Saturday, July 31, 2010


To borrow a line from my granddaughter, "Hello, Saturday." Saturday has always been my favorite day of the week. Luckily for me, it has always been a day of no work, a day to do what you want, a fun day.

My fondness for Saturdays began as a little kid growing up in an old farm house in Kansas. My bedroom was on the second story where an east window welcomed the warm rays of the rising sun on chilly mornings. Saturday was laundry day at out house. Our old washing machine was directly below my room and I can still hear the chug-a-lug, chug-a-lug sound as my mom fed load after load of dirty clothes through it. Of course my dad was always up by the time my eyes opened, already tending to the livestock or plowing in the fields. Sometimes I could hear the old Farmall tractor as he headed out, usually with a dog or two behind him, hoping a rabbit would jump up . Why he let me sleep in on Saturdays, I don't know but I didn't question it.

Like most kids, I was in no hurry to get up on Saturday mornings especially as I lay there enjoying that feeling of absolute contentment, listening to that comforting sound of the washer, feeling the sun on my face, all snug in my bed piled high with covers, without a worry in the world.

Have a nice Saturday.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Birthdays and another thought

Yesterday, the Missus and I celebrated her birthday by going out to a steak house and stuffing ourselves. (what, you expected less?) I'm not going to say how old she is but she's older than me. I always had a thing for older women and married one. How much older? A whopping 45 days that's how much. Oh I can hear you snickering but it's all relevant. For instance, 45 days alone on a life raft in the middle of the Atlantic is a long, long time.

I considered having a couple drinks before leaving for the restaurant and avoiding the ridiculous prices those places want for a splash of bourbon, but changed my mind. You see, a few years ago I was driving through the neighborhoods of Sand Springs when something happened that forever altered the way I thought about drinking and driving. For years, I think I secretly reasoned that if I could keep it between the lines and didn't bump into anything, I was okay.

But on a late afternoon in September and driving under the speed limit, I approached an intersection with stop signs for the cross-street traffic. Suddenly, very suddenly, two young boys on bicycles appeared directly in front of me. I jerked the wheel hard left and mashed the brakes with everything I had but there was no way to avoid them. I'll never forget the look on the boy's faces as they went down directly in front of the truck. I didn't feel an impact or hear a thump but my heart was pounding as I jumped out the door. Both boys were already on their feet and checking their bikes for damage. I hadn't hit them. They assured me they were fine. I talked with them awhile longer to make sure and pointed out how they had run straight through a stop sign at the bottom of a hill. About that time, a man who had lived on the corner came out and told me those boy had been doing that everyday after school. He knew it was just a matter of time before something bad happened. The boys dusted themselves off, hopped on their bikes, and rode away.

Badly shaken and with trembling hands, I drove on. But later, going over and over it in my mind, it dawned on my old thick head, how if my reaction time had been a fraction of second slower, such as with a couple beers, those boys might possibly be dead.

Drink and drive? Oh sure, you get away with it all the time. Go to a friends house, have a few, drive home. No big deal. But what if you kill someone because you didn't react in time? Now it is a big deal. But now it's too late. Think about it.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The problem of sending the web address of this blog to friends and relatives continue (yeah, like they really want it). I now find that my problem is not unique. It seems Cox Communications has initiated a new spam filter on incoming AND outgoing mail and if the URL you are trying to send, fits that criteria, you get blocked, spam or no spam. Complaints to Cox have gone nowhere. However, Alert Reader CB, has offered some suggestions that I will look in to.

While on the morning bird feeder duties (more seed, clean bird bath, fresh sugar water for the hummers) I spotted a movement in the grass. It was the cutest little snake you ever saw. He was easy to catch and I marveled at how beautiful his markings were. The pattern on his back suggested King snake but I'm not sure. Naturally, I took it in the house to show the Missus. She was not impressed even when I pointed out how rapidly it was moving its little forked tongue.

Which begs the question, how well can a snake hold its likker?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Something New

I didn't know what a "widget" or a "gadget" was, but now I have one. Check out the little slide show on the left. Now if I could only figure out why I can't send the URL of this site by email. Repeated emails to Cox Communications have gone unanswered. Surprised?

Okay, so I didn't get up early and take the camera out, I'll give you that. But what I did do at the crack of dawn, was to spray a colony of vicious orange colored wasps. They have to be the toughest wasps I've ever seen. The claim on the spray can is that it "kills on contact." Not. I watched one crawl off and live for at least fifteen minutes after being literally soaked in the stuff. The Revenge of the Orange Wasps could be interesting, not to mention painful. Might make an interesting photo too.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


After much consultation with Cox Communications, I am still unable to send the address of this site by e-mail. I don't know why and Cox doesn't seem to know either. The technician claims he can send it from his site using Outlook and it goes through fine. When I try it, it bounces back to me. Mystery.

Getting cabin fever from staying inside, out of the heat. Need to take the camera out and see what I can find. It promotes good mental health, at least in my case. Problem is, the wildlife doesn't want to get out and move around any more than I do. I suppose I could get up early. I could but probably won't. Okay, okay, I'll go. First thing tomorrow. Maybe.

Ambivalent in Oklahoma

Monday, July 26, 2010

At Long Last

Finally, FINALLY, I have completed my first and probably my last novel. I just sent it all to an on-line publisher and will have a draft copy in about two weeks. No, it won't be at Barnes & Noble but will be available to order soon.

It's a murder mystery called No Refuge about a wildlife photographer that happens to witness a contract killing and gets photos of it. The problems come when the killer finds the photographers business card. It's 350 pages long and believe me, it was a long, long process.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

mowers and music

I know that many of you are wondering about the outcome of the repair on the the lawnmower. The patient is under observation for the time being. There was exploratory surgery and a temporary fix installed. The part in question is called a fuel solenoid and Mr. Sears wants $68 for a new one. SIXTY EIGHT BUCKS! This for a part no bigger than your little finger and consists of no more than a piece of metal, a coil of wire, a plunger, and a magnet. For $68 I can buy any number of devices that do thousands of tasks. The fuel solenoid moves a plunger up and down when 12 volts is applied. That's all. That's it. Such a deal.

If that weren't enough, the record player developed a problem. Some of you will not recognize the term record player. It's machine that old people use to listen to music recorded on large, black disks. No, it won't play MP3s or videos on U-Tube. What was happening was the needle on the tone arm (Google it) would go to the end of the grooves and sit there until someone finally noticed it two or three months later. No problem I say. Probably needs a minor adjustment.

The new one from Amazon arrived yesterday.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Saturday Ramblings

The morning paper reports that Goldman-Sachs makes a profit every fifteen days of half a billion dollars. I repeat, every fifteen days. There's no way to do that legally.

I also noted where another politician is adding $100,000 of his own money to his campaign for reelection. Is the desire to serve your state and country that compelling? Or is is possible that the hundred grand is peanuts to what they will make in office? Again, something illegal going on here.

Is anybody else getting tired of North Korea threatening nuclear war every time the U.S. and South Korea hold maneuvering exercises? Can't someone, anyone, please send Kim Jong-il some photos of Hiroshima in August of 1945.

The only good news in the morning rag was that once again, studies show that a moderate amount of alcohol, consumed daily, is actually GOOD FOR YOU! Just remember, this is not one of those things where if a little does a little good, a lot will do a heap of good. Many of us have been there, done that.

Football season is approaching, slowly but surely. Until then, I think I'll work on improving my health with a couple beers.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Calvin & Hobbes

I was a big fan of the Calvin and Hobbes comic strip back when Bill Watterson was coming up with new ones every day. Since his retirement, reruns of the strip are available on the Internet. With my memory cells dying like flies, the strip is as amusing now as it ever was.

What's a little weird to me though, is how many people use the site to write comments to Calvin. Every day you see such things as "Way to go Calvin," or "Look out Calvin, Susie has a snowball." Dozens of messages to a cartoon character.

Come to think of it, that may not be any more strange than me writing this blog to no one in particular.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Cell phones and accidents

Read in the Tulsa World where, in 2009, 6000 motorists died from accidents with distracted drivers. 500,000 were injured. SIX THOUSAND PEOPLE! That should make the World Trade Center disaster look like second page news, yet we continue to chat and text while doing 65 (or more) down highway 169, easily the most dangerous street in Tulsa. My observations conclude that half the people on the streets these days have a phone stuck to their ear. I seldom talk on the phone and drive. Heck, I seldom talk. My average talk time is about 20 minutes a month. But I think anyone who has ever used a cell in the car has had a close call or two or at the very least, was distracted.

Luckily, our brain automatically adjusts to most driving conditions while we jabber away. A brake light comes on, the brain sees red and says slow down. But where conscious decisions are called for (what lane do I need to be in? How far to my exit? ) the cell phone sucks your smarts right out into cyberspace. Don’t get me started about texting while driving.

Why not simply ask yourself, is this call necessary right now? Can’t it wait for a few minutes until I get home? Do six thousand people have to die?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

It Started

It started! I gave it one more try yesterday evening, and the SOB started. It's a miracle. There IS a lawnmower god. But somehow I think Mr. Sears is not done hasseling me yet. Stay tuned.

Watched a show we had recorded on the DVR last night called the Monterey Pop Festival. This took place like two years before Woodstock and had a bunch of performers like The Who, the Mamas and the Papas, and Otis Redding. While I enjoyed listening to Crystal Bowersox on American Idol, she has a ways to go before being in the same league as Janis Joplin. That gal was truly unique. And Jimi Hendrix? Like him or not, that guy was another one-of-a-kind when it came to the guitar.

After watching the show, I kind of felt like putting a flower in my hair.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The lawnmower problem has gone from bad to worse. Now it won't start. All I did, I swear, was to squirt a teeny, tiny bit of carburetor cleaner in the thing and now it wont hit a lick. Big problem! I am not a mechanical person. Never had the slightest bit of interest in taking things like car engines apart. Or is it motors? See?

My mom said it was because I didn't like to get my hands dirty and she was right, still don't.

In other news, I saw a Painted Bunting on the bird feeder last night. That guy hasn't been around in ages. Of course, the fact that a pack of vicious cats constantly patrol the area is a factor, I'm sure.

Took 148 photos of a Mississippi Kite nest last night. Might keep two. Glad it wasn't film.

Monday, July 19, 2010

My very first post on my very first blog.

I know little about blogs but find some of them very interesting. That may or may not be the case here. I suggest you follow along for a few days and see what you think as I post my activities, thoughts, philosphies, rants, and fears. Some folks think I have a sense of humor and I'll throw a little of that in too.

I tried using Facebook as a blog spot but it seems they limit you to a certain number of characters per post. That won't' work for me. The question in that space asks, "What's on your mind?"

What's on my mind right now is that my lawn mower will run for about an hour and then bogs down like it's not getting gas. I've tried most of the things suggested on the Internet but it still has a problem. My options are scattering, and probably losing, parts such as clamps, screws, and tiny little springs all over the garage floor or calling the Sears repairman.

That's it. That's all that's on my mind today. I try to keep my life simple.