Thursday, November 15, 2018

Eyes Wide Shut – Why didn’t Someone Tell Me?


I never knew I was considered less than attractive by the opposite sex until yesterday. Maybe it’s because I am happily married and my Bride settled for less; I don’t know. I also don’t know why this bothers me. At my advanced age, does it really matter than I am less attractive than a certain segment of maleness? No one has actually pointed this out to me and maybe that is why I have been blissfully ignorant for so long.

It all started with a new study by the legendary Journal of Evolutionary Biology, which I am fairly sure everyone has read at one time or another. The study came to light when Yahoo News reported it and seeing I am a regular reader of the journal, I instantly took note. As we all know, the Journal of Evolutionary Biology is a bimonthly peer-reviewed scientific journal covering the field of evolutionary biology. It is published by Wiley-Blackwell on behalf of the European Society for Evolutionary Biology. I think it goes without saying it is a real page turner.

I’m also a staunch follower of the European Society for Evolutionary Biology, but I deviate. According to the news release, this is how it is broken down:

Researchers asked more than 8,500 women to rate men on their attractiveness as a long-term romantic partner, Yahoo News reported.

Here’s how the facial hair rated:

    Heavy stubble (10 days)
    Full beards
    Light stubble
    Clean-shaven

“Beards may be more attractive to women when considering long‐term than short‐term relationships as they indicate a male’s ability to successfully compete socially with other males for resources,” the study concluded. Beards, the researchers said, are associated with a man’s age and masculine social dominance.

I have been clean shaven since 1975 and not one friend, or should I say “real friend” has tried to masculine-up me by casually mentioning that I needed to have at least a stubble of some kind. Not one. Now I’m beginning to wonder if I even have friends. With all the old white men bashing going on, I will rapidly become a double target. There is probably no juicier target than an ugly old white man, but then again, I digress.

Friends don’t let friends walk around ugly, especially when the remedy is simply to stop shaving. I mean I did not get one warning or even a single nudge in that direction, so the only scientific conclusion any reasoning person could arrive at struck me like a fully dressed uncooked turkey right up side the head. A beard will not help me. A mustache surely won’t make a difference if the beard is a bust.

I just have to adapt to the fact that I am not an attractive male. It shouldn’t be too difficult as I have been unwittingly unattractive all these years and honestly, what difference has it made? Now, there is a remote possibility of something else. Maybe the results of the study are not all that kosher?  I laughed at that thought. Of course its accurate; its written in the Journal of Evolutionary Biology and backed by the European Society for Evolutionary Biology for goodness sake. I’ll just wear a hoodie and sunglasses when out in public and its all good.
   

Thursday, November 08, 2018

Say no to winter, but save us from Mossies!


My 2 winters in Montana ruined me for freezing weather. The Great Plains can do that to a person. The wind is always blowing and the frigid air is not what I call refreshing. Its fricken cold! When I was stationed in Great Falls Montana, it snowed on the 4th of July. The year was 1971. I related this to a resident of Casper, Wyoming back in 1986 and they remembered it quite well, even though they were to south a good piece.

I do not remember getting bit by mosquitoes in Montana.  I do remember the terrible cold.

I would much rather be warm. Notice I didn’t say hot. I can handle hot if its dry, but this past summer was wet, real wet. Like someone on Facebook posted, it only rained twice this summer - once for 45 days and again for 32 days.  We ended summer with a massive daily crop of mosquitoes. 3 times a week I watch the skeeter sprayer go past my house and yet they just kept biting me. My Bride rarely gets bitten, as they are feasting on me and my grandson.

The danged black salt marsh mosquitoes have been the bane of my outdoor existence (Aedes taeniorhynchus), a nuisance mosquito known as an aggressive biter, but not considered a disease-carrier of major concern. I guess that’s a plus, but holy smokes this tiny parasite packs a powerful and painful whelp. Their attraction to me has spurred my interest in remedies, because bug spray is only as good as my spraying ability. In other words, if I miss a single spot with Deet, the tiny insect nails me there. This includes biting my hiney through the webbing of my outdoor chair.

At others suggestions, I’ve tried Campho-Phenique, CeraVe itch relief moisturizing cream, Chiggerex 2X Power and Benadryl itch relief stick, which didn’t do a thing to relieve the itch and pain. I found a tube of Lidocaine ointment 5% that works real well. Of the other concoctions, only CeraVe works and it works well,

Something I found to be amazing is the cost of Campho-Phenique. I bought a ¾ fluid ounce bottle from Kroger for $5. Doing the rithmatick on this, the fluid is $800 a gallon. They sure are proud of this stuff. Chiggerex 2X Power works well and is my go to chemical for most bites and stings, but the black salt marsh skeeter demands a stronger topical analgesic.

If the temperature dropping into the 30’s, as it is predicted, stops me from getting bitten, then I am all for it, but our nightly visits to the backyard swing will probably suffer also. One person commented that we have 2 seasons and they are probably correct. It’s either too hot and humid, or it is too cold and wet to really enjoy our weather. 

I guess I’ll just be happy to not be bit repeatedly when outside.
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Thursday, November 01, 2018

Politicians are modern day Biblical scribes

Then Jesus entered the temple area and proceeded to drive out those who were selling things,saying to them,“It is written,'My house shall be a house of prayer.
In the New Testament of the Bible, Jesus spoke out very strongly about 3 groups of people; tax collectors because they caused financial hardship, religious leaders who abused their power over the people, and scribes (lawyers /politicians) who also used their position to control the populace. I can't find where he attacked businessmen as a group. Keep in mind the people who were selling sacrificial items in the temple were part of the religious leader group.

Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. 13 “It is written,” he said to them, “‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’[a] but you are making it ‘a den of robbers.’ Matthew 21:12-13

Donald Trump has the ire of certain Republicans who see him as a threat to business as usual. He's viewed like the guy who arrives at a fancy golfing event wearing a hoodie and flip flops. He’s not in the law making in-crowd of shrewd wheeling and dealing where no one gets offended and socially they party together. What these dyed in the wool Republicans need to understand is this country is in no mood for anything except making better wages and having more money to spend as they danged well please. Reasoning voters don’t want any more infringement on our Constitutional rights than has already happened.


It appears it is time these stubborn and untouchable Republicans get on the Trump train, or get off at the next depot. He is steam-rolling this country with new enthusiasm and healthy competition. Never mind it is being painted directly the opposite in the liberal media venues. Nothing the man does will please them. We saw this at the Kavanaugh hearing. What a sham the Democrats pulled. They had no intention of ever confirming the judge and used every stall tactic to wayside the process. In the end, they discredited everyone and everything and voted against his nomination, despite the fact that not one witness came forward against him other than Dr. Ford.

Concerning laws made under Obama, the Democrats are justifiably angry and upset as Trump is one by one undoing, negating, or eliminating all the precious policies their “He gives me hope!” president pushed through. Never mind that these same restrictive policies put us at a disadvantage with foreign trade. The deregulation of industry and the new tariffs are bringing jobs back and I don’t know if anyone is listening, but this means food on the table.


I think the Democrats are terrorized by the man and his openness. Frankly, I haven't been offended by anything he's said. I find it pleasantly pleasing that every word hasn't been massaged to be politically correct. Their entire platform is secondary to trashing the president. Democratic politics is akin to two 13 year old girls flailing at each other while ripping out handfuls of hair and calling it a fight. They’ve abandoned mentioning almost everything they claim they want so they can multiply their attack on Trump.

Watch the youtube interviews of college students and you will rapidly deduce they haven’t a clue what is going on. All they know is it is hip to be a liberal. What is being taught to these kids is paramount to political bias and they swallow it as total truth. If anyone dares to offer a second opinion, they are openly ridiculed and/or attacked.

People keep speculating about a Blue wave. I predict it will be just the opposite. The Democratic leaders have openly called for their minions to “act up” and “don’t let them eat in public” without interfering and then cry fowl when some right wing gun nut comes out of the woodwork. Of course it isn’t their fault (according to them), but of course they had a major part in it.

Scribes were so called because they wrote out the law, or because they classified and arranged its precepts, or because they counted with scrupulous minuteness every elapse and letter It contained. Modern day scribes need to go back to their roots and concentrate on what is workable in 2018 and forget all this infighting.
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Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Political Correctness Is Ruining Our Freedoms

Our Congress has not violated our 1st amendment right to free speech... WE HAVE by allowing loudmouth troublemakers to do a very good job of it by inventing Political Correctness. Freedom-loving citizens should collectively rebel against this every chance they get. Hate Speech comes straight out of George Orwell's 1984. 

"Nineteen Eighty-Four, often published as 1984, is a dystopian novel by English author George Orwell published in June 1949. The novel is set in the year 1984 when most of the world population have become victims of perpetual war, omnipresent government surveillance and propaganda."

If you have never read this iconic book, grab a copy. You can probably get it for free in electronic text. I first read it in high school, way back in 1970. I read it again a number of years later and again a couple of months ago. It is as relevant now as it was when it was science fiction. Fahrenheit 451 is another book I have read repeatedly and the reason is the same as 1984. It reveals what could be our future here in the USA.

PC has reached the rabid state where almost anything a person says or writes can get them fired from their job and this folks is what political correctness has accomplished. We have created our own version of the Soviet Secret police known as NKVD. 
NKVD victims killed in mass executions in 1941
 "The People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs (NKVD) was the interior ministry of the Soviet Union. Everyone here is familiar with the KGB, but the NKVD was the real bad guys. 

The NKVD undertook mass extrajudicial executions of untold numbers of citizens, and conceived, populated and administered the Gulag system of forced labour camps. Their agents were responsible for the repression of the wealthier peasantry, as well as the mass deportations of entire nationalities to uninhabited regions of the country. They oversaw the protection of Soviet borders and espionage (which included political assassinations), and enforced Soviet policy in communist movements and puppet governments in other countries, most notably the repression and massacres in Poland." Wikipedia  

This is the next progression of PC. A nation where everyone is watching each other, ready to report anything suspicious and just like the Spanish Inquisition, the PC police will pick you up and convict you, possibly not even bothering to identify your crime. You think that can't happen?

It almost did in the Judge Kavanaugh hearing, which was more of a monkey trial than anything. Not one witness could collaborate Dr. Ford's testimony and yet nearly 50% of the voting group found him guilty and a rapist.

Intolerance is the bane of free speech. Political correctness needs to be labeled as the opposite of freedom and a noose around everyone's neck.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Women and children first, for God's sake!



Here is an age old strategy being currently deployed by the unseen steering committee of the many people marching north through Mexico. Focus attention on the women and children for the sympathy vote. Every single time you invoke "children" and now more than ever, "women", it automatically gets the sympathy of citizens who empathize with their plight. Never mind that what is happening is a mass invasion of our border where the bottom line is we have to physically HURT them.

Now here is the hard part and it is unpopular to boot. A woman or child’s life is not as important as it was ages ago when they meant the survival of the clan or tribe. I WON’T trade my life for a migrant child or anyone. Remember in the movie “I, Robot” when Will Smith’s character rebelled because the rescuing robot saved his life over the young girls? The robot made the choice that it could only save one of the two and according to triage rules, he was more valuable.

Honduras and Guatemala are responsible for THEIR OWN citizens, not the USA. If the people marching are suffering, it is their own country’s fault, not ours and not our problem until they try to forcefully enter our country. I don’t watch the advertisements for starving children in a 3rd world country, or those of abused animals and I put this in the same category. If they force their way into our country, they must be stopped even if it means violence. They will become invaders. If they tried this in any number of other countries, they would repel them as such.

I believe in immigration, but only the legal way of applying. Sneak into my house and I will consider you a burglar. If you think my rational is off the mark, then ask yourself how many of these poor women and children you are willing to house and subsidize permanently on your current wages? None? No surprise there.
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Are extremists giving the Democratic party a bad name?


Antifa at Berkley, California

The Democratic party of 40 years ago has metastasized into something unrecognizable to most conservative Americans. There is no middle ground between the partys. Moderate Democrats are thrown in with extreme Leftists, as it appears that is who is steering the boat. Its like one guy commented to me in the 70's: "The only bad thing about smoking pot is the kind of people you end up associating with".

Birds of a feather flock together and if you embrace the Democratic ticket, you are supporting everything the extremists want. Take abortion for instance. The left wants to be able to get a legal abortion. The far left wants your 15 year old daughter to get one on demand without her parents permission or knowledge. Heck, why not lower the age too?

Let's try violence to force our point. Antifa now represents the attitude of the party to many conservatives.


"The Antifa movement is a conglomeration of left wing autonomous, self-styled anti-fascist militant groups in the United States. The principal feature of antifa groups is their use of direct action, harassing those whom they deem to be fascists, racists and right wing extremists." Wikipedia

Middle of the road Democrats are for a more relaxed stance on immigration; extremists want open borders period. Moderates want stricter gun laws to keep guns out of children's hands. Extremists want all guns confiscated. Unfortunately, all Democrats are viewed by the Right, the same way many identify all Muslims as terrorists.

Conclusion? If you vote Democrat, you must be for all the extreme programs the far left wants to turn into law. Abortion, open borders, more taxes, bigger government, smaller military (or 100% reserves), extreme regulation, extreme climate control, more, more, more...

I'll be honest and say on some issues I lean slightly to the left, but isn't that the way its supposed to work? Aren't we obligated to educate ourselves on the issues and vote accordingly? The problem is there is so much information and smoke blocking our view and understanding. We don't know what news source to trust. Our political news is literally explained to us by either a panel of giggling big-toothed stooges, or an angry commentator slandering someone. Both sides openly claim the other side is lying and what do we have? Confusion. Or ignorance.
 
Watching the youtube videos of college students commenting on the accomplishments of people like Beto O'Rourke, I realize they are blindly following the puppeteer's hands. They support this Socialist with no concept what he is preaching and absolutely no idea of his past accomplishments. How destructive and dangerous!

Monday, October 22, 2018

Why I quit writing for the Baytown Sun




Announcement for anyone who reads my column each Thursday in the Baytown Sun: Effective immediately I have quit writing for this Leftist/Socialist rag. 

Thursday's (10-18-18) name change from my submitted title of  "Voting 101 makes it easy" to "My voting Guide, Dems bad GOP good" effectively skewed my column and made left leaning readers skip reading my column. It was the final straw and I called the Publisher and explained this in detail. The Publisher then defended the managing editor and that is when I resigned. I will continue to write and publish my blog and post it on Facebook. Following is the entire column.

Let me clarify that I am a columnist, not a reporter or an Op-ed writer. I write my opinion. My opinion. The Managing editor is well within their right to alter the heading, but when it is done is such a partisan way, it is unacceptable and the added cartoon above my column just drove the nails of offense deeper.
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Thursday, October 18, 2018

Voting 101 makes it easy



In my simplistic blue-collar mind, I continually ponder one thought when it comes to the division in the 2 political parties that run our government. How can they walk together unless they agree? I think at one time the chasm wasn’t so clearly defined, but I do believe I can sum up which party you, the reader should vote for. Of course I am not going to tell you how to vote, but I would like to ask a couple of questions and based on the assumption that anyone who challenges us to define what we believe is our friend, it should make the decision easier.

So, seeing that almost no one trusts the media to tell the truth, let’s just look at this voting thing in a logical manner. Forget who you have traditionally voted for for a moment and let’s look at the bigger picture.

Are you for expanding government, adding more financial assistance programs (excluding affordable health care which we all found out wasn’t affordable at all), paying more and more taxes, restricting or removing the right to own a gun, free education that is funded by your tax dollars, opening the borders and letting non-citizens not only vote, but give them tax payer subsidies, and letting your 15 year old daughter get a free abortion without your knowledge or consent at tax payers expense… then vote for your favorite Democrat. Just remember, if you work and pay taxes, they are going to take more and more to pay for all those wonderful social programs that sadly, you do not qualify for.

They truly have a utopian vision where everyone gets everything from the elected government officials. On top of that, the more power you give the government over your daily affairs, especially subsidies, the more you are enslaved. They hold the purse strings and it has to come from somewhere. When a country reaches the place where the majority is nursing the government’s purse, the country collapses, because there are not enough workers to keep the zippered bag full.

Now, let’s say you do not want the government in your pocket any more than it already is. You work and pay taxes. You obey the laws. You attempt to live in harmony, but as libertarians (citizens who trust the Constitution and don’t want the government in their life unless there is anarchy, a serious weather event, or a plague). You want your Republican politician to tighten the borders, vet immigration, leave the 2nd Amendment alone, promote education on the sanctity of life, close the loop holes in zealous government sponsored assistance programs that drain your tax dollars, pay less taxes, identify voters as US citizens… then vote Republican.

The Democrats love raising taxes, shrinking our military, opening the borders, offering sanction to people who sneak into the country, and draining the government coffers so they can enslave people. They have encouraged an army of misfits and thugs to scream and holler and challenge police at any and all conservative political gatherings. This is not hearsay, its history. I would much rather our government fueled the economy so people can work and pay taxes, wouldn’t you?


We cannot continue to fight politically and kid ourselves that it will make America better because it won’t. If half the energy was spent on government funded work-related training in all the trades, it would be astounding to see the results. Feed a person a fish and come meal time, they need another fish. Teach them to fish and you feed them for a lifetime.

As voters it is our responsibility alone to examine not only the issues, but the leanings of both parties. Of course I have over-simplified my guide and of course I am not a political major; heck I never was a major at any time in anything, but I do know enough about myself to know which direction to vote. Our founders gave us a Republic, not a Democracy for a reason, but you will have to research that one for yourself.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Oh technology, don’t pass me by




I walked into the Verizon store on Garth Road recently. Under my arm was my Xfinity modem. It’s quite substantial in size. Nothing like the flat 14.4 BPS Linksys router I proudly bragged on back in day that let me grab data from the mysterious electronic signals from my telephone wire (please don’t call my house and bump me off the bulletin boards!).

I was greeted by 3 younger punk-based humans who’s style of dress suggested they were highly knowledgeable of the modern technology products offered, most of which I had no interest in. At first I thought they were European, possibly German, as they had that “look”. It was one of those magical days when no one was in the store but them and me and when asked what they could do for me, I held up the modem and loudly declared, “I need help with my computer”.


via GIPHY
Just like my wrong conclusion that they were Germans, this incorrect description caused a snicker of techno self-righteousness from the trio. One of the emo-stylish humans (I wasn’t sure of the gender of each) repeated my assertion in a question and again the giggles. With a look on my face of extreme vulnerability I said, “Yea, I think this one’s a 386.”

The Intel 80386, also known as i386 or just 386, was a 32-bit microprocessor introduced in 1985, but my statement drew a blank look as to content. Instead was… pity. Pity that as a senior citizen, wearing shorts, socks and Crocs, a faded green Keep Baytown Beautiful shirt, and an old Jeep baseball cap that looked as old as me, I had sadly let technology pass me by.

With an air of aloofness, this human individual took possession of my “386” device and marched off toward the back of store, exclaiming that that particular “computer” was out of date and after scanning it, located a shrink-wrapped identical replacement and handed it to me. By the way, did you know that you must download an Ap to your smart phone to program the new modem? Yea, kind of surprised me too. My emo-human did not mention that tidbit, thereby indicating it was plug and pray – just like the old days. Plug and play was Microsoft’s modus operandi and more times than not, didn’t work as advertised, thus the pray part.

He/she returned to the mini-pod of waiting emo service technicians and ignored me. As I headed past the knowledgeable group, one said, “Enjoy your computer!” and again the troop giggled. I thanked them and smiling, replied, “Do you even know what a 386 is?” The total absence of recognition flooded their faces, which was rapidly replaced by boredom and a return to their screens. I was no longer their concern.

“Google it,” I said, but deliberately replaced the G with a J, making it sound like I said Joogle it,” and left. Now here is the weird thing about these Xfinity modems, I replaced my modem 6 months ago with the one I turned in. I replaced it initially because chatting online with the company, I was told mine was a dinosaur and it was. Now 6 months later, I was again told the same thing and if I wanted to experience “blazing fast speeds” I need the newest model. My emo tech told me the one I turned in was “really old” as they scrutinized me. I felt they were getting a “two fer”, me being number two.

“No one has used one like this in like forever, like really forever” they said and scanned, swiped, clicked, and basically showed me how real techies do it. The word impressive must have crossed my mind, as I was boring and old and technology obviously had passed me by. To them, we had nothing in common, except maybe a smart phone and I noticed when they grouped back up, all 3 had their faces buried in their phones. My phone was in my Jeep. I could go 10 minutes without it.

You’ve all seen it and experienced the same if you have a few gray hairs, or maybe an absence of hair altogether. Its okay, I had fun and within minutes of getting home, my new blazing fast modem was up and running. Oh, by the way, you might need a new modem, just don’t call it a... computer.
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Thursday, October 04, 2018

More jobs than workers


From what I read and hear, if you want to work, there is a job waiting for you. This is great news, right? Maybe not.

I think it is important to note that a booming economy and lots of jobs does not bode well with some people on government assistance. It also doesn't set well with one political party that wants to control these folks (read their votes) by dangling meals, subsidies, and plastic debit cards in front of them. Why work when you can get by on the dole? This is the only reasonable answer to the objections some are raising. Why work when politicians demonize anyone who wants to take this away?

Let’s face it, whoever is paying your bills is in fact your boss and if that boss is the US government assistance system; they own you. Aside from the fact that being a free person in this country doesn’t exclude you from taxes, I want to make my own way with as little interference from the government as possible.

To my knowledge, I drew one month unemployment back when things got tight in 1976. I couldn’t get work in the construction field because there wasn’t any. I tried and tried and I had bills. I applied and stood in line and I felt humiliated, because I was now asking the government to give me money for nothing. I wasn’t raised that way. I sacked groceries when I was 14. My mom paid us an allowance for doing chores and to be sure, we did chores. Now here I was with what appeared to be citizens who had no interest in working. I drew one check and never went back. Instead, I began roofing houses with Jerry Tims.

After winter passed, I found a job in construction and shortly after that, I hired on with ARCO Chemical in Channelview. Did I look down on the other people in the food stamp line? No, but the very second I could get out of that line, I was gone. I entered the world of a process operator with no experience at all and was as overwhelmed as the next person, but I survived and after nearly 40 years, retired from the industry. Along the way, the economy slowed and I took side jobs because I had learned that the more money I could bring in, the more stuff my family could enjoy.

Crossing over into the criminal world never crossed my mind. I wasn’t raised that way.

According to every source, we are experiencing an economy that if you want to work, businesses will train you for free, so why is it that many choose to do nothing? Oh, did I say they choose to do nothing? Yes I did. No one should get a free lunch, if there is a suitable job they can do to earn that lunch. It is our tax dollars they are getting for hanging out. Work, or don’t eat and it is sad that certain elements of politics actually encourages this despicable “occupation” by constantly harping that others are “keeping you down”.

On numerous occasions I have stood in line at Food Town and watched someone use not one subsidy card, but two and after following them outside, observe them drive off in a new SUV. I commented on it to one of the friendly cashiers and they told me how real the abuse is. One well dressed person used their card for the bulk of their purchase and then low and behold, opened their wallet and wrestled out a hundred dollar bill from the others. The cashier rolled their eyes after I commented on it and said it was a common sight. Do I believe every person on assistance is a free loader? No, but one is too many.

Breaking free from government assistance is not easy, but it is the true and righteous path to freedom. Don’t believe those politicians who regrettably feed off those who were raised to believe them.
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Thursday, September 27, 2018

There goes another summer!



Like many, I have a pretty good memory of our weather patterns and one of the best jokes is there are only 2 seasons on the Gulf Coast - summer and winter. Well, guess what? Summer basically ended September 1st, after a scorching Amazon rain forest August, the likes of which I can't remember. It actually feels like Fall weather.

Granted the weather has historically been unpredictable, but for the sake of argument, we usually have a drought in July that kills our grass. Mowing season normally begins in March and is played out by Independence Day. Not this year and yes, we had a minor drought a couple of times. What we did have was a very wet summer in Baytown. When the growing season begins in March, I may mow my yard every 3 days (because I like the way it looks).

I know I am going to cut my grass a bunch of times over the next 3-4 months and then July will get here and I will have raised my mower deck up at least twice and can slow way down on cutting. Not this year. I raised it once by June and then lowered it again to March levels where it is now. I mowed 4 days ago and it needs mowing again. From a lawn maintenance stand point, this is great - if someone is paying you. I mow close to an acre each time I cut and no one is paying me.

I haven't had to add water to my pool but once and this is a blessing, as the lowered water bill can attest. My Master Gardener bride hasn't ran our water bill up but once this year and that's also a blessing. The squirrels have went absolutely nuts (imagine that) and water birds aplenty have enjoyed the frequent showers. Now here is the downside... mosquitoes.

For reasons I cannot exactly understand, they see me as a blood donor and my bride as landscape, They love me and ignore her. It hasn't mattered how much spray I apply, or how many insect cones I burn, I will get hit by these monsters repeatedly. Now in a very unscientific way, I am going to explain how I categorize the 4 basic mosquito types we have here. Great big ones that bounce off me and are easy to feel and kill. Big ones you can hear and usually feel their landing also.

Normal mosquitoes that sip and leave a pretty good itch behind and I may or may not sense their presence in time to kill them. Then there are these tiny near invisible devils that ninja in and you never even see them until you have a huge whelp that itches and burns for 30 minutes. I hate these to the point that for the last week or so in August, I didn't want to sit in the back yard and chat with my bride while she swings. I tried wearing long pants and long sleeves and they still bit through it to my absolute itching discomfort. On top of that our dew point has stayed above 75 for what feels like a furnace.

I was grateful the city sprayed a few times recently, but then the rains returned and returned. I heard one fellow complain about the city not spraying at all until the skeeters were out of control, but I do not believe this to be the case. My real problem is the tiny marsh mosquitoes, the likes of which I do not remember experiencing in the 26 years I've lived in Chaparral Village. Why do they pack a bigger punch than the other varieties? Their sting actually hurts and persists.

This past Sunday we had our first breeze of the season with a cool front. I am hoping and praying there will be a change in their infestation, as I want to go back outside without being slathered in some insecticidal protection. October is a big month for being outdoors for many hobbyists, like us geocachers and hunters. I love summer, but I am ready for a break. How about you?
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Thursday, September 20, 2018

Capitalism yes, Socialism no




I am not an expert on political systems or governments, but I like my freedom to choose by voting. I wish I would have paid closer attention in government class. My real school memories were the 1960's and as has been pointed out before, this was a time in our country of great change and strife. In the 60's, Communism & Socialism spread across the planet with many feeling the USA should join the giddy melee to convert.

I enlisted in the military to fight to stop the spread of this ill-conceived attempt to replace Capitalism. As proof it failed, only a few countries now exist as Communist and truthfully they are not much more than thinly-veiled hybridized Capitalists. The governments of this type of structure had to come to grips with the work/reward system of Capitalism. It works and their form of strict Socialistic guidance... doesn't. It doesn't, so why oh why are these newcomers to our political arena think it will?

Are they just visionaries or are they significantly in denial, wishing for a Socialistic system where everything is rosy? To be honest, I think they are ignorant of history. Wow. Really? Its actually the only sound explanation for their insistence that our country move in this direction. Sure, on paper, Socialism and Communism look great, so why hasn't it worked the many times various countries have adopted it?


The basic goal of Socialism sounds great: " Socialism is a movement of both the worker and middle-class, all for a common democratic goal." This would work if the system rewarded incentive and hard work, both a foundation to Capitalism. What it would amount to eventually and I'm sure detractors and political system experts will scream foul, is that it is the equivalent of everyone being on welfare. It encourages the loss of freedom with the promise of more security.

I guess you remember the debacle where the US government stepped in and took over a cat house in Nevada and within a short amount of time, it folded. It had been very successful before the government got its hand wet. As a Cold Warrior with a certificate of recognition on my wall, I find the push in this direction to be both astounding and repugnant.

I also want to tie in that many university students who rally against (fill in the blank), ultimately embrace the "injustice" later in life because they want to "make a lot of bucks" and pay for the nice house they've borrowed against. The next wave of university activists will attack them as the evil bourgeois base establishment, regardless of what they do or say. I find it ironic in the extreme that the filthy rich are some of the advocates for Socialism. Are they really this brain dead concerning history and the redistribution of their own wealth?

I'm not talking Robin Hood stealing from the rich; I'm talking the government stealing everything and doing it legally. Do you believe for a second that countries who embrace this form of government actually all live at the same economic level? No. They don't. The chasm between the lower/middle and upper class is just as wide as it is under our form of government.

I am voting against any attempt to expand government or give them more power over my life than they already have. As I've said before, I will obey the laws and pay my taxes and the only time I want to see the government in my business is when we have a crisis. I would rather have a 2 party constantly arguing circus, than a hammer and sickle Politburo locking me into a role where I have no incentive to produce.

Our local curmudgeons can have a field day explaining away the wonderful economy while they feverishly try to figure out how to give the last president credit. Poor characters lick their wounds and wish for a day when the government tucks them in at night. I pity them for their blindness and poor memory, but I applaud their First Amendment right to spew their version of two minutes hate. After all, I can be civil, as I believe in freedom of speech and don't care if they are politically correct or not.
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Thursday, September 13, 2018

Living in amazing Baytown Texas!


 FLASH/CRACK/BANG! My bride and I both stood in shock realizing the bolt of lightning hit way too close for comfort. We were in our living room and I cautiously walked over and looked through my front door window. I was sure I would see destructive evidence of the bolt of electricity, but no. Nothing. No fire, no confusion... no confirmation, or so I thought.

Back about 25 years or so ago, I transplanted 5 Kenefick area loblolly pine trees in my yard and anywhere else I could put a tree. Back then Chaparral Village had an rental exodus, as homes here sold and the street I live on had a lot of foliage-free lots and many vacancies. I began offering trees to anyone who would plant one. Some I dug up in the forest around Livingston and others I got from the city's free tree give away program. Needless to say, I planted close to 30 trees here in Chaparral Village.

Imagine my surprise when talking to my neighbor Jerry LeCompte, when he pointed at his loblolly and there is a great lightning bolt groove down the trunk of the tree almost 2 inches wide. He explained he was just opening the door on his Jeep when the instantaneous blast of electricity went through the tree next to him. If I remember right, the power intrusion knocked out some stuff in his house and maybe his Jeep. It goes without saying that Jerry came very close to being incinerated. What a memory he has to pass along.

I recently rescued an Eastern box turtle while participating in the memorial walk for Sam Wingate. It was in the middle of El Chaco Drive and I don't think for one second a resident there would harm it, but someone not paying attention could run over it, so I intervened. I took it about a mile and turned it over to the local turtle whisperer. Yes, he now has 4 in his spacious backyard and as amazing as it sounds, he calls to them with breakfast and they all come to the patio to feed.

This all began a few years ago when his pet dog died and his bride asked that it be their last dog. I can't imagine life without dogs, but he did the next best thing when a lone box turtle crawled under his fence. Well, since this day, 2 more have came along and he had a wooden fence installed. Some would claim this was cruel, but these turtles are living in relative safety and security and each have been named. I asked what he would call it and he said his granddaughter would get the honor. I'll have to get back to you on what she chose.

Walking the Blue Heron Park trail has became a staple for many and isn't without the sharing of information and the gradual mitigation of constant litter and the group slowly catches on that picking up trash not only gives you ab work, but makes the trail and street look nicer. Baytown Parks Super Dustin Schubert has agreed we need a trash can at Barkuloo and Blue Heron Parkway and it will probably be installed at the end of the trail coming behind Chaparral Village. Stick-carrying Mike Williams not only paid a couple of grand to have 2 benches installed, but he is out and about like clockwork each morning at an estimated pace of 4 miles per hour. We exchange information about litter and the current number of walkers and move on.

Jose is a colorful Hispanic man of about 70 who jogs from Baker Road to JC Holloway Park and back nearly every day and is a walking/talking/jogging machine who always shares an interesting tidbit or two. We shared information on the American persimmon tree on the sidewalk close to N. Main Street. Persimmons are like seed-filled candy when ripe and if you pull lightly on the fruit and it drops into your hand, it is ready to eat. Better hurry though, as they are ripe. Each fruit has 6 seeds and they can be planted, but understand it will be 5-6 years before you have fruit.

I bet your neighborhood has similar characters out and about and the only way to meet them is to get outside. What better place to be than right in your neighborhood getting exercise and talking to neighbors? Grab an empty grocery sack and hit the trail. It'll benefit your abs and you might just meet one of the most interesting people of your life.
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Monday, September 10, 2018

What would happen if I wrote a meaningful log?

BaytownBert, NavyStud, & Muddywatergirl


Help! I have fallen and can't seem to get up, or is that something I can work on?

I had fallen into the TFTC SNTFTC LOL KCCO logger group without even realizing it. Using various Apps, macros, or chicanery I had removed the human element from my once very personal logging experience. I was simply the longer version of SLTFTC. or "more later" on occasion, telling myself I would come back and finish it.  How did this happen? I am retired for gol-dern's sake. It's not like my time is constantly drained or something, right?

No. We find time for what is important to us. Fact. If we write short abbreviated anonymous logs we are making a statement that the log is nothing more than a requirement. The cache owner doesn't mean a thing, nor the container. "Found it. STFTC!" Never mind that the C/O is a newbie screaming out for recognition, or worse, not caring what they read, just give me my smiley. Mentor? Me? You? What? What tha heck?

"The weather was rapidly disintegrating as I hovered over the delicate dry log and scribbled my strong font-based BB on the papyrus we all hold in such high regard. I mean the stuff is the stuff of life to a geocacher! We simply MUST sign the log. It's like the Icon of Icons! I salute you log and I put my ink upon you! Thank you. See relevant amateur photo. Have you ever seen such a wonderful face? I haven't." GC7RX1P

When I instruct geocaching classes to newbies and veterans alike, I urge them to "write logs you would like to read". Of course an LPC placed by a Vet to help us get through 31 days of August literally deserves a TFTC and a hi-5. I'm afraid the loss of the original intent of a log has devolved into nothing more than a way to record a smiley.


In other words, the numbers have became more important than the experience.

Is it really this quiet, or am I experiencing an auditory issue?

"I wanted to bump up the adventure on this one and it was really hot, sweaty and lots of mossies were flying around my face. I stripped down to my skivvies and crawled 385 meters through the wet grass to make the find. I was so excited, I ran all the way back to Tha Choppa with people cheering me the whole way. Now that's what I call a geocache, or was that obvious? See the photo!" GC7T2VF

Is it true, we ask ourselves. Are the numbers truly ruling us? Sure, justification is just that. We can excuse away almost anything, but our logs reveal something we may not want to admit. Let that sink in. Are we writing meaningful logs, or are we simply doing the minimum for the score? Food for thought, right?
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Eyes Wide Shut – Why didn’t Someone Tell Me?

I never knew I was considered less than attractive by the opposite sex until yesterday. Maybe it’s because I am happily married and my...