Politics


politicsI find that I
as time goes by
grow weary of politics
and all of the dirty tricks
that the man in charge
who by and large
likes to pull
because he is a fool
a wealthy man
in this land
a one percenter
a climate change hater
whose only goal
to get others to follow
to turn America white
and to put out the lights
on all who have the American Dream
and send them back to countries unseen
to make the rich richer
and to make it clearer
that the man on the street
whoever you meet
whose voice is not heard
without any words
can no longer prosper
or even foster
with no money to spend
and who at the end
will vote out the problem
that won’t be forgotten
as the list grows long
what will be his song
and who will he blame
and I wonder what names
he will call his successor
as he tweets his final letter
when the impeachments comes
and he turns to his chums
for help and support
and they will have thought
thanks for the money for our wealth
now it is time for stealth
your on your own Donald old friend
for Jail is where you will probably end
half the country will certainly rejoice
and will speak together with one voice
you are not above the law they will say
and  must pay the piper as today is the day…
Here’s Hoping…

Written 4/9/2018

Springtime


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I look outside and can see it is Spring
everywhere I look the leaves are green
not the jaded look of time
but the fresh green look like sparkling wine
everything new and everything green
oh the beautiful time of Spring.

Flowers are blooming all over the place
all different kinds like they are in a race
to show off their colors so bright and gay
to chase the drab days of winter away
and when a flower has had its say
another blooms to show the way.

I really love this time of year
with things so green and the colors clear
after her sleep Nature awakes
and puts on her Springtime face
so that we can enjoy her beautiful show
and bathe in the beauty of her Springtime glow.

Written 4/7/2018

My Friend


I had a friend come and stay
with me just the other day
which really caught me by surprise
when the phone rang and his voice disguised
trying desperately hard to sound like a Yank
with his British accent it really stank
“George”, I said, “What are you doing here”?
as I heard his voice full of good cheer
He said, “I’m staying just up the street
maybe tomorrow we can meet
I can fill you in on the reason why
I left old England and said goodbye
for the second time in my life
leaving behind without any strife.
I stayed over there almost a year
living with friends which became very clear
was not working out the way that it should
as I could not settle or do anything good
the weather was wet with the usual rain
with little sun and no tan to gain
and I could not find a team
to coach, which really was my dream
so I hopped on a plane and made the short trip
from England to Texas the best place to hit
where I hope to pick up my former life
and maybe even find me a wife
so that I can settle down
no more to roam as I have come back home”.

I met with George the following day
and as he had no place to stay
brought him back to live with me
if only temporarily
until he can find that team to coach
he has a few leads and he has spoke
to one of his friends whom we met
at the fields, where else, who told George to “Get
his bag and to come home with me
to San Antonio and we shall see
about that team and a place to stay”
as they left to go on their way.
I hope things work out for my old friend
and that he lives his dream until the end
as growing old is both our way
always looking to see the following day
living our lives and chasing our dreams
our minds filled with improbable schemes.

Written 4/7/2018

My Three Dogs


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Ginny, the last one remaining of the original pack…

Those of you that have been following my blogs for a while know that I recently have had some losses on the pet scene, much more than I ever dreamed would happen so close together. My large population of pets, both cats and dogs, some through old age and others through acts of nature was depleted down to Ginnie, the stuck up little Mini Dachshund. I was able to increase those numbers with the addition of Mikey who I adopted from the Bastrop Animal Shelter who was also the subject of a previous blog. You can read about him at this link.

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The new little boy, Mikey

I was still on the lookout for at least one more addition to the pack and spent some time touring the different Animal Shelters around the area and finally found what I was looking for in the shape of a Yorkie. He was already spoken for when I was at the Shelter and another family was also checking him out but they decided that he was not the right dog for them. I spent some time with him and then put my name down on the list just in case he didn’t work out with the other adopters.

Less than a week later, I received a call from the Shelter asking if I still wanted him as he had been returned back to the Shelter. I immediately jumped in my truck and made the 40 mile drive back to Georgetown to pick up our new addition. The Shelter people told me that his name was Charlie and/or Gizmo as he answered to both. They fitted me up with a collar and leash and his own special food plus a couple of squeaky toys, one as big as the dog and with him sitting on my lap, we were on our way.

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Gizmo

True to form, Ginnie tried very hard to ignore the new addition preferring instead to go back to bed. Mikey, on the other hand was overjoyed at having another little male dog that he could play with. I forgot to mention that Gizmo, as that is what we settled on, is also 10 years old and is pretty energetic for an older guy and in no time flat had acclimatized himself to the garden although he didn’t quite know what to make of the ponds. Turns out he is house trained and it only took him a couple of days to figure out the doggy door although sometimes especially at night, he will stand and whine to be let out even though he is right next to the aforementioned door. So I let him out and he has no trouble coming back in through the doggy door. Go figure.

So now we are at three with room for at least one more, preferably a female Dachshund. Both Ginnie and Gizmo are a bit careful around Mikey as he is a little on the rambunctious side. He is a little bigger than both of them but is also only a couple of years old and has way too much energy. He tends to do everything at top speed which is not the other two’s style. Apart from that, things seem to be working out just fine. They have each got their allotted spot on the King Size bed at night with Ginnie having the prime spot right next to me under the covers, Mikey curled up against my feet and Gizmo off to one side surrounded by a half dozen squeaky toys and a host of half eaten chew sticks.

Today, I took Gizmo to the the Groomers for his first haircut since moving in with us. Haircuts are not something that I have had to worry about these past few years since Mini and Manley both passed on. After the two of them, it has been short haired Dachshunds and Chihuahua’s that hardly shed at all but both Mikey and Gizmo are going to need to be trimmed periodically to keep them looking sharp and to stay clean (sortof).

Below is a picture of Gizmo after his haircut. You can now even see his eyes.

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Gizmo after his haircut

Dogs, Man’s best friend and companion since time immemorial over all others including wives and members of the opposite sex.  How can you not help but love them.

Written 3/27/2018

Thoughts on a Cloudy Day



Spring is in full swing in my part of Central Texas. The trees are busting out with new growth and many of the flowers are showing their pretty heads to this brand new season. Things that I had given up for dead following the week long freeze that we had, have surprised me by coming back to life. There are a few casualties as there always are some of which are easily replaced, others not so much.

Over the years, I have gone more and more to Native plants which true to form, come back year after year. One of their problems is the tendency to want to take over different parts of the garden, crowding out the smaller plants. I also allow them to grow pretty much uncontrolled only cutting them back when they start to encroach on the gravel paths that intertwine throughout the yard.

Consequently, the open view that I have immediately following the winter freeze clean up only lasts for a couple of months before Nature has regrown everything and it becomes difficult to see from one side of the yard to the other.

The ponds are a different story. The frost killed almost everything above the water line and because the water is constantly on the move, we did not have any ice build up to affect the tubers and such at the actual water line itself. What few lilies that may be left after receiving up close and personal attention from the big Koi, were all below water level. One is already showing leaves but they all need to be taken out and re-potted and fertilized before returning them back to the ponds. I do this Spring after Spring and regardless of how much growth or how many lily pads, the Koi will invariably tear them to pieces and uproot the tubers. I have tried several different methods including placing larger rocks or pebbles on the top but the Koi so far have outwitted me in their endeavors. I have watched them as they either use their nose to push stuff out of the way or they will park their large bodies on the top of the pot and use their tail to wash out the dirt and stones. They can be very ingenious and industrious in the way they go about this.

Years ago, I tried planting flowers every Spring and for a while, things would look pretty but I am basically a lazy gardener and replanting every year quickly became a lot of work that didn’t interest me enough to continue. Hence the Native Plant route many of which do flower and put on a pretty display.

Pretty much most of the heavy work is already done. The cutting back and raking the leaves and such. I still need to get in the ponds to clean them out but I want to have the lilies re-potted and ready to go before I take the pond route. The only real project that needs to be done this year is to straighten up one of the fences where it has developed a lean. It is not a major project requiring the digging out around the posts, straightening to an upright position and then concreting the posts back to their new upright positions. I usually put permanent 2×6 braces to hold everything in place. The fencing is 6 feet high wood slats and the original parts are more than 34 years old. Needless to say, many of the slats have been replaced and this time around, I need to work on 4 different posts. Other than that, I can’t think of anything major that I need to work on meaning that I should have a lot more time to go hiking.

I can’t wait…

Written 3/23/2018

Changes


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Life has changed so dramatically
plain for everyone to see
the way it was a few weeks ago
is different now and we all know
that things can never be the same
in this ever changing game
time is passing by so fast
will the next day be the last
or maybe just a week or two
or even a month I have no clue
all I know that when the time comes
I will be ready as its race is run
and time spent by Winter is finally gone
and we welcome the Spring as it sings its song
with everything new and green and fresh
and the warm sun upon my flesh
I feel like a person having just made it through
another winter in Texas now its time to renew.

Written 2/12/2018

A New Computer, not Really?


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The weather here in Central Texas has been kind of difficult. It has warmed up a bit through the days but more often than not, it has been raining throughout most of the time. Not heavy rain but enough to keep me indoors and not out in the garden or hiking the trails where I would rather be.

At the same time, my computer which is an older model, was running out of space on the hard drive and although I moved as much stuff as I could to different drives that I have hooked up, it was getting real close to full. I thought about for a bit and came to the decision that I needed to buy a new computer as to add a bigger hard drive was going to cost me at least $400.00. I had seen computers in the Best Buy store close to me that were going for that and even a bit less so it made sense to buy new.

I talked to a salesperson after spending time reviewing my options and settled on one that had the really fast operating system and lots of storage space with all of the other bells and whistles like a touch screen and facial recognition, the latter nice but not necessary. They did not have one quite like the one I wanted but had an “open box” model almost the same which I figured was a good buy as it was saving me an additional $180.00. The total price at the end for this model was around $850.00 which was more than I was originally going to spend but did give me the faster chip and lots of memory and storage space.

I spent a couple of days setting up the new machine reinstalling most of the programs that I use and  generally had it running as I wanted it. Apart from the facial recognition and the touch screen and of course the space on the hard drive, it was no faster than my old one. It was also much slower in booting up some of which was probably due to loading newer stuff that was not on my old computer. The screen was also a bit smaller resulting in the print being smaller which was bit of a strain on my old eyes.

I thought about it for a bit and made a search for Computer Repair Specialists other than Best Buys Geek Squad where everything started at $100.00 and found an independent business located not too far from me. I called the guy up and we chatted for a while and he told me to bring my old computer over and he would take a look. Long story short, he discovered that the gentleman I had originally bought the computer from was a bit of a computer genius and had modified it by removing the disc player and installing a super fast SSD drive so in essence, I had two hard drives, one of which still had a lot of storage space. He proceeded to move as much as he could from the main drive to the secondary drive resulting in gaining almost 50% more room on the main drive. This meant that my old computer was back in business and as an additional bonus, the total charges for this service was just a little over $70.00, a far cry from the cost of the new computer or for the $400.00 for the work that the Geek Squad was going to do.

I thought about it for a bit and then spent the next two days cleaning up the new computer taking off all of my programs and information. Satisfied that it was as clean as I could get it and knowing that in order to sell it, the Geek Squad would have to format the disk to wipe it clean and reinstall whatever they needed on it. I packed it back in the box and returned it to the store within the 14 days that was allotted as the return time. Other than checking  that it wasn’t damaged, Best Buy returned my money back onto my credit card with no questions asked.

I did run into a problem on my old computer with Outlook which is my email program of choice and spent the next two days working on that. I figured out where and what Outlook was saving with my information and files and eventually with the very last try of the day, as I was pretty fed up with not getting it to work, the program did what it was supposed to do and all of the recent files came alive, all 3000 of them. Satisfied with the results, I left cleaning up the unwanted files to the next day.

The bottom line is that although my computer doesn’t have a touch screen or facial recognition, those are things I can do without. I took special note of the times I used the touch screen and it was almost zero as I preferred to use a mouse so there is no loss there. As for the facial recognition, I am well used to typing in my password at the start of the day so no biggie there either.

The moral to this story is to check out all of the options before settling on the first one you think of. Spending time on a little more research of what is available can be well worth it.

Now, I am waiting for the weather to clear up so that I can get back outdoors as I no longer have an excuse to not be out there. Besides, I need more pictures to work on and material for the new blogs to write. Maybe, the Osprey is back…

Written 3/5/2018