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.

Monday, May 22, 2023

Home Again

 I've been home a few days. I'll eventually write about my trip...of maybe not...but I can write New Mexico is a fascinating place, and I could spend months exploring.

Saturday, May 13, 2023

What's The Proper Punishment?

 I received a notice today that my vehicle's warranty was about to expire. It was the right model, but there was absolutely no other information, and it definitely wasn't from the manufacture. Whey would they send such a thing for a brand new vehicle? Otherwise, a scam, or spam, for what is probably a bogus warranty. It's easy to sell one, and it's just as easy to disappear when any claims are needed. 

There needs to be some type of punishment for such crap. My punishments:

- Wash 1200 cars in 2 years or less to the owner's satisfaction. 

- A 20 mile walk in the desert. No water if the more than 50 letters were sent.

- 10 lashes with a cane.

I can think of many, but would rather have commenters offer their suggestions.

Friday, May 12, 2023

Probably Won't Work Out for Some

Weather forecasters are showing days of heavy rainfall for areas in, and around, the Rio Grande Valley. The river, and tributaries, can rise quickly, which will mean swimming the river a risky endeavor. I wonder how many will try, and how much garbage the media will report?

Wednesday, May 10, 2023

Weather and Mayhem

The day before yesterday morning, I had to put my car in the shop. I'd made arrangements with the owner, and the insurance check was in, so it was time to have the hail damage repaired. It was a smooth process, and the rental car was just down the block. 

I left, went home, ate some lunch, and my wife went to the grocery store. The radar showed some thunderstorms to the north, but they appeared to be moving away. I didn't think much about them, until I went on the porch about 30 minutes later. 

Approaching from the north was a huge wedge cloud. By the swirling of the clouds, the updrafts, and the bluish slate wall of rain, I knew some really bad weather was approaching. I went inside, texted my wife about the weather, and before I could go and secure the porch, the storm hit. 

I rode Ike out at my old home, and had a wind gauge when I worked offshore, so I have a pretty good idea of wind speeds. We were getting steady 40 mph winds, with gust approaching 60 mph. The rain was horizontal, and the wind blew the porch furniture over. I couldn't do anything but watch. I immediately called my wife. 

My wife didn't answer, and more calls went unanswered. The storm was now in full force, and I was worried she was driving into the weather. She was, and her phone call soon followed. 

I couldn't understand a word she was saying. She was screaming, crying, and everything she said was muddled by the heavy rain, with the small hail, that was hitting the car. After moments of my own panic, and her calming down, I realized she hadn't wrecked, but could only barely see in front. I told her to pull into a driveway, and wait the storm out. She did, and picked a drive that wasn't surrounded by trees. Our conversation continued, and we both became calmer when the worst of the winds started to subside. 

As the storm further lessened, she attempted to drive on home, but was met by a man in a pickup that waved her down. He told her the highway was blocked by a fallen tree, and she wouldn't be able to get through. I told her to turn around, and make the 40 mile trip by another route. She was hoping she might be soon able to pass, but I cautioned her on how it could take hours, especially if there was a wreck ahead. 

By now, the electricity was out, and the encouraging report from the power company was the electricity would be back on by 5:15. That was a good thing, since the outage map showed the outage wasn't by the main power company that supplies our co-op. In the past, if the main utility was involved, the estimated times were never accurate. 

My wife picked us up a burger on the way home. It was near the time the power was to come back on, and we were both hoping it was the correct time. It wasn't, so we decided to go to her sister's. She usually will fire up the small generator on her porch and brew a pot of coffee. 

She hadn't started her generator, so I offered to her my belief that doing so would probably lead to a wasted effort, since such things usually lead to the electricity coming back on after the effort was made. She agreed, I started the generator, and she started the coffee. I was wrong on the timing, but the pot of coffee was our reward for trying. 

My wife described her experience to her sister. As it turns out, she was in the heart of the severe thunderstorm. Our trip to town yesterday revealed the worst of the damage was near the drive she found. The pine tree that had blocked the road had a trunk over 18 inches in diameter, and had snapped about 6 feet above the ground. Oak trees were also down, but the wind had blown them over, leaving huge root balls exposed. Debris littered the shoulders, and large limbs lay on both sides of the highway. Whether a tornado was involved will probably never be known. Rural areas don't get much attention, unless someone actually spots a tornado, or the damage is obviously the result of a tornado touching down. The weather service did warn of a possible tornado, but only had radar data to work with.

I decided to step out my sister-in-laws back porch to watch the light rain. As I stepped to the edge of the steps, my old Crocs announced they were officially worn out, and did so by allowing absolutely no traction. 

For the next second, my brain processed millions of bits of information. Physics, calculus, geometry, and trigonometry calculations started, and time stood still as this happened. I could have had another cup of coffee while this occurred, and as I fell, all the vectors of my trajectory indicated the efforts for control would not lead to me landing on my feet, and a sigh of relief.  

I landed on my left side. Now, parachutists would advise this is the incorrect side to land on, since that's the side the heart is on, but I've never had such training, nor the time think about such things. My mind was too busy working out calculations to correct my lack of balance.

I now have to suggest that if you must fall, do so on wet, saturated grass. It provides a pliant, although wet, surface that helps prevent serious injury. That's what I landed on, which was much better than the steps I observed as gravity pulled me toward the center of mass. 

I laid there for a few seconds, while my clothes soaked up water. I didn't feel any pain, but had that sneaky feeling I soon would. I didn't feel anything, except the loss of my pride as I finally stood up. I was wet on one side, but as I looked around, I realized nobody had seen me fall.

I walked back inside and announced to my wife, and her sister, I had fallen down the steps. They looked at me, I could see their disbelieve, but my wet clothes were convincing. They were soon concerned, and my wife insisted we go home, so I could change clothes, and she could examine me for injuries. We soon did, she was satisfied there was no terrible injuries, threw my old Crocs in the trash, and we went back to her sisters to continue where we left off. 

They watched me, and kept asking if I was okay. I was physically okay, but my expression was not convincing. I was thinking about falling, how a few inches might have led to a serious head injury, and trying to determine what led to the fall. I went back on the porch, approached the steps again, looked at the edge, realized the new step treads were not as rough as the porch, and it all fell into place. 

"Are you okay?" they asked as I stepped back in.

"Yes, I'm fine. but still thinking about falling." and I was. Such things remind us that are older we are not ten feet tall anymore, nor bullet proof.

Somewhere during this episode, the power came back on. I went and turned off the generator, we talked for a little longer, my wife, and I, went home, and the day ended. A hot bath guaranteed a good night's sleep, and we were soon in bed.

Yesterday, we had more thunderstorms, but they were far from severe, and didn't drop much rain. I was relieved. I had poured out 4 inches of water from the rain gauge, and another heavy rain event could flood the road. The body shop had called to tell me the car would be ready tomorrow afternoon. That's a good thing, I'm ready to get our car back. 

This morning, I awoke at 4:00 am. I laid for awhile, then decided to get up. Sometimes, when I listen for awhile, I'll hear low thunder, which probably is what woke me. I didn't hear any, but after watching the weather last night, I was suspicious storms were on the way. 

I made a cup of coffee, and went out on the porch. The fog was thick, and glancing to the sky revealed an occasional peek at a dim moon. Moving clouds would obscure the moon for a few moments, and as I watched, I heard a low rumble to the south. I looked at the radar on my phone, and the forecasted rain is on the way. 

I don't know how much rain we'll receive, but hope it won't be much. The creek that is our main outfall is full. More heavy rain will back up the drainage, and the water will soon creep up the ditches on the road. 

Oddly enough, my left elbow, that has been bothering me for awhile, is not hurting. My left shoulder is a little sore, but I'll take that if the fall somehow knocked my left elbow back into place. I won't analyze it too much and count my blessings. 

Sunday, May 7, 2023

Lost Nuances

I've noticed that the digitized recordings now being played are not exact reproductions of the original recordings on long play vinyl discs. Subtle efforts of the original producers are gone, and in some situations, background parts are so subdued, you really have to listen for them. I don't like it, but it is what it is.

Saturday, May 6, 2023

My Observation

 I've been looking at some photos of the coronation of Prince Charles to king. What comes to mind is a Monty Python skit. I'm sure it's not the perception of many, but many probably are thinking the same thing. 

Friday, May 5, 2023

Arguing with Science

 A few times in my life, I've been, more or less, thought of as someone that is pulling data out of my butt. It's a little disconcerting, since such things can lead to people thinking you're a modern day Cliff Clavin. (for those that don't understand what that means, look up some old episodes of Cheers).

My brother, years ago, was incredulous of my telling him about a brutal day of working in Galveston, Texas. The heat index - according to calculators that do such things - was above 130 degrees, but I could tell he was not believing me. I let it go. He wasn't there, and he had no idea how miserable it was. Fifteen minutes in that heat was beyond exhausting. I had heat cramps that bowed me up like a cut worm. 

Today, I went through the same thing again. I won't say which family member doubted my explanation of why it was so uncomfortable, but here is the data:

Humidity - 77%

Temperature - 93 F.

My calculator shows the heat index was 122 F.

I could be depending on a calculator that gives false answers. Then again, I could be right. I won't go through the mathematics because I'm too lazy, and I need something cold to drink.

It Could Happen

What if Hunter Biden, realizing he's in the deep stuff, decides to turn on his handlers, and his father? Wouldn't that be rich? Old Joe prosecuted as the head of the crime organization, many of his associates guilty too, and getting to watch them frog-walked into jail? 

It won't happen. I wonder if somebody has some good life insurance policies on Hunter?

Tuesday, May 2, 2023

Complaints and Deaf Ears

 A local news report is about homeowners upset about the appraised values of their property. I can only say: "Welcome to my world". Sometimes an official protest works, but taxing authorities are run by minions with canned answers. They don't care, they are paid to harass you for your money, and they have people with guns to guarantee they receive what they steal with legislation. It's just like the mafia, except they want you to believe it isn't.