welcome to the real world", where income is limited, maybe fixed, and you have to live within a reasonable budget. Schools can serve themselves better by teaching civics that show how rampant government spending, ignoring rights, and expecting something for nothing are the creators of the destruction of a society. Maybe their students will go on to be citizens with integrity that embrace conservation of public resources.

Friday, August 25, 2023

Election Fraud and Punishments

 I was reading the Texas laws on election fraud punishments. They're too light. The proper punishment is 20 to life, registering as a convicted felon of fraud, the list of these people part of public record, and for those caught twice, the same penalties for capital crimes. If someone is willing to take the risk, that's their business, but if they're caught, no punishment, in my opinion, is too harsh.

Thursday, August 24, 2023

A Little Relief

 Since July 31, we haven't seen any rain, or had a threat of some relief from the heat. Triple digit highs were reached every afternoon, and the drought was starting to take trees. Fires were breaking out in some spots and one today north of us called for an evacuation. Pictures show a big enough fire to wipe out structures, and I'm hoping nobody lost their life. 

I took a nap this afternoon, and woke to rain hitting the window. I went to the porch and was rewarded with a cool, damp breeze and the large drops of a building thunderstorm. It didn't last long, but it did settle the dust. Another followed about an hour later, and I can even now see a trace of rain in the rain gauge. 

So, the weather folks are forecasting the persistent high pressure dome to start breaking down, the return of rain chances, and the warning to watch the Gulf of Mexico. Models show anything developing will probably go east of us, and give those people that don't need rain some more rain. It is what it is, and my forecast is we'll soon get a front to chance the dynamics of the weather. We need it, and the cooler temperatures will be appreciated. 

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Protesting the System

After getting my appraisal statement during the spring, and filing a protest, I had my hearing this morning. Those hearing the protest are members of the Appraisal Review Board (ARB). The chief comptroller of the county is there for reference and to represent the county. I won't go into the details, or the amounts, but I did get them to agree to lower the market value by half of the exorbitant amount the county had used for calculate the increased value. They voted on it, it was approved, and if I don't like it, I can pursue further actions, which I won't. I'm happy. The difference in taxes was almost negligible, with my exemptions, but the principle of the thing had originally made me furious. I really don't care what the market value is, or how much they envision they need to continue their bureaucracy, taxes should only be what people are willing to give, and the thought of knowing I never really own anything is infuriating.

Sunday, August 20, 2023

Hiding From the Heat

 Staying indoors has been more than necessary for the last few days during the afternoon. Today was worse, and the 106 temperatures of the last few days was exceeded.

Me and the Extension Cord

I was "caught up" with my tasks, and whether the field superintendent asked, or I just took it on myself, an extension cord laying in the corner of the shop needed attention. Like many nights working offshore, there was little to do, since my basic task was to be available if a phone or radio call came from the bank. We were producing about 200 million cubic feet of natural gas at the time, and any loss required immediate attention. I would wake the field superintendent, he would determine if someone needed to be woke, and if so, I would wake one of the crew that worked for the oil company that owned the platform. I was a contract roustabout, worked alone at night, so I was only a helper at best. My chance of being hired didn't exist. Between equal opportunity tyranny, and the vets from the war in Vietnam, the line before me would have reached land.

The extension cord had tape around a section. Someone already made an attempt in repair, but they weren't successful, and removing the melted tape like it was applied became an effort in futility. I pulled out my pocket knife, and went to work on removing the tape. 

At that time, very young and ignorant, my knife didn't have a good edge nor was very sharp. To add insult to injury, it was a cheap knife, and with the knowledge I  now have, had a rolled edge due to the low quality steel. Still, it had some cutting power, if I pushed a little harder. That was my mistake. Pushing harder pushed through the tape, and onto my thumb holding the cord. 

For informational purposes, I can attest that several rows of electrical tape is much stronger than skin. My push to cut the tape led to barely cutting through the tape and almost to the bone on my thumb. Blood didn't just drip; it flowed and was leaving a small puddle as I watched.

For a moment, my mind wandered through countless thoughts of how to handle the situation. Should I wake someone up? Do I need stitches? Will I get in trouble? What is the best method for handling this situation? I put my other thumb on the cut and applied pressure. The bleeding turned into a slow seep, so I knew I was going in the right direction. Adding a clean rag from the wiper box stopped the flow completely, if I kept pressure on the cut. 

For a few minutes, I held the rag on the cut, and then checked to see if it had stopped bleeding profusely. It hadn't but the profuse amount of blood was less, so I went back to holding pressure on the cut. I did this several times over the next hour, and eventually the bleeding was slow enough for me to go find a bandage. I think I changed it once before my shift was over.

I still had my task to complete. My efforts to removing the tape had now made it an easy task, and revealed the problem with the extension cord. Whoever that tried to repair the cord had twisted all the wires together, and the reason for the melted tape became obvious. Plugging it in had probably immediately led to some smoke and a quick effort to unplug what would have been a small fire. 

I bared the wires, isolated each wire, taped each wire separately, and then placed several wraps of electrical tape around the entire splice. My father had shown me the procedure, and the knowledge came in handy. The extension cord now worked, although by today's standards, such things are not allowed. A new plug can be placed on each piece for a shorter cord, if the standards from a few years ago are still in place. Judging how things change, and how regulations are mostly ridiculous, most places would just throw it away and buy another to satisfy any safety official with little to do. 

Still, as much as the event was unpleasant at the time, I remember how quiet, and peaceful, the times I spent on an offshore platform could be. I miss them, and since then, I have never seen such clear nights, with a blanket of stars. 

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

My Opinion

 I've been reading, watching, and thinking about the fire in Lahaina. There are conspiracy theories of intentional efforts including an energy weapon being used by nefarious sources. After looking at current Google Earth photos, watching the videos, and analyzing what I've observed, the fire became out of control due to the following:

- The grass in many areas was not only uncut, it was dead from drought. 

- The buildings were closely built to other buildings and many were attached. 

- The winds were exceptionally high, with observed gusts above fifty miles per hour. 

- Electrical transmission lines were supported on poles leaning, or broken at the bottom. 

What I think happened was the high winds toppled electric poles, and the arcing wires started multiple fires. As the fires traveled, they became larger, the high wind added a blow-torch effect and the temperatures were well above one thousand degrees. When buildings became involved, the concentrated areas of fuel, with hydrocarbon building materials, the fires became large enough to consume structures in a matter of seconds. The fires consumed multiple acres of developed land in less than an hour, and the cars stuck in traffic only increased the conflagration. The supposed flashes seen in videos of an "energy weapon" were only transformer exploding from being grounded or the intense heat. The fact that some trees survived is not unusual, since the fire traveled faster than the amount of time for the healthy trees to be consumed. I've seen this before in a forest where the ground cover burned, but the trees were only scorched, and survived. 

So, the fire was a culmination of poor efforts to keep underbrush from reaching dangerous levels in drought, building codes were not sufficient to slow fires from spreading, and if I had to guess, much of the land values demanded people only bought small sections and they were filled with structures and personal items. With the added danger of energized power lines on poorly maintained poles, the conditions were perfect for what happened. 

That's my opinion, and I'm betting I'm pretty close to right. Is there anyone to blame? Not really, unless you want to blame acceptance of ridiculous environmental regulations, poor municipal management and poor judgement in allowing such things to accumulate. It was avoidable, but too many people weren't paying attention. 

Saturday, August 12, 2023

How Bad Does It Have To Be?

 A less polite society would already have strung up some politicians and unethical officials. With some, if it had happened, I would have paid to see the solution, but it hasn't, and the madness of their efforts continues without any punishment. In my mind, I'm wondering how bad it will become before the pushback overcomes the evil, traitorous bastards that are trying to destroy the United States. Time will tell, but it's past time.

Sunday, August 6, 2023

So Now We Grieve

I've lost all my brothers. Grieving is a personal thing, but if somebody hasn't experienced the loss of a sibling, there are no words that describe the grief. 

My wife's sister passed away this evening. She couldn't breathe, 911 was called, and they responded in minutes. As they sat in the driveway giving her oxygen, making sure she was stabilized, she went into cardiac arrests. They got a pulse, but it was weak, and they had to stop on the way to the hospital for CPR again. My wife, and I, were waiting for some news, which wasn't good. She didn't make it, and the long, agonizing moments of "wondering what everyone could do that would have helped" started. It's natural. There's always that feeling you could have done more, spent more time with them, helped them at a certain time, recognized a problem before it happened.....the list goes on. 

So, the grief now starts. No words help. No soul searching finds an answer. They're gone, and regardless of how many years pass, time stands still, and memories only allow moments on the path to closure. 

God rest her soul, and God give the family peace. 

Saturday, August 5, 2023

Despicable Censorship

 Badblue is one of my go-to sites for news. Apparently, they can't update their search ap, which prevents updates to their news links. According to the site, Twitter/X removed their access to the search capability, which in any language, context, or opinion, is censorship. Otherwise, either Musk is part of this, or not the captain of his ship. I will give some benefit of doubt due to a software glitch, but my suspicion tells me it's probably an effort to hide information.

Monday, July 31, 2023

The Frogs Will Sing

We've been under a high pressure system for weeks. Temperatures steadily rose, and the last two days yielded highs around 105F. Humidity was low, so nights were in the mid seventies. Forecaster called for more of the same all week, but one NOAA forecaster had a little note about the possibility of a Mesoscale complex in the evening. They didn't give a high chance, but there was a chance. 

I watched the radar over the evening, and the complex formed, but was moving slowly. One forecast showed it making it close, but dying out before it reached my area. It was wrong, and although much of system lost most of the punch, we received some cooling temperatures with rain. I won't know how much until morning, but it probably won't be much, except the amount required for the frogs to sing. I'll take it, make a cup of coffee, go on the porch, and wait for the choirs to start. 

Sunday, July 30, 2023

Daily Mayhem

In the past, it was a rarity to read a local news report about a shooting. Lately, it's a few times a week, and too many times the victim is just a bystander. That, and the photographs of the perpetrators show tattoos that probably don't indicate membership in a church choir. Otherwise, crime (organized and otherwise) is becoming too much of an advocation. It is what it is, but being armed is now how a sane person navigates this section of society. When you add the constant tax grabbing of the community "leaders", living in those cities is really a bad idea. 

Saturday, July 29, 2023

An Experiment in Warfare

In my opinion, the Ukraine war is a huge experiment in modern warfare, weapons, mind control and money. Weapons from every manufacturer is being tested for effectiveness, modifications are already being implemented, huge amounts of money are being made, politicians are enjoying large slush funds, and those being killed are collateral damage. Most of the general public is mostly apathetic, ignorant, deceived into thinking it's a worthwhile cause, or making their share of the money.

Wednesday, July 26, 2023

Judge Doing Their Job

 The news reports state that Hunter Biden's plea deal fell through. The main reason, from what I understand, is that accepting the plea conflicts with the fact an investigation is still ongoing. Otherwise, the plea would, more or less, insulate him from further prosecution. The judge didn't allow the plea, and Hunter plead "not guilty" to the charges. 

So, the judge was doing their job. That, of course, will infuriate the reprobates that have ignored laws for a long time. Time will tell how this turns out, but my hope is some really bad folks have their ass handed to them in a handbasket. May they suffer hours of anxiety before they finally arrive to prison.

Tuesday, July 25, 2023

Watching Mistakes

I've been watching a neighbor's construction projects. We're not close neighbors, so they don't seek my advice, although I would have some. 

One project is on hold, since the wind blew down the first wall. The purlins were too small for the span, the columns weren't buried deep enough, and the entire wall was only nailed to the column with dozens of nails at each connection. With no temporary bracing, the wind pulled the columns out of plumb before the nails allowed the sheeted wall to topple. Now it's laying face down, the metal sheeting screwed to the purlins. Removing the sheets requires either turning the heavy wall over, or sawing away sections of the purlins for access. Either way, a lot of work is required to repair a lot of work. 

The other project is a building over a large hoisting beam. The beam, from a distance, looks like an 8 inch wide flange, and weighs somewhere between 10 and 24 pounds a linear foot. It's sitting on top of two treated poles, and as far as I can see, there  is nothing, or very little, to fasten the beam to the columns. Lateral movement could allow it to topple, which would bring the rafters down. They're resting on top of the beam, bypass each other, and are nailed. The crucial cut to allow angle cut ends to create an A frame brace aren't there. Otherwise, if the beam moves, the entire structure moves. If the beam falls, so does the building; and it wouldn't take much movement for this to happen. 

The side purlins for the new building are 2 x 6's. That would be good, if the span wasn't around 12 feet. Without anything hanging on them, they're already sagging. With the increased weight of siding, the sag will become much worse. 

So, as it all progresses, I watch. Time will tell how it all works out, and I hope it works out well for the neighbor. I've seen much worse construction stand for years, but the force of a bypassing hurricane found the weaknesses. 

Added photos as per request. They're a little blurry, but enough can be seen.

Sunday, July 23, 2023

Finally a Little Rain

The hot,  dry weather sucked the water out of the local ponds, grass was turning brown, trees were starting to show signs of stress, and the unrelenting heat was taking its toll on the effort to be polite. That changed yesterday evening. 

I watched the radar during the afternoon. The weather folks stated we had a pretty good chance of rain, but the radar wasn't showing much, until late evening. Storms brewed north of us and slowly started moving south. Before dark, the bow cloud arrived, and for a short time, it looked like the storms would pass to the east. 

After the bow cloud moved over, we didn't get the strong gust of wind that usually arrives with the change in wind direction. Behind the cloud, it looked like it was starting to clear, and I was thinking of how I needed to water in the morning. That soon changed.

From what I saw, the line of thunderstorms were developing overhead. We soon had the spattering of large drops, which was followed by heavier rain. A short deluge followed, and the lightning became intense. I retreated from the porch and went back inside. 

The storms only lasted about thirty minutes, but when they traveled farther toward the coast, they cranked up and became severe. With the storms in the distance, and the cool air pleasant, I sat on the porch and watched large nets of lightning racing through the clouds. No firework show can ever compare to the spectacle, and I consider such times a treat. 

I ended up with about 3/4 inches of rain, and the dry ground sucked it up with minutes. More rain is in the forecast for this afternoon,  but the chances aren't high. I'll take what I get. Any rain will be beneficial.

Monday, July 17, 2023

It Must Be the Money

 Charles Barkley is all in for Bud Light, and to further the decline of his advertising career, he's decided to show how big of an ass he can be. The link is in text below. If you're inclined to go read the story, you'll have to copy and paste it. It's probably a waste of your time. If I had to guess, his portfolio includes the brand formerly owned by a U.S. company. As far as I'm concerned, he can go pound sand.

Saturday, July 15, 2023


 I don't think there's any other description of current events. The following are absurdities:

- We're considered unreasonable for not accepting people wanting to change their sex as a whim. That, and the parents of children that think it's acceptable to mutilate their children for a social whim.

- An illegal drug is found in the White House. Regardless of all the security instruments, staff and protocol that prevents such things, we're supposed to believe it arrived by someone other than the closest staff of Biden or his family. According to the media, the investigation is over, yet in the time period since the discovery, there hasn't been enough time to even review all the security footage. 

- Biden, and his family, have been slushing tax dollars given to a corrupt country, it's well known they have, the authorities that investigate such things are sitting on their hands, and now we're given the same country weapons that are considered inefficient in purpose and allow what can be decades of injuries, or death, to unsuspecting citizens that survive a war the United States should never be involved with.

- The economy is in bad shape, every economic indicator shows where the problems are, the media covers the current regime's incompetence, and we're supposed to believe what we know are lies.

- It's proven the Covid fiasco was created, those most involved are not prosecuted, and people are still dying from the "vaccination" created to boost the revenue of unscrupulous drug manufacturers. 

- Huge corporations are destroying the investments of stockholders because some foolish, if not evil, executives believe using pedophilia, and cross-dressing, will not only keep good customers, but attract those that probably can only increase by revenue by less than one percent. 

- Regardless of how many times gun laws are struck down in courts, tremendous amounts of taxpayer's money is used to defend what is banned by the Constitution.

- Students that foolishly took on an unsustainable debt are falling for the same trick used to get their vote. There will be no relief from their students loans in a time short enough to prevent their bankruptcies. 

- Every religion in the United States is protected, except Christianity, that preaches no violence, love, acceptance and is no threat to anyone, except those that choose evil. 

- Regardless of opinion, most people don't think abortion is the practice of a healthy society, yet billions are wasted in tying up the courts with frivolous lawsuits, in spite of the ruling of the Supreme Court that removed the supposed right of abortion, and reinforced state rights. 

- The housing market is showing signs of cratering, since the prices have been inflated, interest rates are more than too many people can afford, and many buying a home are so far underwater in their loans, foreclosures will hurt the institutions that loaned the money. That, and government secured loans will again be thrown into the huge money pit of ridiculous policies. 

The list goes on, but anything added will be just as absurd. I have solutions, but our polite society won't consider them.

Tuesday, July 11, 2023

A Sick Tree

 Years ago, my brother lived in a house with a beautiful ash tree in the front yard. Whether by design, or luck, it was in the perfect location to allow the canopy to not grow where it would cause roof problems, and the branches were in the perfect 33 degree separation to allow the maximum amount of growth. Usually, such efforts are in fruit orchards, or the pecan orchards we have locally. The maximum amount of yield is achieved from a tree with that shape. 

After a few years, my brother noticed the tree was losing leaves, and the usual lush canopy was becoming more bare by the day. As luck would have it, a close neighbor was having a tree trimmed by a professional, which allowed him to walk over to speak with the arborist. 

The arborist walked over to examine the tree, and told my brother what was wrong. He added if my brother knew someone familiar with concrete, he could explain what to do and save him some money. He explained the procedure, my brother called me, and I volunteered to help. 

The fork in the tree was holding water. This allowed rot, the tree was being damaged, and would eventually die. Our job was to remove the water, remove the rot, and place concrete in the void. The concrete needed to be shaped to allow drainage, and if done correctly, the tree would more than likely survive. 

The fork was about 7 feet above the ground, which required a small step ladder. Climbing up the ladder revealed the problem, and we went to work. 

First we bailed the water, then we took a wood chisel to the rot to remove the damage. We took turns and eventually had nothing but healthy wood exposed. At this point, the void in the fork was substantial, and I begin figuring how many bags of concrete we needed. I figured two to be safe, and we started the next phase of the project. 

I started mixing the concrete, while my brother sprayed all the exposed wood with pruning spray. I slowly added water to reach the perfect amount between dry-packing and flowable. I'd poured enough curbs to know the point. 

With concrete, you have a lot of options. Dry packing, which is where it can be packed into a voids, which allows repairs on walls, although you usually have to only place enough to fill most of the void and leave a shallow void for filling with a wet material, such as grout. I needed the point where the concrete was dry enough to work, but wouldn't slump when worked; just like for curbs.

I achieved what I wanted, my brother handed it up to me as I filled the void, and I eventually had the patch shaped like the contours of the branches. It was the right shape, but I didn't like the way it looked. I asked my brother to hand me the pruning spray, I sprayed it on the fresh concrete, and used a water brush to make the pattern of the trunk. The spray made the concrete a brown, which closely resembled the color of the tree. 

Over the next month, the tree started making new leaves, it eventually filled back out, and as far as I could see, it was healed. The patch could be seen, if you looked closely, but to a casual observer, it would be unnoticeable. I felt we accomplished our task, and saved the tree.

My brother eventually divorced, his wife received the house, and I didn't go back to her house until years later. The tree was gone. I don't know what happened, and I refused to ask. I didn't want to know if our effort was in vain, and even worse: I didn't want to know if it was a whim to have a yard easier to maintain.

Sunday, July 2, 2023

I Found This Interesting

 After the Titan failed, I began to wonder about the material "carbon fiber". I've used it to before in wrapping a bridge column to strengthen and prevent damage from the elements. It was a  unique application, and not for a long term solution. The bridge is now gone, since it was on a list to be replaced in five years. My work is now rubble somewhere. 

In my application, we painted the cleaned concrete with epoxy. The fiber was then wrapped from the roll around the column and we applied more epoxy. It was much like applying fiberglass, except for the materials. I don't remember how many coats we placed, but it wasn't many. Eventually we painted the completed sections with a paint designed to protect the fiber from the sun. 

I found this site about the durability of carbon fiber. It brought some thoughts to mind about how the Titan failed, the information of how it was never tested for certification, and whether the extreme conditions of the depths introduced a limitation of carbon fibers that can't be tested at the surface. Eventually, if the material is still used in this application, I doubt it will be used without engineering studies to determine if it is suitable for the environment.

Thursday, June 29, 2023

It Took Too Long

The Supreme Court ruled affirmative action for student selection as unconstitutional. I guess it's a plus, but this crap has been going on for all of my adult life; and I'm retired. If this is justice in the United States, then it takes too long, and those involved with punishing people because of their race are never beaten with stick for their actions.

Tuesday, June 27, 2023

103 in the Shade

 That's the temperature a little before 5:00 pm. My porch is 108 on the shade side. The weather folks are showing 98, but I really don't see where their thermometer would be more accurate. It's location and surroundings. My location is hotter, and regardless of anyone's opinion, my thermometer isn't lying. 

Sunday, June 25, 2023

As We Sizzle

 According to the weather folks, we're in for some blistering heat. Temperatures are supposed to exceed 100 F (they were yesterday) and the high humidity will lead to heat indexes above 114 F. 

Everything to be done outside needs to be done before 11:00 am. Even at 8:00am, the temperature is above 80 and at that time, the heat index is already pushing 100.

It does get cooler toward sunset, but there is only a narrow window of about 2 hours. We've had enough rain to last for awhile, but the coming week will deplete the reserve, and everything will be stressed. It's watering time, and I'll have to keep a close eye on the cucumbers.

Friday, June 23, 2023


While working in construction, safety required a lockout/tagout procedure for certain items. One that always required the procedure was work that involved electricity. This insured a circuit couldn't become energized when work was on, or around, electrical equipment. That, or something that could move when electricity was supplied was prevented from that movement. These were the obvious reasons for the procedure, but one event really caught my attention after all involved didn't foresee something important. 

We were working on a large rail car dumping machine. In design, it was simple. The large frame supported the loaded rail car, which weighed around 200,000 pounds, and the bolt on gears that meshed with the gear reduction drive powered by an electric motor. Hydraulic stops came down during the dumping to keep the car from sliding down into the pit.

 The machine was designed to allow the cars to come in at grade, which meant much of it, and the drive assembly, were in a large pit. In the pit were a crusher for the product, a retaining wall, part of a sloped conveyor, and the drive assembly. A blower kept a steady stream of air to help keep the pit clear. The entire assembly, including the large concrete counter weights, sat on two large pillow-block bearings. The bearings had brass sleeves that were considered wear parts. Constant greasing was required, but even with the grease, the sleeves would eventually wear and need replacing.  That was our project. We were to replace the sleeves. 

From what I was told, the process had been done years ago, but a very large crane was used to lift the dumper for removing the weight on the bearings. For some reason, and I suspect some personal opinions were involved, we were to use the equipment in the facility to jack the dumper high enough to service the bearings, instead of the expensive crane. 

I can only write that it was a grueling, nasty project, since the material that was dumped was raw petroleum coke. It was sent from local refineries by rail, and the facility calcined the coke for different product, including the large anodes for aluminum smelting. Long, hot days accented the project, and nothing we removed, the cribbing, or the jacks, was light, or what anyone would call clean. Much of it required a small forklift we placed in the pit with a crane. Pinching, crushing, smashing, and bumping body parts was always a threat, and everyone had to keep their head on a swivel to avoid being the damage from a mistake. 

Access to the pit was down a ladder mounted to the concrete wall. It didn't have a cage, which inspired this post. Normally, a ladder that is taller than a few feet has a cage. It prevents completely falling backward from a ladder, and gives a connection point for a harness. They are more than necessary, and in the past, when climbing a taller ladder, I felt much safer knowing I had more to grab onto if I lost my footing. 

When the car was dumped, there was only about two feet between the swinging machinery and the ladder. Access to the pit was never allowed without a lockout tagout procedure that guaranteed the electricity was isolated, and the assembly was allowed to freewheel into it's balanced position. That was all complete before we started, but member of the company crew that were involved with original changing of the sleeves had a story to tell. 

They were preparing for the process, the crew was preparing to remove some equipment to allow the dumper to be lifted, and someone thought about what they hadn't done. The brake needed to be released to allow the dumper to seek it's static they did. 

In a normal lockout tagout procedure, energy is removed, and that includes stored energy, such as a car dumper seeking static balance. This is completed when nobody can be injured by the process. Failing to do so can lead to some dangerous situations.

One of the crew, I'll call him Gene, which happened to be what can only be described as a large man, was on the ladder and nobody noticed, didn't think about was about to happen, or really didn't care for the man (I didn't care for him either, he was a constant ass-kissing annoyance). The brake was released, the entire dumper swung down, and Gene sucked everything in hoping it was enough. It was, but not by much, and the event still haunted him. Getting crushed by something big enough to dump a loaded rail car is a sobering thought. 

We completed the project, I imagine our less expensive maintenance procedure allowed an engineer to put a feather in their cap. I was glad to think going home didn't mean a long time washing off the grime accumulated during the day. Petroleum coke is a nasty thing to deal with, and it takes days to sweat out what accumulates in the pores. White underwear is a waste of money, since it becomes gray after working in the facility.  The carbon doesn't wash completely away, and can even cloud glass after a long period of time.

As for Gene, years later, he managed to injure himself by not following a safety procedure. He eventually returned to work, but the last I heard, he wasn't working there any longer.

Thursday, June 22, 2023

Some Thoughts Today

 A submersible has disappeared. News reports vary, speculation abounds, but it's now at the time the search and rescue is a recovery. Time will tell what happened, and they may never find it, but two of the most dangerous things to do underwater were attempted. One was going to an extreme depth, and the other was diving on a wreck. Adding the lack of rescue equipment on hand, and the recipe for disaster was complete. 

Adam Schiff is officially censured. That's seems to be a poor trade-off for keel-hauling.

The alphabet sex crusade is finding push-back. Companies are losing huge amounts of revenue, schools are becoming battlegrounds, and a substantially small part of the population will now find being severely outnumbered is not the same as having the high ground. How it ends is yet to be seen, but the pendulum is now swinging in the other direction, and it never swings lightly.

A young, impressionable, advocate of climate Nazism is having a breakfast of crow this morning. She'll probably not share it with her smug, evil handlers.

Gas prices went up this week. It's summer, people that want to go vacationing need to be punished, and the annual event has started.

Fox News is going all in with becoming a wannabe CNN. That's like chasing a crippled goat down a steep canyon. Only fools can understand the process. 

Locally, the shootings are numerous. That, and the rural criminals are finding the pickings aren't as good as they are in the city. I blame much of this on the economy, which leads to the actions of the government,  which leads to decades of the EEO policies. According to those policies, the only qualifications needed for the most important of jobs are the color of skin and genitalia. It sounds good, until you realize the $250,000 submersible trip to the Titanic is from a company that embraces the policies. 

It's been hot here, but not as dry as last summer. If someone asked me what I thought was happening, I'd say the tilt of the Earth's rotation creates an annual event where solar radiation is more direct, and this leads to longer days in the Northern Hemisphere. Of course, many would disagree because they worship at the alter of AGW.

There's more, but I need to go make breakfast. That, and maybe do something productive today.

Added Note: They found the submersible. Debris indicates it imploded. From what I've read, carbon fiber can't be tested for structural failure, so a serious flaw could never be exposed. I don't know if those involved were ignorant, or decided to cross their fingers and hope for the best. 

Wednesday, June 21, 2023

It Was A Good Trip - Part 4

Driving into the mountains of the Lincoln National Forest was a high point in my life. When most of your life is spent in the Coastal Plains of Texas, or the swampland of Louisiana, mountains are a treat. Besides the splendor, and vistas, the lower temperature is pleasant. Adding the lack of high humidity makes it even better. Photographs really don't show the depth, but the steep hills are something to see. 

It was early, and not that far from where we would stay, so we detoured to Lincoln, the central point of the Lincoln County War and the escapades of Billy the Kid. Any tourist attractions, or vendors were not there. Apparently, since it was before Memorial Day, everything was closed, except the local sheriff's office. I met him, when I pulled off the road for my wife to take a picture, and he sternly reminded me to be completely off the paving, if I wanted to stop. I pulled off, he gave me a dirty look, and drove on. I doubt he has much use for tourists, unless they open their wallets to help the local commerce. 

I'm thinking there's much to see inside the buildings. There's much history in the area, but without that, the following picture pretty well sums up how small Lincoln is. 

Maybe, one day in the future, we'll return during the on season. For those that are thinking of going, wait until after Memorial Day, and enjoy the trip to and from. That, and think of how rough life was during the late eighteen hundreds. Navigating that brutal terrain had to be tough, and herding cattle a nightmare.

This was the start of our visit to this part of New Mexico. Our motel was in Ruidoso, which is beautiful, but definitely a tourist town. There is an airport nearby, which allows those with airplanes to fly in for whatever reasons. I can't write anything bad about the city, and for those that like tourist areas, it's fantastic, and the people are nice. I'll just post pictures with notes to shorten the description of the next few days. 

Fort Stanton Cemetery, which is a national cemetery. Graves are from every conflict, and it takes hours to walk among them, if you decide to do so. There is a directory. 

Looking west toward the Gila Mountains across the White Sands. I don't know how many miles this is, but it's a substantial part of New Mexico.

Mexican Canyon Trestle. All that remains of a narrow gauge railroad used to haul the original huge Douglas Firs from the mountain to Alamagordo. Better photos can be found on the internet.

Trail that allows you to wander among the Three River Petroglyphs.  It's in the Tularosa Basin.

One that stood out to me. I'm thinking with the amount of access, some may not be original. This one looks very old. There are many, and if it's hot, wandering can be a dangerous effort. That, and unsafe for those that are not surefooted. 

Small Catholic church down the road from the petroglyphs. 

Ruins near the church. I'm thinking they're really old, since I've never seen those types of bricks at Lowe's.

Dry wash near the ruins and church. I don't know where the parishioners come from, but it must be far away. This area is best described as desolate. 


 Part of the Carrizozo Volcanic Fields. The history of the volcano that created the fields is interesting, and you're supposed to be able to see the cone, if you know where to look. I couldn't see anything that indicated a cone, which is around ten miles from where I was. 

After we came home, and I looked up the Trinity Site, I realized were not far from where the first atomic bomb was tested. That's something I'd like to see, but the rigamarole to go is complex, and offered only a few times each year. Even then, you ride a bus to the site and are warned to not pick up the green glass that is still radioactive.

One of the last places we stopped, before going back for our last night at the motel, was of a large area ravaged by a forest fire years before. The bare hills were once covered with Ponderosa Pines. Generations will never see them, and from what I saw of the forest, a substantial amount of forest was either logged, or burned. 

The trip home was basically uneventful. We chose a different path through Texas, which allowed us to see multiple miles of rolling hills covered with sparse, dry vegetation interspersed with hundreds of oil wells. We spent one night in Waco, and made the much shorter drive the next day.

I didn't have the time, or money, to spend the amount of time I would have liked touring New Mexico. There's caverns, the Gila National Forest, and multiple square miles of things I'd like to see. What I did see only made me want to see more, and maybe I'll get the opportunity again.

I have to add that when I started these posts, it seemed like something good to do. After it was all said and done, I realized they look like what I dread, which is someone wanting to show me photos of their vacation. It's not that it's a bad thing, but people lose interest after about fifteen milliseconds, and want to move on to something else, or go home.