Stormy Weather…


Stormy Sky

I was out for a drive today
something I like to do
and as usual along the way
I listen to stories on Audiobooks
as I try to guess which of the crooks
will get shot or some other terrible fate
as the good guy wins as they usually do
for I have yet to hear a story that tells
of the bad guys winning the thought repels.
as the good guy always gets the girls
and is the hero and here to stay
as the bad guys are dropped along the way.

I noticed as I drove along
the dark clouds forming in the sky
and wondered if it would rain
something that would be our gain
as rain in the Summer in Texas is rare
the lack of which we often despair
before long the wind started to blow
and raindrops on the windshield fell
so that driving I would have a clue
to turn on the wipers just to view
the road in front of me that I could drive
in order to just stay alive.

Pretty soon the lightning started to flash
and the thunder followed with a loud clash
and the noise of the rain as it beat on the roof
made it hard to hear the story in truth
I was more concerned with driving straight
than what was happening with the books
so I really started to concentrate
and turned off the device to keep a look
at the road in the storm as I made my way home
arriving safely and making sure to atone
by listening on a different day
when the weather is better to drive and play.

Written 7/8/2018

Back at my Ford Dealer – 2


Audiobooks-Webinar-LOGOHere I am as I sit and wait
yet one more time at the place
that lately has been my home
even though I would rather roam
than be sitting here writing these words
to fill the time that I have on my hands
although I really do understand.

Two weeks ago when I was here
they took a look and as I feared
said that it would take some time
to order the part by going on line
and that I should wait for their call
before bringing back the truck
and so with these words I was stuck.

This time the unit that lets me hear
Audiobooks or shows me a map
decided that it would not work
leaving me to listen to my phone
to hear the story as I drive alone
which although not very loud
did the trick with limited sound.

I settled down expecting a wait
and it wasn’t long as I started to write
that my service lady came to me
and told me that I was free
to go as the truck was fixed
and everything should be just like new
as I shook her hand and said Thank You.

I tuned in the unit so I  would hear
the story from the speakers instead of the phone
as I took the highway home
along with the traffic jamming the roads
I did not really mind the slow drive
as from all around loud and clear
came the voice of the storyteller in my ear.

Written 7/12/2018

This and That…


child_games_in_wonderful_soccer_dreams

I commented in the last couple of blogs just how hot it is here in my part of  Central Texas. It is like this every year with some years worse than others. The record was set in 2011 when Austin at Camp Mabry, one of the weather recording centers, registered 83 consecutive days with the temperatures 100 degrees or more. It doesn’t matter what way you look at it, that was a bloody hot summer. Luckily, the humidity was low which made it a little more bearable.

We have just had our first 100 degree days this past week with the thermometer reaching 100 on three consecutive days. There are thunderstorms forecast for the next couple of days which will bring some welcome relief. Along with the high temperatures there are all sort of bye products caused by the heat. Things like high electric bills with the A/C units at full blast and in many cases, replacement units due to the older models breaking down. Try to imagine what the inside of a house is like with no A/C when the outside temperature is 100 degrees or higher. Fans are a big help but they only move the hot air around as they don’t cool it.

If you are an avid gardener, it is a heartbreaking struggle to keep your precious plants alive especially if you are on city water and there are watering restrictions. Austin gets most of its water from the Highland Lakes which is a chain of six freshwater lakes in Central Texas formed by six dams on the lower Colorado River. A heat wave like the one in 2011 actually lowered the lake water quite considerably as the water evaporates along with the demands from all of the Municipalities downstream. It took several years for the lake levels to return to normal after that and it was officially declared a drought.

In my younger days, thirty or so years ago, I was still an avid soccer player at the top Amateur level. The teams I played with would often go away to Tournaments in Dallas or Houston or sometimes even further afield to New Orleans or Florida. These Tournaments were nearly always in the summer, again the hottest time of the year but although they were competitive, it was only for fun. Apart from getting to play several games over a weekend, we went for the company and camaraderie that belonging to a team brings. And the beer of course, lots of beer. I remember on two separate occasions, one in Dallas and the other in Houston when the heat got to us more than usual.

The Dallas Tournament was played on a large soccer complex which like all such complexes was built with very little shade around the fields. Our particular field had Flood Lights surrounding the field mounted on six, sixty foot metal poles. This was the only shade close to the field and spectators and players not in the game were all standing in a line in the shadow of the poles with a larger group at the end where the bank of lights projected a bigger shadow. It was pretty funny. The actual temperature that day was 108 degrees, the hottest that I have ever played in. The game itself was played in slow motion with the players trying to conserve as much energy as possible and when they wanted to sub out, they had the greatest difficulty in finding someone to take their place.  Usually, subs are lined up just waiting to get into the game but not on that particular day. I can’t remember much about the game or even if we won as the heat was the overriding factor for all of us.

The Tournament in Houston was very much the same with very high temperatures. The difference was that in Houston, being close to the sea, the humidity was through the roof which made it appear to be much hotter than it really was. Humidity saps the strength right out of you whether you are used to it or not. The same thing happened as in the Dallas Tournament except there were no floodlights to provide shade. In the second half players were subbing in and out at a tremendous rate as in these Amateur games, subs are unlimited. In the end, it got to where you couldn’t find anyone willing to go back in which meant that you had to stay on the field or if you came off anyway, the team had to play short. That game was truly a miserable experience for both teams. I can’t remember who won and in truth, really didn’t care.

On the home front with all of my ponds, I have to be very careful to make sure that there is no water wastage from anywhere. As it is, keeping the water cool enough for the Koi and Goldfish during these periods of high temperatures is a difficult task. The only real way is to keep the water moving with waterfalls and water features and plant lots of Lilies and water shading plants. The other big problem it to maintain the oxygen levels in the water as the heat tends to deplete the amount of oxygen. I have separate bubblers in all of my ponds which this time of the year are running non stop and even with these precautions, it not a bit unusual to find fish floating on the top.

I have all native plants in my garden which I tend to let grow wild only trimming them where my pathways are or maybe to keep them from crowding out the other growth. If I  have to water them to keep them alive I have installed an underground soaker hose system which if absolutely necessary, will run at night on timers. This is enough to keep the plants alive without wasting too much water in overspill. My garden is really a jungle in disguise which makes it much easier to maintain.

The one redeeming factor is that we can look forward to the Hurricane Season and since 80% of the North Atlantic Hurricanes form from June through October, hurricane season is declared from June 1 to November 30. The months when storms are most frequent on the Texas coast are August and September. If we do get any at all and that is not a certainty, we will probably get cooler temperatures and rain which if it is in excessive amounts will bring its own problems.

Texas has a saying, “If you don’t like the Texas weather, just wait five minutes and it will change”. This saying is also credited to many other States to which it can apply.

Written on another hot day in Texas.
7/3/2018

 

The News is Bad…


redwolf1

Red Wolf

It seems to me like every day
when I check the mail in my usual way
to see what has changed in this ongoing fight
to prevent this world from disappearing from sight
at least the contents of the world
the animals and birds whose fate is unfurled
as day by day something else is news
and another species lives are reviewed
as being dispensable in the name of greed
as someone figures that to succeed
they must change the land that has been decreed
to protect an endangered species whose needs
have already been put on the list
that without protection they will not exist
and yet even though they will be gone
greed for many is very strong
and to take the land to make a buck
leaves the animals and birds out of luck
the almighty dollar rules this land
to amass a fortune things are planned
that do not consider the impact they say
too bad for the wildlife that gets in the way
and the fact that extinction for many is real
these people for animals do not relate
any empathy and they may even hate
the fact that the species was already aligned
for thousands of years in the annals of time
long before man walked on this earth
to spread his will on the land and make it his worth
Man will destroy the very world that he claims
too late will he realize that to further his aims
as he poisons the air and water and land
at the end of it all what will he have planned
what good will money and gold be then
as the Earth will be just a desolate waste
and Man a memory just drifting in space.

Prompted by the news that there are only 40 Red Wolves left in the wild in Eastern Carolina and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing a 90 percent reduction in the land available for red wolf recovery in eastern North Carolina. This area supports the last wild population of red wolves. And worse, the proposal would allow private landowners free reign to shoot any red wolves that wander across their property.

Sometimes, I am truly ashamed to be born a human.

Written 6/28/2018

 

 

Looking for a Subject


nothing
Some of the blogs that come into my mail box that I take the time to read are obviously written with the Author struggling to find a central theme for that particular blog and at the same time, they are having the uncontrollable sensation that they ABSOLUTELY MUST post something or all kinds of bad things are going to happen. The end result is a single picture or a bunch of words apologizing for not having anything to write about and almost begging the readers to forgive the Author for being so dumb (literally).

Guess what folks, in the big scheme of things none of your fellow bloggers will really care if you post or not. In fact, if you are one of those that post several times a day, your followers are probably glad that you have nothing more to say so they can have a rest from you and spend time with other bloggers. The same is true of those of you who for whatever reasons have not blogged in a while and then when you do, are full of apologies for not being active. Your readers are not looking for an apology, all they want is another good blog to read and admire so even if you have been away, if your stuff is worth reading, your blogger friends will find you. Bloggers and blog readers are a fickle lot and if your blog is missing for any length of time, they will quickly move on to someone new to follow.

Guess what started this tirade, Yes, you got it. The lack of a subject to blog about. Therefore, I am in the same category as those of you with nothing to say and yet managed to put together a blog to say just that…nothing.

Written 6/26/2018

I Hate Inconsiderate Texting…


FIFA_World_Cup_Russia_2018_bidding_logo.svg

Some of you who have followed my blogs over the years may know that I spent most of my life as a top Amateur soccer player. I started around ten years old and finally calling it quits after my knees gave out in 2008  at the age of 72 having been an active player for 62 years. I would like to say that I was at my peak at the end but nothing was further from the truth. I peaked out between 25 and 30 as I kept myself in good shape and by then had acquired some decent skills. I was never very fast so there wasn’t too much noticeable difference and at the end, I had switched to playing goalkeeper which  required less running on my part.

I am telling you this because this year is a World Cup year for the sport and I and millions of others around the World have been glued to our television sets for almost the past month. I am in the habit of recording all of the games and then watching them in the evening. I do this mainly so that I can skip the commercials which after the first go round are very repetitive and boring. As they are not advertising anything that I am likely to buy, I consider it a small favor that I can miss this part of the broadcast.

Anyway, the tournament is almost over and is at the semi-final stage one of which has already been played with France beating Belgium. Naturally, being from the old country, I am an English supporter and they are scheduled to play today so I have been desperately trying to avoid all of the news sources that are likely to give away the score so that when I watch the game later this evening, I will not know the outcome.

Well wouldn’t you know it that one of my so called friends has just sent me a text telling me that Croatia has beaten England although he didn’t send the score. It doesn’t matter anyway as my hope of watching the game without knowing the result has just gone out of the window.

With friends like that, who needs enemies…I will still watch the game of course and maybe my ex-friend was wrong but without much hope.

Written 7/11/2018

A Pretty Aimless Life


AimlessHeader2

I lead a pretty aimless life
helped by not having a wife
who surely would try to keep me straight
and my course not to deviate
but as I don’t have one of those
I can come and go as I choose
depending on the time of day
or if the weather is too hot to play
outside in the yard or on a long walk
then I stay inside where it is cool
and play with the dogs for they are no fools
and outdoors on a hot summers day
is not where they go out to play
I go to the table that I use as a desk
where my computer is blank now as it rests
and fire it up to start the day
and check my emails in my usual way
with nothing of interest and nothing to write
I move on to my web page and view the site
make adjustments if any that I need to do
addressing my readers to give them a clue
of what to expect the next time I write
for the words from my pen are meant to excite
but the words do not flow so this time I turn
to my Facebook page to read with concern
what I see posted there, is this really true
what these idiots write thank goodness they are few
if everyone believed what is written here
the World would be much sorrier I fear
I close the computer not wanting to write
and look out the window, what a beautiful sight
as my yard is so green and the flowers so bright
but way too hot for jobs so benign
what else can I do to pass the time
my favorite pastime is driving my truck
just touring around trusting to luck
of where it will take me how far can I go
an Audiobook for company as I listen to the show
with talented writers and actors so great
what more can I ask as the journey I make
I had stopped at the store as I wanted to buy
groceries for me as I needed supplies
to feed me and the dogs as they always come first
they rely on me to satisfy their thirst
and give them food to keep them fit
and ready to walk for my benefit
as moving around and walking is best
as there is plenty of time to rest
and now the day is almost done
and food is consumed by everyone
and we sit on the couch and watch TV
and marvel at men much younger than me
with the things they can do on the soccer fields
and the tricks with the ball and a clean pair of heels
takes me back to my younger days
when I too could run and had tricky ways
those times are long gone and will not return
for age takes its toll with no energy to burn
I switch off the tube and me and the dogs
crawl into bed to sleep like a log
and even with many bathroom trips
wake up refreshed with no special script
get ready to do it same as before
with a change here and there to add to the score
and my aimless life will go on and on
with only me to please my hopes are strong.

Written 6/25/2018