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: scratchingforchange.blogspot.com

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.

jescordwaineratgmail.com

Monday, April 15, 2024

It Took Some Practice and Paying Attention

For some reason, and probably because I could, laying out project sites became my task. Whether it was setting string line for forms, or plotting topographical information for earthwork, if I didn't know how to accomplish the task, I had to learn. 

Old school craftsmen I worked with had a method of squaring by using a 3,4,5 system of measuring. One didn't feel comfortable with anything but doubling the numbers, which I understood, but I think he probably couldn't comprehend any multiple of the numbers would work. Still, his other skills were invaluable with building projects. Simple things, such as always laying out tile, or flooring from the centerline were things I didn't know, but when applied, led to the understanding how the final aesthetics required the method to insure an even border, or correctly centered. 

Setting long straight lines presented some problems. Regardless of the distance, if there were two points to work from, a long string line could allow setting intermediate points, but very long distance could be inaccurate due to deflection by the wind. After the company I worked for allowed me to buy a meridian transit, the feature of being able to tilt the telescope allowed me to use a helper, while I sighted their location, and fine tuning the location of a stake, or mark on paving. I didn't trust the feature for turning angles, unless it was only for a ball-park location. I relied on two measuring tapes for that location, and had to watch helpers like a hawk to guarantee they were holding the tape in the right location. I failed to do that one time, several anchor bolts were poured in the wrong place, and the butt-chewing wasn't nearly as tough as my own feeling of disgust. 

When after years of using poor-boy methods for layout, the company I worked for finally bought a total station. The flexibility of the instrument was liberating. I could set some fixed points far away from the work, which allowed recreating points inside the project if they were disturbed. The software bought for plotting the points allowed the creation of unknown points, which could be downloaded into the total station for use in the field. Instead of spending a long time using string lines, and measuring tapes for layout, I could establish points with one helper. 

When I first started construction, TxDot, which was then called Texas Highway Department, had a survey crew in most every district office. Their job was to establish stakes for the contractors, which could be everything from offset points, to establishing the right of way. They, at that time, used transits, long survey chains, and a lot of walking to complete their task. When they had free time, they worked sections of the highway to check the location, and elevations, of permanent markers established around the district. The long process could mean long journeys on foot to establish temporary bench marks, arriving at the survey marker, and then doing the same back to where they started. The task involved what is called a level-loop. All the grade shots during the traverse were placed in a field book, and when the loop was finished, if a discrepancy was found, the loop might have had to be completed again to determine the cause of the error. Today, such a loop can be performed my one person with GPS or a remote controlled total station.

Over time, TxDot moved away from having a field party, and contractors became responsible. With a large lay-off during the seventies, many members of the field parties were hired by contractors, and stayed, instead of returning when the state wanted to hire them back during better financial times. That led to my opportunity to work with them, learn invaluable skills, and increase my knowledge.

With technology today, the old methods are becoming forgotten. GPS allows accurate measuring without understanding the methodology, and those doing the layout work probably would be lost if they had to accomplish the same task with a transit, a survey chain and a pocket calculator. It's like many things which may never be necessary again, but if they do become necessary, there will be few around to teach the methods.


Friday, April 12, 2024

Lawnmower Observation

I've owned, and operated, lawnmowers for decades. During that time, I've worked on many of them, and the repairs included just about everything, including rebuilding an engine. Over time, I've noticed the newer engines last longer than the older engines. Whether it's because they're built better, or the newer oils are much better, is something I don't know, but in the past, the engines would usually present problems long before the decks did. 

These days, the decks on riders just don't seem to last that long; especially if they're stamped. Replacing them seems like a good idea, until you realize the cost will probably be over a thousand dollars after you buy the accessories that need changing too, and you perform your own labor. Depending on the model, that can be at that magical point where it's so close to half the price of a new one, replacing it is a better option. 

I gave a way a fine mower a few years ago. I'd changed the deck once, but the new deck only lasted three years. Changing the deck was still an option, but the mower was old, and I foresaw other things going out, with the knowledge the stamped deck would become a problem. Still, it was frustrating, and only showed that to get long years out of a deck, paying for the most expensive riders, with a heavy welded deck, was the best option. Still, they don't last forever, but if you have a welding machine, building a new one is always an option. Well maintained, the engine will last a long, long time, and replacing belts, or pulleys is usually an easy task. 

Monday, April 8, 2024

Now That It Is Over

 We were cloudy, with light rain, all morning, which made me wonder how the eclipse would appear in cloudy skies. When the time arrived, the clouds thinned, and between some areas, the partial sun could be seen clearly. When the sun broke through, the light was as dim as a few minutes before sunset. We were close to a full eclipse. The amount of sun appeared as a thin sliver, like a fingernail clipping. 

So, it's now over, it was something to see, and will be a long time before it happens again in my area. I doubt I will be around to see it.

Saturday, April 6, 2024

It's Not What it Seems

I was reading a news report about a young woman, with many emotional, and physical, problems, who has will be euthanized to handle her problems.  I'm appalled, and wondering how officials, and psychiatrists have become so subverted to condone the action. I'll explain below how I arrived at this opinion.

Decades ago, my step-mother's sister hung herself. It was a response to severe depression and her feeling of hopelessness.  It left her parents, two sisters, her husband, and three children to deal with their emotional response. They were saddened, angered, feeling guilty, appalled, grasping for answers, and had to live their lives with their emotions. To make things worse, her son put a shotgun in his mouth, and destroyed his family decades later, when his depression led to the same conclusion. His actions reawakened the emotional responses and added his wife and child to the same. 

Years ago, after an argument, and I slept on the couch so she could have space to deal with it, my ex-wife woke me the next morning with a confession. She had allowed her depression to overrule, took a handful of Vicodin, and tried to end it all. Instead of doing the deed, it made her violently ill, and she threw them up before they were absorbed. 

How do you describe how that makes you feel? I was surprised, sad, angered, lost, feeling guilty, hopeless and devastated. If she had succeeded, I don't think the feeling could have been worse. She, through her actions, showed how selfish and cruel she could be. I knew she had emotional problems, I was trying to deal with them, and regardless of my efforts, my efforts were in vain. 

Years later, and after more years of dealing with her problems, I had to admit defeat, divorce her, and allow her to live her life the way she wanted. She died last year of health problems other than depression, which made me wonder if she had taken the path of not taking care of herself to accelerate the path to death. 

So, I don't really care what people think. Suicide is not relief. Suicide is a horrendous emotional burden placed on the people that are left behind. I'll never condone it, or consider it a good response to any problem with life. 

It's Probably Best I Didn't Make Any Plans

Weather folks are predicting clouds for the eclipse areas within driving distance for me. Preliminary thoughts were I'd drive around four hours, watch the eclipse from some rural backroad, and drive home. That would be a waste, since making a drive like that for a few minutes of dark, cloudy skies isn't really a fascinating experience. I can do that on any night in my own back yard for hours. In fact, I have done that, while enjoying a cup of coffee on my own porch.

Friday, April 5, 2024

Law Enforcement Paradox

Law enforcement is expensive. It involves the salaries of the officers, the equipment, the station and the support staff. To law abiding citizens, it is supposed to be the bulwark between crime and unbridled unrest. To the criminal, there is supposed to be a legitimate fear of arrest, and the possibility of incarceration or worse: death. Large communities have a greater need for law enforcement, while rural areas, due to the time it takes for law enforcement to respond, have the option to solve criminal problems with extreme prejudice, since the citizen's survival might depend on their actions. 

With the "catch and release" policies now prevalent in many cities, there is a paradox with law enforcement. The officers either quit, become apathetic, or become frustrated by their daily tasks. Their efforts yield no results. The safety of the public is compromised, and the criminals basically become in charge. Otherwise, there is no real law enforcement. Responding in certain ways to exposure to crimes can lead to arrest of the victim, officials are isolated by personal security, and society decays. Victims are supposed to allow the laws to prevent crime, but after getting a smile from the person that robbed them, while shopping for groceries, they realize they have no protection.

In the end, either the crime is prevented, criminals are prosecuted, and people can live in peace, or anarchy becomes prevalent. Law enforcement, in today's context, only offers a false security. It doesn't provide the service that necessitates its existence, and the money that is allocated for its use is wasted. It's not the fault of the good officers. It's the fault of those that subvert for power.

Thursday, April 4, 2024

It's Ironic

Somewhere in California, a worker that lost their job at a fast food restaurant, is ordering their favorite meal from a kiosk at another fast food restaurant that doesn't have cashiers. 

Tuesday, April 2, 2024

Why They Do What They do

 There are people with enough money to buy governments, influence public opinion and control entire countries. Why do they do this? Because if they control the economy, can own the government, and do what they want, nobody can ruin their isolation from the unwashed masses. They will sacrifice million to control, and if you don't believe this, study some history about the numerous Communist governments and their guarantee for the few to subjugate the many. Their current efforts are on the United States. 

Sunday, March 31, 2024

I Don't Think It Will Take Very Long

 I've been reading articles with people speculating on how long it will take to clear the collapsed bridge in Baltimore. My timeline? The channel will be open by the middle of April, and the bridge will be completed within four years. Regardless of investigations, conjecture and other distractions, speculating on long periods of time is unrealistic. Modern bridge building methods are fast, and if I had to guess, the basic design was planned years ago, someone is already bidding on the main support girders, and with all the standard designs already in place, many large contractors already have most of the bid items already loaded into a bidding software program.

Saturday, March 30, 2024

Now Houston Joins the Club

 Houston is on the verge of bankruptcy. I'm not surprised. Meanwhile, many of the smaller communities outside the city are thriving. Why? Because they aren't run by Democrats and the minions of poverty that leach off productive citizens. It serves the city right. Whether the Democrats arrived at their power by illegal methods (my suspicion) or has that many ignorant voters really doesn't matter now. The city is a cesspool of failed policies and ignorance.

Thursday, March 28, 2024

It's Strange How Memories Return

Years ago, after a hard day at work, my boss, and I, stopped at a watering hole to have a beer. Call it a working man's/woman's bar. Basically just a hole in the wall, with pool tables and loud music. Conversation was limited to the strength of your voice. 

I wasn't paying much attention to my boss's conversation with the woman next to him at the bar, but she was animate, loud, and regardless of what she was saying, I couldn't understand what she was saying. My boss must have been annoyed, because he stood, slapped me on the back, and yelled "I'll see you tomorrow." and left. 

Now I was trapped. She decided to have a conversation with me I couldn't really hear. I just nodded my head and made an occasional comment that seemed to be in reference. Hoping she would go away, so I could politely escape, she suddenly became loud, with spittle flying, and from what she said, she thought I asked her to go home with me. 

So, as she was stating whatever she was stating, I began to wonder what the best course of action should be. Should I apologize? Should I be angry she was so vain she would think I would ask her to go home with me? It seemed like a long time was passing, but it was only a few moments. 

I said loudly enough for her to hear: "I didn't ask you to go home with me." swallowed the last of my beer, and left, somewhat relieved, but wondering if she would follow me out to complain, or one of the other inebriated patrons would try start something. Nothing happened. I started my pickup and left. 

It was an object lesson for me. Bars are always filled with people drinking, people drinking have a tendency to be stupid, and a more cautious person avoids them. 

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Baltimore Bridge Questions

 From what I can see from photos, the bridge that was hit by a container ship was more exposed than a bridge of its type should be. I don't see any large protection dolphins, which considering the danger of a ship collision, should have been placed long ago. 

I may be missing the dolphins, but even if they were there, they weren't designed for the larger ships that serviced Baltimore. Time will tell how this all works out, but it's looking to me like some negligence will surface, and will be blamed on anyone but the officials that could have made a difference, but didn't want to spend the money, or were hoping nothing would happen while they were in charge.

I probably need to clarify about what a protection dolphin is. The local large bridges have them at each corner of the main supports to act as fender to prevent a ship from striking the columns. Each consists of a circular outside wall of sheet pile driven into the channel bed, the inside filled with select fill material and the top capped with concrete. They're substantial, and any ship would be stopped before striking the bridge supports.

Monday, March 25, 2024

My Thoughts About Boeing

Boeing is having problems with their planes. According to news sources, the CEO resigned and three safety heads in reaction to this, which to me, translates into Boeing's upper management doesn't have the qualifications to build a paper airplane, much less the ability to run a company building the tremendously complicated aircraft of today. It's a sign of corporate America. Hire the people that say the right words, play the stupid games, kiss the asses of anyone that might get them a promotion and ruin a company that could excel if unmolested by the putrid, worthless, ignorant pieces of sewer flotsam that manage to float to the top,

Friday, March 22, 2024

Why Socialism/Communism Doesn't Work

I spent a huge amount of my career dealing with people. My opinion is that there are too many willing to sacrifice their liberty for a free ride. In a healthy society, being lazy, or unproductive, isn't something that the rest of society accepts. If the restraints of government, or an organization, allow the lazy the same benefits of those that produce, those that produce will either try to escape the system, or refuse to offer anything more than what the most unproductive achieve. This invites anger, retribution, and a yearning for the situation to end. The final result, as the past has shown, there isn't enough, somebody has to be eliminated to conserve resources, and genocide appears. Those in power flourish, and never have any qualms about eliminating those that don't follow their narrative.

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Constitutional Right, Illegals and B.S.

 I don't care what any legal scholar thinks, or professes, illegal aliens have no Constitutional rights. In a strict, logical assessment of their condition, they're invaders, which our military should keep from crossing our borders. That, and if it requires a wall fifty feet high to keep them from crossing illegally, then that's what needs to happen. That, and all states should concentrate on preventing any person from crossing into the U.S. without proper documentation. It's the duty of all citizens to protect their country, and illegal aliens are not citizens, shouldn't be afforded any special considerations mandated by the Constitution, and ejected from U.S. soil when apprehended.

Sunday, March 17, 2024

My Wife's Work

 My wife is passionate about her quilts. That, and regardless of how impressive they are, she finds fault in every one she does. Still, I like to brag about them, so I'll brag about her current lap quilt she just finished. 

The picture below is after she sews the 2 inch squares together on the board she uses for the layout. This one had 625 squares. 



The finished product is below. After all the sewing of the backing and quilting, the edges were added to add to the final quilt.


The finished quilt measures 46 inches by 46 inches. While it is a lap quilt, this one was placed on the wall to be treasured.



Thinking About My Ancestors

Like most people, there is little known about my ancestors. While I can find names from a few generations back, I know nothing about the people, except what few conversations I had with my father. Other than a few photos, documents, and postcards, there is nothing to fill the vast blank pages documenting their lives. I know this is normal for most people, but it's still tragic in my mind. I would like to know more, but there is no more to find. In a way, time has erased their time on this planet, and the rich experiences of their lives are gone forever.

Thursday, March 14, 2024

Shuttling Them Around Doesn't Make Them Go Away

In my opinion, the illegal aliens are being shuttled around, and while draining municipal funds, the real problem isn't going away. They were promised many things, and some have taken advantage of the free stuff, but the truth is there isn't enough money to pay their way, and citizens that operate within the boundaries of regulations are pushed to the side. To make things worse, veterans are treated with less concern than illegal aliens that thumb their noses at our laws. 

Shuttling them around won't make them go away. If I had to guess the near future outcome, the current administration will crack down on them before the Federal election to place feathers in their cap. Of course, this will involve more shuttling of the illegals, and to anyone with more sense than a garden vegetable, will appear as political sleight of hand. 

Tuesday, March 12, 2024

Sounds and Scents of Spring

March usually brings the drastic changes of Spring. Bare trees sprout buds, flowers appear, winds from the Gulf bring a damp, cool breeze to our area, and the grass starts growing. The chances of a freeze are very low, and gardens are planted. 

The air is full of the scent of fresh cut grass; enjoyed with the low drone of lawnmowers in the background. Migrating birds appear, and disappear. Clear days show brilliant greens against the deep blue sky, as the trees start to fill with new leaves. Evenings on the porch are enjoyed with a hot cup of coffee, pleasant conversation, a few mosquitoes, and the eventual chill of the night approaching. The night sky shows the Winter constellations will soon be gone, and in the early hours, the Spring constellations fill the eastern sky. 

It's a grand time of year. I know it will soon be almost unbearably hot, but for now, I'll enjoy one of the best seasons of the year.

Saturday, March 9, 2024

Separation of Powers?

The Constitution breaks down the powers of the government to help preserve the liberty envisioned by the founders. In theory, it's great, but in practice, all branches of the U.S. government are feckless. Congress is so full of idiots, there is no responsible legislation that protects the citizens. The Supreme Court is a cumbersome body with a few justices that wouldn't understand their task if it bit them on the leg. The President is a blithering imbecile, with an out of control administration. It is what it is, and the only real separation of powers is between the government and the citizens. The last time there was a big set-to for redress of grievances was a mess, and it's looking like that's the path that will be taken in the future.  

Thursday, March 7, 2024

Really Not Super

 Another "Super Tuesday" has passed. The necessary hoopla announced the arrival; and the politicians basked in their glory. Meanwhile, in spite of all the hype, we go on with all the damage done to satisfy egos, acquire wealth, and to use power for control. My cynical mind tells me it's all the same thing all over again; and some people that need severe punishment will either have access to their avenue for crime, or fade away without punishment.

Bleh!

Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Dry Line Thunderstorms

I was looking to the West this evening and spotted the top of a thunderstorm in the distance. Looking at the radar showed an isolated storm about 100 miles away. To the North, there were a few more about 200 miles away. The weather map shows a dry line, which to those that live in Tornado Alley it's the start of the sometimes severe thunderstorms that appear on the boundary between dry and moist air masses. Locally, we're not affected, but those in Central Texas can find an afternoon shattered by large hail, and maybe a tornado. That, and if it's dry, the lightning can spark grass fires in the areas that don't receive any rain. 

Usually, the dry line storms are more prevalent in the northern plains during the Summer. But right now,  they can appear all the way to the Mexican border during the right conditions. At night, they're spectacular to watch from a distance. Underneath one of those storms isn't so pleasant, unless you like being petrified by severe weather.

Thursday, February 29, 2024

Their Comfortable Lives Explain Their Actions

High ranking elected, or public, officials live a life more comfortable than those that generate the taxes they consume and waste. They'll never muddy the water and jeopardize their positions by their own actions. It's the nature of humans and all experiments in government ever tried. The United States Constitution was written to control the damages of these people, but the slow degeneration of the laws demanded have eroded the authority to where it hardly exists.

Monday, February 26, 2024

Handwriting on the Wall

Nikki Haley has lost the backing of the Kochs. Otherwise, what has been an abysmal, long term waste of money is ending. Why they backed her is beyond me. She's all smoke and mirrors and a career politician that will do anything (including changing her name for political gain) for another chance to stand at a podium to try to convince people she's on their side. 

Sunday, February 25, 2024

First of Spring

 I noticed some trees covered with some small clusters of red flowers interspersed with the trees in the local woods. I didn't know what they were, and had never really noticed them before. My niece told me they're maples, and they were native to the area. I'd seen redbuds, which are just now starting to bloom. They're the harbinger of Spring, and appear when the first of the buds appear on the oaks. If we don't receive another hard freeze, the woods will soon be full of the bright, early green leaves, which bring a sharp contrast to the azure skies that appear after a mild cold front. 

Spring is arriving, and in this area, this is one of the most pleasant times of year. Early mornings bring temperatures in the low fifties, and afternoons are usually breezy days with temperatures in the mid-seventies. I'll enjoy the days and mentally prepare for the hot, humid days of Summer. They're not far away. 

Friday, February 23, 2024

The Reality

 In 2021, the 30 year fixed rate mortgage interest rate was 3.15% to those with good credit. Today, the fixed interest on a 30 year mortgage is 6.9%.  Here is the difference for a $350,000 home:

3.15% interest loan - $191,468.47 total interest with a $1504.08 monthly note.

6.9% interest loan - $479,836.17 total interest with a $2305.10 monthly note. 

That's the reality of the current difference facing home buyers just now being exposed to the home market. Even those that can afford the cost will hesitate before buying, and those in real estate may find their annual revenue will decrease dramatically this year. For those that are willing to finance, and are not beholding to large banking interests, offering a lower rate can yield a long term profit for their investment...as long as it all doesn't hit the fan.

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

I Doubt It Has Anything Do Do With Morals

I've read that some Democrats are voicing their disagreement with the actions of the judge that used his kangaroo court to cause Trump a financial burden. My opinion is they know the tide can turn, and revenge will be served. They have no morals and their only motivation is fear of reprisal. May their fears be realized and their punishments long lasting.

Saturday, February 17, 2024

Friday, February 16, 2024

It's All In The Context

Texas, and I assume most states, have laws against elderly abuse. Basically, when an elderly person is exploited, or abused, whether physically, or mentally, there are criminal charges applied to the actions of the abuser. Otherwise, if you use an elderly purpose for power, or gain, such as presenting them as sound of mind when they aren't, and knowingly know your actions may not reflect their whims, it's illegal...unless they're President and you have the media helping with the criminal activities.

**spit**

Thursday, February 15, 2024

An Old Adage

Fani Willis, who is attempting to prosecute Donald Trump by methods beyond what is allowed by jurisprudence, has now been showed to have lied about her romantic relationship with a hired attorney. It's a fine example of the old adage "You don't screw the help" and at the rate she's going, she not only faces contempt charges, she might have her law license removed, which will end her legal career. Maybe she can learn to code.

Saturday, February 10, 2024

Chuckleheads

 We have too many chuckleheads. We have them sitting in the White House, Congress, all the agencies, teaching at all levels of education, pontificating on the alphabet networks, publishing periodicals, playing professional sports, in entertainment, sitting in judge benches....the list goes on. How that many people can be that stupid is beyond my comprehension, but when you consider how many have college degrees, good family backgrounds, never really had to work with their hands, and haven't a clue about what most people have to do to survive, it's makes more sense. The U.S. has been a land of plenty, and it appears too much plenty allows the formation of more chuckleheads.

Skills By Observing

I've never built stairs. In theory, I knew how the risers are cut, but never had to cut any. For porches, I'd buy the pre-cuts and make them work. However, my wife doesn't care for the 7 1/2 inch step height, which I understand. The less you have to step up, the more comfortable is walking up the steps. I'd seen risers cut, so I decided to build them myself.

The problem with pre-cuts is the standard height of the steps. To take care of my wife, I decided on a 6 inch tread height for some steps I added on the side of the porch. With our new dog, she wanted a small yard for him to be safe if we can't watch him. So placing new steps, adding some fence, and placing a small gate at the front steps will give him and area for outside, without worrying if he decides to chase the UPS truck. 

I found a site on the web with a calculator for the steps. I knew the rise, and the run didn't matter, since that was a flexible distance. Placing my figures, seeing what was necessary, buying the materials and careful measuring with a framing square, soon yielded the risers. Placing two deck boards beside each other gave me the tread width I needed. The fence is started, and I hung the gate on the two 4 by 4's I concreted in the other day.  

So, the steps are in, without the handrails. That's tomorrows task, if it doesn't rain. Truthfully, I wouldn't mind if it did. Not working like I once did revealed some muscles I forgot. A little Acetaminophen helps, but rest is probably best. I have some more post holes to dig for the fence, and that's not my favorite task.

Tuesday, February 6, 2024

What Won't Happen

As bizarre as it may seem, and with the backing of those that obfuscate for hire, we won't see a debate between Trump and Biden. To a society that is intuitive, focused on what's right, and suspicious of those that become politicians, it would be more than necessary to decide on who receives their vote. Politicians usually only promise what they can't deliver, and know their time in office will be short if they can't show they have the leadership skills to do what's right; even if it requires cutting the waste of government spending. 

Biden is demented. Medically, that's "loss of cognitive functioning", and it's apparent. In a debate, the event would be a tragic, cruel event, showing the deceit of his acquiring the office of President of the United States. He didn't win the office legally, and regardless of his past, it's now obvious those so willing to sell their country out are using an old, feeble man to continue their criminal activities. While Biden should be punished for his past, his handlers should be punished for his present position. He isn't in charge, and those that are have spit on every U.S. citizen with impunity. 

So, we won't see a debate, and the efforts of those that handle Biden will be a macabre show of deceit. They don't care of the damage they caused. Those at the top will hope to escape prosecution (and probably will), and those at the bottom will become collateral damage. May justice be swift for those involved, and may the United States return to the constitution directed country as designed.

Sunday, February 4, 2024

It's Not What It Seems

Anyone paying attention realizes there are tons of medication commercials on television. They show how "helpful" they can be, the importance of discussing your possible need for the medication with your doctor, and the professional commercials are obviously expensive. I've been suspicious for years; especially after the illegal, and immoral, actions of big pharmacy were allowed by government officials during the Covid debacle. This article gives insight into how the only best interests are the monetary gain, power, and continuation of both by those we are supposed to trust. 

Saturday, February 3, 2024

When the Bad Weather Isn't

 During the year (especially when cold fronts threaten) we can get what I call "dicey" weather. When the storms are really bad, the thump when the first gust of wind hits the house, it leaves a few moments of panic. That, and when you can read a book by the lightning, or the rumble of thunder is like a twenty mile long string of loaded dump trucks passing by, there's no doubt the weather will be "dicey". The worst can bring power outages, and depending on how many trees fall on the lines, how long that lasts can be a crap shoot.

The weather folks (bless their hearts) predicted we had the possibility of some severe thunderstorms overnight. They weren't really really sure if they would reach our area (in fact they were betting they wouldn't) but wanted to keep the possibility open for their general CYA protocol requirements. This, to me, guarantees light sleeping, and a general feeling of anxiety. 

So, with my radar link handy on my phone, I watched television until late, watched a line of really strong storms develop, and decided to go to bed, since it would be hours before the storms arrived. The storms looked like they were losing their punch, and maybe the weather folks were right. 

I didn't sleep long. A low rumble of thunder woke me, and I knew I wouldn't be able to fall back asleep. Within a few moments, I could hear heavy rain falling, which indicated to me the weather was about to get dicey. A quick glance at my phone showed a line of storms with heavy rain, and the white in the middle of the storms made it clear there was either very heavy rain, or some severe weather about to arrive. 

I got up, fixed a cup of coffee, and went out on the porch. The heavy rain had stopped, and there was only an occasional bolt of lightning in the distance. Looking at the weather map, there was some severe weather about twenty miles to the south, and it was looking as though the line of storms in my area weren't severe, although we were about to get some really heavy rain. It soon arrived, passed in a few minutes and only left some steady rain. That was good, but according to the original forecast, there would be two rounds of storms, and the second would happen when the wind shift arrived. 

Now, it's still raining, and the radar is showing round two will arrive sometime in the next few hours. It looks like it will be either bad, really heavy rain, or both. I won't know until arrives. Hopefully the severe stuff will stay away, but I'm not counting on it. I'll go make another cup of coffee, cook some sausage, and make breakfast. If the power goes out, at least I had a good breakfast. 

Thursday, February 1, 2024

The Point Where It Is Obvious

My years in construction supervision gave me the knowledge to immediately discern if an employee, or subcontractor, were competent. I had to know such things, or those I worked for would immediately know they made a mistake in hiring me, or allowing me to supervise a project beyond my capabilities. In the honest world, which only judges on skills, it determines who survives, or not, and in many situations, guarantees a critical structure is safe.

After thinking about the news I read daily, I realized the "experts" and "tenured professors" have reached the point they're so incompetent, they have no idea how incompetent they are. To make things worse, governments have hired what should be culls, and they are in positions that allow them to arbitrarily ignore all laws, or legal precedence. Meanwhile, a huge amount of the "journalists" turned out by these ivory towers of ignorance not only have no idea of their real purpose, they have no clue how their pandering, and repeating of the narratives now being ignored, made them useless. 

So, here we are. Those that should be have the most knowledge, and wisdom, are showing daily they not only can't be trusted, their sacred halls of education are becoming as important the dew claws on dogs. The country is full of people with degrees and no education. It's a sad situation, and with the removal of important knowledge for critical responsibilities, we've reached the point where the blind are leading the blind.

Saturday, January 27, 2024

What Are Your Experiences?

I've seen doctors, and I've seen nurse practitioners over the years. I have a guarded opinion about both. Some doctors are woefully uninformed of the nature of their patients, and some nurse practitioners don't seem to have a grasp of the responsibility of their autonomy. I can see why undesirable aspects of both happen, but can't see any cut and dried method to prevent conditions unfavorable to a patient. Reviews of either can be misleading during internet searches, and opinions of other patients may not have any bearing on your own condition. Both are limited by regulations, lack of quality time to spend with patients, and due to shortages, some culls shouldn't be in the medical profession. 

Personally, I've been blessed with primary doctors. Whether it was by sheer luck, or careful consideration, isn't really important without a sure-fire method of determining their qualifications. All have taken time for my questions and concerns. That, and willing to send me to specialists for things such as skin cancer and internal medicine concerns. 

I've had some bad experiences with nurse-practitioners. Their qualifications weren't the problem. The problem was their "jumping ship" where they were working, not leaving specific instructions for future doctor visits, and basically having me slip through the cracks. To the office personnel, I didn't exist, until I called to ask why prescription weren't refilled, or when my next appointment was scheduled.  Even that led to some frustrating attempts to play the "listen to the following list" menu and finding the correct person to handle my problem. 

I wish I had a good answer, but from my research, doctors have a tougher role to fill when it comes to accountability. Nurse practitioners will leave for multiple reasons, go to another doctor, or clinic, and their concern for patients seems to only be transitory. I can't fault them for wanting a better environment, or more money, but somewhere is a balance that demands more obligation to their patients. 

I have no solutions, but I do have questions. My experience is mine alone, may be totally irrelevant to most other situations, and not reflect the experiences of anyone else. That's why I'm asking for other opinions. 

Thursday, January 25, 2024

Drainage and Ignorance

 We've now had more than enough rain. It's as usual. The demand for rain usually leads to more than enough, and the drainage issues reappear. Some are easily solved, since they only involve removing some debris from drains, or digging a small swale to eliminate a low spot. Others can't be solved, unless you can accept the solution of bulldozing large areas of developed land that impedes drainage from areas that were developed later in unfavorable areas. It's part of development, and regardless of opinions, no taxing entity can bear the cost of building the needed drainage structures for a 100 year flood; if that's even possible. To make things worse, the cleaning of drainage structures, profiling of ditches, and other drainage maintenance requirements are never considered that important, until there is an unusual amount of rain. Even then, the taxing entities act surprised, look for a federal handout, and make promises they know they can't keep.

So, here we go again. The taxing entities will hope the water goes down soon, those that live in areas that have poor drainage will deal with water, the sun will shine again, and it will all be pushed onto the back burner...until we get another rain event. 


So, I went out to check the rain gauge. Last night, before I went to bed, it had about 2 inches of water. It overflowed, so we had over four inches of rain overnight. Weather folks say it's mostly over, which is good. It will take days for the water to recede in the worst of areas.

Sunday, January 21, 2024

Extremes

 According to the experts, we're still in a drought. "Abnormally dry" is the description, and looking at the local ponds, it's an accurate description. The feet of water lost during the long dry spell is still apparent, and only a few inches has been added over the last few month. That's supposed to change over the next few days. 

We're forecast to have between four and ten inches of rain, with higher amounts in certain areas. With the ground finally reaching a point of near saturation, that much water will overwhelm outfalls. How much depends on how often the heaviest of rain falls. If there is sufficient time between the heaviest of showers, the runoff might have time to subside. If not, the water will inundate the surrounding areas and flooding will occur. Due to the timing, much of that may impact rush hour, and certain schools may find they need to close early to keep students from being stranded. 

We'll see how this turns out, but it's necessary to make a Sunday trip to the grocery store. Too much rain will flood the road to my house, and it can take days for it to subside. That, and it's looking like we'll have rain for at least five days. Shopping in the rain sucks, and just going to the store is guaranteed to expose the most ignorant of drivers. 

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

Criminals May Think Twice

Most people don't like criminals. I'm the same, since I like my things, despise deceit, don't care for feeling threatened during my daily activities, and carrying a gun is uncomfortable. Criminals should probably stop and think about their actions. With law enforcement finding their hands increasingly tied, people finding their resources are more precious due to the economy, and the frustration of people in watching the courts let too many dangerous criminals go back on the street, even petty crime become more threatening. Capital punishment by citizens becomes more common, and the officers that have been watching the crap show become less willing to bother with those that make their job seem to have a point. That, and people that feel justice will not be served have memory problems, or are unwilling to wait for a criminal investigation to reach a dead end. 

Criminals that only receive a severe beat-down may be the lucky ones. It won't take many bleeding-heart-do-gooders to shift criminal victims into embracing the creed of "dead men don't tell tales". Even if someone is turned loose, retribution will be more common and the witnesses increasingly harder to find. It's the way of anarchy. When the government doesn't allow peace, peace will be reached by other methods. Power will be achieved by brutal violence, and the small minority of law enforcement officials will not intervene if the sidewalk justice ends the career of criminals that they've arrested more times than they can remember. 

Another thing: Regardless of how many illegals they allow in, many will want to return home where it's safer and the "crazy" gringos are not mad all the time. They came as criminals, they threaten the survival of citizens, and are unwelcome by the majority. They group together, but never realize they are outsiders and all are considered the same. Apathy soon fades for those that feel threatened, and even the most peaceful will find it's easier to ignore the plights of the invaders than to ignore their shrinking resources.

Monday, January 15, 2024

A Little Bit of Ice

 The Arctic front was slower than anticipated, and the freezing rain was very light after the heavier rain fell before most bridges were below freezing.  Icicles are about a quarter-inch long, and the freezing rain has moved on eastward. According to the experts, the clouds will hang, and tonight will bring temperatures in the mid-twenties. That's cold enough for me to catnap, run some water around the house, and keep and eye out for anything unusual. 

Tomorrow will bring clear skies, a high in the thirties and a low tomorrow night around 20 degrees. Without much wind, and everything insulated, I doubt any pipes will freeze, although I'll still probably be catnapping during the night. 

We'll have light freezes over the night during the next week, but highs will be well above freezing. I haven't checked next week's forecast, but it's Winter and just about anything can happen. I've seen it extremely wet this time of the year and watched dust blow during late January and early February. 

Friday, January 12, 2024

What's Next?

Texas closed a park in Eagle Pass to everyone, except those authorized and the authorized doesn't include Federal agents. Google Earth shows the park, how close it is to the border, and a street view of the entrance shows a SUV and a checkpoint. Otherwise, this park has been a problem for more than the current situation. According to reports, razor wire was cut by Border Patrol agents to allow illegal invaders to enter. 

Now, we'll see how the Feds react to having their toes stepped on. I'm sure the agents are jumping with joy, but their handlers will probably write a check their asses can't cover. 

We'll see.

Tuesday, January 9, 2024

Remembering Cold Days

I stepped out this morning to a temperature of 40 degrees and the wind howling. The front came through yesterday, but the severe weather forecast didn't happen at my house. It was a strong front, and the wind did take down my porch curtains, but that was due to my neglect of securing them before taking a nap. 

In the past, on days like this, we'd work. Some tasks would drive us away (such as roof work) but most everything else required huddling from the cold, getting used to the cold wind blowing up the back of your coat, chapped skin, and the supreme fatigue after spending the entire day in the elements. Nothing compares to working in cold weather. 

I don't miss days like this at work. My instinct was to tell everyone to go home until better weather, but I knew we could accomplish something, and I was obligated to continue the quest for a profit, and the need of the hands for income during the winter months, which led to many days without work. It was what it was, and I'm glad those days are over.


Friday, January 5, 2024

I'm The Last

 Up to this evening, I had one sibling left. That ended when she was struck by a car while crossing a busy street. I'm the last of five siblings, and it sure feels lonely.

This Is Really Not News

 According to this article , Democrats using insider trading to fill their pockets is a concern. Really? A Concern? This has been going on for decades, and not a one of them has even had their wrist slapped for their actions. Real news would have a report they rounded them all up, horse whipped them, and covered them with salt. 

Monday, January 1, 2024

Here We Go Again

In theory, the new year starts something new, bright and fruitful. In reality, it's only changing the last few numbers when writing down a date. Hopefully, this year will be remembered as one of the best in recorded history.