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.

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.