Monday, December 31, 2012

Spending Christmas With Your Family Can Save Your Life

We have a mechanic down the road from us.  D. is one of those guys that can fix anything from a blender to a D-8 Cat. He has worked for years from a little shop he built with the help of friends.

A couple of years ago he and his wife built a lakeside retirement home. They did away with the trailer they had near by and D. moved a little travel tralier in for a place to stay during the week. He would arrive Monday morning and be gone by noon Friday.

We have been having a pretty bad drought the last couple of years and a lot of trees have died. Every time we have high winds we lose a few more dead branches. A really big wind storm can knock down dead trees.

Where am I going with this, you might asked? Just a reminder that spending Christmas Eve and or Christmas day with your family can save your life.

That tree is on top of what used to be the bedroom.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas

Wishing one and all a Merry Christmas

The Mayans Got It Right In A Small Way

I never really worried about the Mayan Apocalypse.  When December 22 arrived it wasn't a surprise to us here at HomePlace.  It wasn't until we went out Saturday we discovered not everyone had made the trip.

Seven years ago my granddaughter and I found a special of straight run bandy chicks. We came home with twenty five of the little fuzz balls.

Bandys are very creative and these proved to be accomplished escape artist. In time they had established themselves as free rangers. The problem with free range birds is that their numbers tend to dwindle. By the end of the second year the only survivor was Antonio Banty-Deras (named by my wife).

Antonio defined the word feisty. For the next five years he dodged all dangers, and courted all chicken women in their pens. The full sized roosters that occasionally escaped could never catch him. The Dogs and porch cats were led a merry chase. Even the grandkids couldn't trap him. You could tell by watching he was having a ball.

Helene found him the morning of the 22, the victim of a raccoon or Owl. For him, the Mayans got it right. Antonio would have been pleased they went to all that trouble.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Time to get myself into trouble

It has been too long since I posted here. Again, no excuses. I have been wondering how I was going to get back into the fray.  How about by getting in trouble with half the folks out there.

Like everyone else I was horrified by the shootings at Sandy Hook. I am not alone in acknowledging there isn't a gun law in the world that would have prevented this tragedy. This 'person' broke a bag full of laws to do what he did, and they didn't accomplish a thing.

There is a basic problem with the approach society currently takes.  When most people see a sign that says GUN FREE ZONE they think "I can't take a gun in here". That includes me. When monsters like the 'person' at Sandy Hook see these signs then think, "SAFE HUNTING GROUND".

Assist. Principal Myrick didn't like this situation. His actions, that probably got him fired in liberal happy day and age, prevented one such tragedy.

I think we can prevent a lot more!

Just about every school in the country has on it's staff and faculty former police and military with weapons training. Many of them would be more than willing to keep weapons in a safely secured location in their class room. The students need not know the weapons are there, unless...

We already have teachers willingly sacrificing their lives to defend their students. Why don't we give them the means to save their lives as well?

I imagine if this were to happen some schools would allow the staff to be armed, and others would not.

Which schools do you think the monsters would pick. I know which schools I want my grandchildren in.

Friday, October 26, 2012

I Hate Cathaeters

I hate cathaeters!
I understand what they do.
I understand why they are important in the type of surgery I had.
Perhaps having one for a couple of days wouldn't be too bad.
Having one for fifteen days
If you have never had a cathaeter
Hit the prayer bones and give thanks.
I have worked out the hours until this thing will be romoved on October 30th.
After I publish this I will work out the minutes.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

More Fun and Games with the Electric Company

More Fun and Games with the Electric Company

            Sunday afternoon the power went down.  Here we go again.

            Living where we do, Helene and I make a point of keeping a phone that doesn’t need a power unit.  I called the electric company to report the outage and was told according to their records (by recording of course) that the power had been out since 9:40 PM and they expected power to be restored by 6:00 PM.  They added that for more information I should go to their website, less call it w.cluesess.

            Helene and I were still discussing the electric company thinking the power had been out since the night before when the phone rang and it was my buddy, the electric company recording, telling me that according to their records the power had gone down at 4:21 PM (much better) and that including us 2100 customers were affected.  They still expected power to come back on by 6:00 PM. Once again they ended by saying that for more information I should go to their website, w.cluesess.

Normally I would fire up the generator, but since the surgery I’m not suppose to lift more than ten pounds until further notice.  I’m not sure how resistance on the recoil starter is, but since I have been known to move the 100 pound plus generator pulling it I figured we had best call Matt.

            About twenty minutes later the lights came back on – for all of thirty seconds.  A minute later my friend, the recording was back on the phone telling me that according to their records the power was back on.  If we were still without power I should call them at the following number.  I did so and went through the normal endless menu only to be told there were now some 1800 people without power, and now their records showed us to be among them.  They still estimated we would have power back by 6:00 PM.  Again I was advised that for more information I should go to their website, w.clueless.

            This was repeated at least twice more with the only change being the estimate for the lights coming back on being pushed back to 8:00PM.  Of course we were advised that for more information I should go to their website, w.clueless.

            This was when we made a disappointing discovery.  Usually I switch out the gasoline in the generator every three months.  But combination of drastically reduced income, sky rocketing fuel prices and uncovered surgery cost I haven’t been changing fuel.  This is my bad, but it meant this time around we were actually at the mercy of the electric company.  What a revolting development.

            Then two things happened.  The lights popped on for another thirty second teaser, and my friend the recording called to tell us we were among 1400 people without power, and they were now guessing the lights might be back on by 10:00 PM.  Again, for more information I should go to their website, w.clueless.

            This was the last straw.  I do not worship air-conditioning as much as most, but these days I have surgical incisions healing.  I’m not sure how what effect a night in the sauna we call Central Texas would have on them.  I could also see that Helene was suffering.  For the first time since we came to HomePlace we bugged out due to a lack of air conditioning.

            I will close with a challenge to the fool whispers among my readers.  Do any of you feel up to the challenge of explaining to the electric company – I imagine you can pick one at random- the problem of “for more information go to their website, w.clueless.”


Be prepared to talk slowly and use little words.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


Back in May I announced I had Prostate Cancer.  The doctor also said I was too heavy to have surgery to remove the prostate.  That launched me on a diet.  The first one I have ever taken seriously in my life.

As time went on I slipped off the straight and narrow from time to time but made a discovery.  The success of the diet wasn't so much a testiment to the supervised fast I was on as it was an indictment of the way I used to eat.  One piece of fried chicken became a guilty pleasure.  I didn't need four, with two mashed potatoes...and gravy.

By September I has lost sixty five pounds.  The Doctor scheduled me to have a prostatectomy on October 15.  We arrived at the Medical Center at 5:30 AM and got all the paperwork taken care of.  Finally I went in to the little room, changed into the hospital gown and put my fate in the hand of the doctors and God.

The surgery was prefromed as scheduled.  I had a superb team working on me.  I expected great discomfort when I woke up, but that didn't happen.

This was mainly due to the pain meds I know, but they did it right.  Most of Monday was spent drifting in and out of lala land.  I have no memory of many of the folks that came to see me.  Sorry about that folks.  Because of that fuzzy state of affairs I wasn't sure what I had heard from the doctor until he came back on Tuesday to look me over one more time before sending me home.

Something I have not shared here earlier was that I had been told I was not looking at a cure, but a long fight.  Due to the aggressive nature of my cancer, and the size of the mass that appeared on the sonogram it was probably not contained in the prostate.  This was going to be round one.

Fine - bring it on!

But the report from the doctor was that the female hormone implant (Yes guys, you too can exerience hot flashes!) had done a good job of shrinking the tumor and the prostate.

What I hadn't expected to hear was that there was on sign of the tumor penetrating the prostate wall.  It appeared to be cantained.  The doctor took a number of samples, and found nothing malignant in the ones he had recieved results on.  I don't want to jinx it, but he may have gotten it all.

The doctor is good, and I take nothing away from him.  I also think the prayers, candles, drums and good thoughts from family and friends went a long way toward helping me out here.  I've been like the guy in the fox hole that is wearing a cross, a star of David, Ankh, Turkish moon, and Pentagram.  I'll take all the help I can get.  I want to thank everyone who appealed to the powers that be on my behalf.

I go back in two weeks for the follow up.  I'll let you know what I learn then.