Please use GoodSearch for your internet searches and select a charity (such as Dominican Sisters of Houston). Thank you.

happy new year

Thursday, December 31, 2009


new template

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

New template for the blog. I'd like something new. But it's a pain. Because I'm really not a programmer and every time I change the template, the widgets get lost. Then I have to fiddle around with the skeleton of the blog. The raw template needs massaging. Wish me luck. Please.


Saturday, December 26, 2009

"Home is Where Your Pet Is" bracelet available at The Animal Rescue Site

It made me think of Natty.

Merry Christmas

Friday, December 25, 2009

or in some places, Happy Christmas!


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas is a great occasion. Yes, it's good to celebrate. But it ought NOT to be an obligation. Sure, I'll be at midnight mass. I'll do my church gigs if I'm up. Outside of that, I do have a job that I'm trying to maintain. I'm up to my eyeballs with work. I have deadlines. When I say I'm friggin busy, I mean I'm busy. I did fund the Christmas meal. We did do grocery shopping. I did put some lights up. But please cut me a break and take into some consideration that I have other obligations, and being festive isn't on the front burner. *grumble*


Saturday, December 19, 2009

Been busy. Have had several nights this week in which I only got 2-3 hours of sleep. Today I went to a day of prayer.

What took all that time was Christmas cards. We don't do it every year, thank goodness. We sent out over a hundred. Signed them all, hand addressed them all, and for those who are close, included some personal message. Else they all have a hand-written "Merry Christmas!" even if it's already on the print.

We bought these cards some years ago. It was tough finding the cards we wanted. We bought several different designs. We copy the card and then keep a tally of who got what design so that they won't get the same design the next time around. We only track the ones that come multiple in a box. We don't track the "one-of" cards.

wheels for your meals

Monday, December 07, 2009

you can get it here

I wonder if it's difficult to clean.


Thursday, December 03, 2009

"2012" - It was ok. It'll hold your interest, but once you've seen it, you can forget it and go on to something better. I'd rate it on par with "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull."

"Precious" - This one can be quite depressing. If you're not afraid to look at the darker side of humanity, then go ahead an watch this one. Yes, good does win out, but this isn't "It's a Wonderful Life." Absolutely do NOT take the kids to this one.

"The Blind Side" - This one is uplifting. Sandra Bullock's character is unforgettable. You can take mom to see this one.

great presentation

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving holiday. It's an American thing. I've been out of town. We've just collected the critters from boarding today ... I'd estimate their boarding in total is about as much as our hotel cost.

Anyhow, here is something far more entertainining and far more educational than my thoughts. I'd say it's approved for all audiences, regardless of your background, age, or interests. Please check it out. Video is 76 minutes including introduction at the beginning and questions and answers at the the end; Brother Guy will keep your interest.

Astronomy, God, and the Search for Elegance (video) presented by Brother Guy Consolmagno, SJ at the Lunar and Planetary Institute. Brother Guy is a curator of meteorites at the Vatican Observatory.


Saturday, November 21, 2009

Yellow Tail, Ecco Domani, Franciscan

Shiraz, Pinot Grigio, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot

Smuckers, of course, is not wine ... just happened to be there and I didn't bother to move it.

No wine for me though. No desire for it or any other alcoholic beverage. I don't think my body likes it.

free "rental"

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Father Corapi's personal testimony in audio format is currently a "free" rental. If you like good story-telling, check it out. If you've never heard Fr. Corapi, here's your chance. It's well worth it.


Although we don't use firewood much, I occasionally keep some. Here is a homemade rack built with wood recovered from a fence nightmare project. It's not very well built, but for now it's working ... two weeks so far. The firewood is from branches I've trimmed from the tree. The bigger chunks are from my neighbor, who trimmed another neighbor's tree. It was a lot of wood, but I only took some of the bigger chunks, leaving probably 95% remaining on the curb for the garbage guys. At the time I took the firewood, I didn't have the rack and didn't know where I would keep it. I used whatever nails I had on hand, and in this case they were galvanized but very long. The nails went all the way through and were very tough to drive in, given that it's a rather flimsy frame and difficult to brace properly for hammering. I contemplated not knocking down the nails but then made some effort to do so. Anyhow, there you have it for homemade.


Friday, November 13, 2009

Lest people think that the "religious/spiritual" part of my life is dead ...

Yes, I am still involved in two volunteer gigs at my parish. I had at one time considered dropping out of them, but didn't. On one, they seemed shorthanded as it is, so I stuck. On the other, I spoke to the person in charge and was discouraged from dropping out, so I'm still there too.

Yes, I still go to spiritual direction. I went this morning. Advice is still the same (seeing that I haven't changed any of my habits): develop a personal relationship with God, find time for personal prayer. That is, set aside time dedicated to prayer, and not just pray while I'm doing something else.

I pray my usual prayers in the car as I drive in to work. I pray a little thanksgiving as I drive off from work at the end of the day. And I pray a quick formula prayer as I crawl into bed at night. Those are the usual staple. Other moments of prayer are sporadic.

I am only somewhat involved with the Dominicans, being that my schedule is swamped and my energy is almost non-existent. They had a discernment event some months back and I attended that, and that was the last time I saw them.

I have started reading 3 books and haven't made much headway on them. I seem to have some attention deficit in this department. One is a religious allegory, another is a collection of talks by a monk, and the other is a collection of stories of visions of heaven and hell. I also have the New Testament as an audio book ... I think I'm on Acts. It's been a while since I last played it.

I still listen to Christian (though non-Catholic) radio in the car at lunch when possible. Unfortunately, I've stopped going to mass at lunchtime. I so desperately need to grab a few zzz's during the day and lunchtime affords a few minutes.
Peace to all.

rechargeable batteries

I don't know if I have a defective batch, but the Duracell rechargeable AA batteries I picked up a few weeks ago seem to self-discharge. Prior to that, I had Energizer ones. I got the Duracell because it was 2650 mAh vs. the Energizer 2450 mAh.

I charged up the Duracells and gleefully put them in my camera. Weeks later, I took my camera out and noticed that the charge was low (maybe around half) even though I hadn't used the camera. I recharged the Duracells and repeated. Sure enough, the batteries were again below half after a few weeks of sitting up.

So, I vote for the Energizers. They've never given me this problem. I can leave my camera sitting up for months and the Energizer batteries still kept their charge.

beware of the Casio calculator

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Beware of the Casio calculator: its "%" key doesn't function as expected. When I put in 100 + 10 then press "%" I should get 110. That doesn't happen with the Casio. I have two Casio's, different models purchased at different times, which have the same frustrating "feature."

yummy punch

Tropicana Peach Orchard Punch is yummy. We try to look for alternatives to soda. Usually it's lemonade, tea, Hawaiian punch and maybe occasional other something such as the V8 Splash punches. This peach punch is the best. Yum!

On a side note, I had once thought that carbonation was bad for your health. However, I do believe carbonation has been exonerated of such charges. Still, we look for alternatives to soda anyways. We do try to keep some Sprite on hand for easing upset stomachs; they often get consumed even when there are no upset stomachs.

lamenting the loss of a great feature

Thursday, November 05, 2009

"Smart" phones seems to have lost the "alarm" functionality. My cell phones that were primarily phones with added features were great alarm clocks. They were loud. They'd still give an alarm even when they were turned off. They were great.

I inherited the Cingular 8125 smart phone when Gumby got the iPhone. Maybe I just don't know how to use them, but neither one of these are good at being alarm clocks. The alarm isn't very loud, and they only work when the phone is on. That sucks.

My old Nokia candy phone finally died about a month ago. I had been using it for years as my alarm clock. It also had a timer function that used occasionally. Now I'm using my old Motorola to wake me in the morning; it was my cell phone until about a month ago. I could take a lunchtime nap and be confident that the Motorola would wake me. Not so with the Cingular 8125.

Does anyone have tips for extending the usefulness of the Cingular 8125? I've never updated the OS, so it's still Windows Mobile 5.0. Its main feature for me now is that I can play Sudoku on it.


Thursday, October 29, 2009

Lookee. The principal balance on the student loan is finally less than the principal balance on the mortgage. I had to pay more on the student loan than on the mortgage for three years before I got to this point. Yup, like paying for two houses.

This is It

Trailers and stuff here.

There is no denying that Michael Jackson was very gifted. Absolutely genius. As has been said, "Nobody moves like Michael."

Yeah, go see it and be entertained. Some might be inspired.

kudos to NASA

Yay. Nice launch of the test rocket.

iPhone app picks

Thursday, October 22, 2009

iPhone rocks! Gumby has one and I've been setting it up. Here are the chosen free apps in alphabetical order:

Alarm Clock Free: I don't know what it does yet, but it looks like a nice clock interface.
AOL Radio: So we can go beyond our music collection and listen to other stuff.
Around Me: Mainly so we can find near by eats.
Balance: We're going on a trip; this will help tally up the cost.
Catholic Calendar: Because it's Catholic. And it's free.
Catholic Lite: A little too lite; candidate for deletion.
The Catholic Directory: So I can find near by parishes, their phone numbers and mass times. Also has the mass readings.
Dictionary: of course
DigiDrummer Lite: just for fun
Drum Meister Lite: more fun
eReader: in case we get a hankerin' to reading a book
ESPN ScoreCenter: for those rare moments when we actually want to know the score
Falling Balls: mindless fun activity; candidate for deletion
Google Mobile: find info fast
iTV: 'cause we don't have a TV Guide
iDict: In case we have to communicate in another language.
iHandy Level: just handy
Note Me: 'cause folks have said it's good
NYTimes: news
Pac-Man Lite
Quick Graph: Never had a graphing calculator. Neat to see stuff graphed in 3D.
Shazam: to ID music we hear and like
Space Shooter: mindless entertainment
Soduko: of course
uDrummer Lite: fun
USA Today: another source of news
Virtuoso Piano: fun. This one lets you do glissandos. It will span the whole keyboard, but difficult to do so smoothly. It's the same graphic, but the pitch changes.
The Weather Channel: weather, of course. This is in addition to the weather app that comes with the iPhone already. This one might get replaced ... still to be determined.
Yelp: mostly so we can find near by eateries

Feb 2011 update: (too many to discuss them)

digital camera review links

Friday, October 16, 2009

The following sites are not hard to find. They'll show up on a search for digital camera reviews. These are just the main ones I'd look up instead of wading through all the links that are available.

Jeff's picks at Digital Camera Resource Page My favorite page for doing a quick look. Nice large photos, picks are arranged by price and there is a brief commentary for each pick.
Dave's Picks at Imaging Resource Here the picks are arranged by function if you need it that way. If you scroll down, there are picks arranged by price. It's a longer list to browse and the pictures of the cameras are much smaller. If Jeff's picks were too few, maybe Dave's list will do the trick for you.
Ken Rockwell My favorite page if I don't need a lot of options. He gives a "This is the best camera, hands down" opinion. He does have some other picks but if you're tired of thinking about it, take the "one best camera" advice and run with it.

Steve's Digicams and Digital Photography Review (links below) have a list of favorites as well. If I see a camera show up as a favorite on all of these sites, then I figure it must be good. These lists are good place to start. I really don't want to read through the entire plethora of digital cameras on the market, so I start with these shorter lists. From there, I can check out in-depth reviews of whatever camera I want to zoom in on.

My favorite sites for an in-depth review:
Steve's Digicams This is my first love as far as camera review sites goes. The format has changed recently. I'll have to get used to it.
Digital Photography Review Steve can't review them all. So between Steve and this site, I should be able to find most any model.

Then if I want to see what the "general word on the street" is on a camera, I'd browse a larger set of websites. For example, I think the micro four-thirds format is promising. I would scan several articles on that instead of heading straight for the in-depth review.

Each of the above sites have other features as well. They're worth checking out. Have fun.


Saturday, October 10, 2009

It is safe to say that Beyonce's singing annoys me. There is no depth to her singing; there is a serious lack of expression.


Thursday, October 08, 2009

Persimmons. I had picked them from the tree at the other property just last Saturday. I've been seeing them change to a brighter orange as they sit on the counter. Now they seem ripe already. I had one. It wasn't bad. Probably one more day of ripening would be safe.

flashlights ... hee

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Like it? You can get it on the Animal Rescue Site.

took the day off

Saturday, October 03, 2009

I decided to take the day off today. We took the critters to get blessed, on the occasion of Feast of St. Francis (of Assisi). We had three crates in my car: one for each of two cats and a medium one for the Labrador. We were late getting there and almost missed it. And since we were late and most people were gone, we were able to park right by the curb. Father came over to bless them in the back of the car; all the crates faced outward. Minutes later the other Father was picking up the holy water bucket when he saw us and offered to sprinkle them. Fortunately, all the critters came forward to the crate doors and they all got sprinkled.

Then we went to check on the other property, then stopped on the way back to get pie slices, then another stop to get lunch to go.

Unfortunately, we took too long to get back. The black and white cat is on diuretics for his heart condition, and urinated just as we got in our neighborhood. Oh well. That's why I had a mat in there, just in case of such accidents.

The cats are in a big cage at home. They get to come out when we're home and can watch them. Today they pretty much spent the day in their cage.

You see, I took the day off. I had lunch, then took a long nap. Woke up, took a shower, went out and got dinner, fed everybody, then washed dishes, and I'm going to go to bed in a little while. Cat bathing, crate cleaning, and house cleaning will have to wait until tomorrow at best.

update: Yes I did bathe the cat on Sunday. He's very sweet and gave me no problems. Then I took him out to the front porch and dried him with a hair dryer. He did try to leave a few times but that was all. No hollerin'. No biting or scratching. I did it outside since all that hair was flying. The time before, I had bathed him without blow-drying and he was pretty badly matted afterwards. So now I know I have to blow-dry him. It took a while.

random shot

Friday, October 02, 2009

good pen

Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Uniball Jetstream Sport is a very smooth writing pen. I give it my stamp of approval.

personal problem

Thursday, September 24, 2009

I have a problem. I have a problem with the "Lamb of God" being set to really festive, yahoo, hoe-down, rollicking good fun music. "Lamb of God" is where we acknowledge that Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice for our salvation, and we beg for His mercy. I prefer this to be a moment of serious contemplation ... contemplation on the greatness and mercifulness of God, the significance of the sacrifice, our sinfulness, and our need for His mercy.

carpet is in

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Yay. New carpet for that one room is in. So tired. Empty room. Guess what that means: best time to paint. I washed the walls last night. I have to find my spackling ... or go buy some. House is super topsy turvy now. We're getting some work done on the outside too. So tired. I have to go feed the critters now. And maybe tonight I'll not do any work. And just get some sleep.

what a guy

Friday, September 11, 2009

I just heard Bishop Kicanas speak this morning. Oh wow. This guy is awesome. If you ever get the chance to hear him, go for it!

laboring on Labor Day

Monday, September 07, 2009

I've been working on the room to be carpeted, trying to clear it out. I moved 4 large file cabinets, a small 2-drawer file cabinet, a small desk, a work table and some boxes. They got moved to the garage. I'm tired and I'm quitting for the day. I have to stop and feed myself and the critters.

There is still the "desk" - two planks of wood spread across two small file cabinets with a "hutch" I made myself. It's full of stuff. There's also still a small table, a pantry-like cabinet, and assorted odds and ends on the floor. The 11' x 12' room was packed to the gills; it's a lot of stuff to move. I had hoped to finish today, but I gotta quit now.

A contractor came today to look at the work to be done on the outside. The carpet store guy also stopped by on his way home this evening, to look at some other stuff Gumby had discussed.

It's been a full day for me.

Dominican discernment event

Sunday, September 06, 2009

info on their website

event is Friday 9/18 - Saturday 9/19, 6pm to 6pm, for ages 20-40 yrs.

carpet shopping

We've been shopping for carpet this past week. For one room, for utility more than luxury.

The first place was a showroom. Great customer service, great atmosphere, prices more than I would be willing to spend.

The second place was more like a warehouse; it had cramped offices and a large unconditioned warehouse area. Prices more to my liking. But the product presentation and the attitude of the salesperson sucked. Gumby was infuriated by the attitude. No go there.

Third place was a very nice show room, the salesperson was fantastic, but they didn't sell retail. They deal with contractors. However, he did send us to their retail store.

So fourth place was a continuation of the third place. It was both a show room and a warehouse. It was great. Bigger showroom than the first store and the warehouse is huge AND air-conditioned. Very pleasant. The price quoted on the first go here was lower than even the hot warehouse! I upgraded on the carpet padding and that brought the price up a bit but it was still a figure I can live with. Not much choice on color, but again, the room is more for utility than luxury. It's not a bad color; it's one of those neutral hues and much lighter the the much-hated carpet we currently have. The carpet is slightly less luxurious than offered at the first store, but is a little plush (not the thin, hard office carpet type) and fits my purposes.

Whereas I am only looking short-term: just this room, Gumby was looking long-term. Gumby wanted a place that we could return to for flooring for the other rooms. This was the place. Customer service is paramount to Gumby, and this place has it along with reasonable prices. They also do tile and wood floors.

Next step: clear out the room, and await the call to schedule the installation.

Sunday Mass broadcast

Broadcast of the Sunday Mass
Heart of the Nation

They seem to offer a free missal. I like giving the missal to "new" Catholics. The ones my parish used to use was seasonal so it wasn't very thick and is discarded after the particular "season." It'd be the discarded ones that I give out. It had the order of the mass, the prayers and responses. It has the gloria, the profession of faith (the creed), the different Eucharistic Prayers and the four different responses to "Let us proclaim the mystery of faith", and the responses to a Bishop's concluding blessing.

It even has the Lord's Prayer, otherwise known as the "Our Father..."

It's just a great resource for learning the prayers and responses of the Mass.

hoping to do better

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Not much done this weekend. I had been meaning to bathe the boy for several weeks now; I finally got around to giving doggie a bath today.

I added a pull handle to the second gate, and finished staining whatever wasn't stained. We've had sporadic rains over the past week so no chance of having the staining done any earlier. One day I would like to rework that second gate and get it to look better.

It's been crazy busy for me at work, mainly because I haven't been able to make my schedule due to lack of experience which then leads to false starts and re-work. So I do what I call thrashing about: a lot energy and effort, but nothing to show for it.
This coming up week, I will challenge myself to show up at work an hour earlier than my usual. (My usual is rather late.) I cannot begin to tell you how big a challenge this is for me. I am a very deep sleeper. In fact, I am often groggy at random times throughout the day. I can and have slept through my alarm clock. At one time I had two alarm clocks ... that was interrupted after hurricane Ike came through and resulted in the house being topsy turvy. My current alarm clock is an old cell phone. I have to vary the tones every so often so that my sleeping brain doesn't adapt to it. Anyhow, y'all wish me luck.


Dog food got really expensive.

I used to be able to get an actual 40 lb. bag of dog food for just under $40. Then they maintained the price and dropped the quantity (to maybe 34 lbs.--I can't recall) so that I'd pay the same amount of money for less food.

Last week I bought the biggest bag - now 28 lbs. for $48 (almost $52 after taxes).

That's 30% reduction in quantity plus 20% increase in price ... sounds like dog food went up 50%.

What if an emplyee goes to the boss and said, "May I have 20% salary raise and drop my productivity by 30%?" But then again, that might be happening to some employers already over the course of history.

I'd have to seriously rethink this food thing. It wasn't intended to be a luxury. It was an investment in the dog's health, to hopefully reduce the risk of a larger vet bill. Right now the cost of flea treatment and heartworm prevention - for a big dog - is already a lot of money, in the sense that you'd best save up for it.

group dance

Saturday, August 22, 2009
Sunday, October 25th 2009 at 12:30am UTC / GMT
Do the Thriller dance with others worldwide. Full instructions available at the link. C'mon, just do it.

useful things

Friday, August 21, 2009

looks like useful things shown at BookofJoe
stickies for your clothes hangers

zipper pull replacement

caps for your potato chip bags and the like

portable humidifier

nose inserts to help reduce snoring

second gate

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Success proves elusive on the second gate. Right now it is functional; the gate opens and closes and latches. To clear the slope, I decided to leave a huge gap at the bottom of the gate. The gap is conveniently the rot board. I made the rot board removeable. Screw eyes on the posts support square bend hooks on the rot board. The gate has to be opened wide to allow the board to be lifted off the hooks on the hinge side.

Right now the gate is out of plane with the latch post. The gate sticks out at the top and sticks in at the bottom. I'm guessing that if I loosen the frame screws and reshape the frame, I might can get the gate to line up better. It's just a guess. I may have to loosen the screws on the pickets too. Maybe some weekend when I have the time, I will experiment. There is still some staining left to do. I'm also not too happy with the uneven gap at the bottom of the gate, but oh well. Other things require my attention.

Since this is a secondary gate, I made no provisions to be able to open it from the outside. This time I did not make the hinges plumb but opted to allow them to follow the post. By luck, the weight of the gate swings it open on its own when unlatched. This is a good thing, reducing the likelihood that the gate would accidentally swing closed when in use and thereby locking you out. I used three butt hinges (like you see on your doors in the house) instead of gate T-hinges so that they wouldn't be as obvious. They squeak a little, telling me that they aren't lined up perfectly. But it's probably okay; I can open and close the gate with little effort.

(square bend hook)
(screw eye)

random shots

Friday, August 14, 2009

big chickenbock-bock-bock-baaark

big cowmooo
another big cowmooo
... all thanks to Schepps.

live broadcast of profession of vows

Friday, August 07, 2009

This Sunday morning, there will be a profession of vows of three Sisters which can be viewed live over the internet. More information here.

fence saga continues

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

I've seen whole fences go up in two days: first day all the posts are set, second day everything else. They look good too, all lined up and straight.

In my case, it's been more than a month and I still haven't finished the little section of fence I'm working on. I do stain all my wood before I put them up, and that takes time. Digging the new holes was definitely a challenge. Yesterday I finally took down the old section of fence that the new construction replaces.

Yes, there is a gap between the new fence side and the old corner post. That's because I wanted my fence span to be around 6 feet. I'll deal with that later.

Next up is the gate. I'm still mulling it over. The section of fence is on a slope. As the gate opens, it has to clear higher ground. I can either leave a large gap at the bottom, enough to clear the higher ground, or do something else.

Friday, July 31, 2009 Catholic video on the internet. I haven't watched any so I can't tell you anything about it. Have fun.


Saturday, July 25, 2009

We were at a wedding this afternoon. Very nice folks. We certainly wish them the best. We knew the bride since she was just a little toddler. Or maybe I should say we knew the family since she was just a little toddler. I don't think I have my mind wrapped around this thing known as the "passing of time" yet. Kids growing up and getting married. hmm.


Since I was rather late getting up and we had a function this afternoon, there wasn't much time this morning to do much. So I let doggie play. I put down the kiddie pool, which actually is a plastic sandbox shaped like a turtle. I put water in it and let doggie splash around. He loved it. Several times he was in there aggressively "digging," making lots of noise and fantastic splashes. I had to refill the pool several times since his splashes would almost empty the kiddie pool. He had such fun all by himself. Maybe next time I'll attempt photos.

celebrating moon landing

Friday evening we were at a celebration for the 40th anniversary of the first landing on the moon. We had two toddlers and two teenagers. The kids didn't enjoy the presentation, but they enjoyed all the fun afterwards. There were free moon pies for all (ha ha). It was late when we got back and everyone was whipped. I didn't wake up this morning until 9:30 a.m.

muzzle review

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

This is the Jafco muzzle. It is plastic with rubber straps--meaning that there will be no qualms about getting it wet. It comes in white, black, and clear.

The fastening hardware is smooth inside and out. The plastic is glassy smooth on the inside and bead-blasted for a matte finish on the outside. The felt nosepad is fastened in two places. I don't know felt weights but would estimate this to be medium to heavy felt. Photo 3 is to give you an idea of the thickness of the plastic; a nickel is there for reference. Photo 3 also shows that the holes are beveled - this makes cleaning easier.

Photo 4 shows the size 4S on our Labrador Retriever. It's been adjusted so that it doesn't smush his nose. Also, he is able to open his mouth, can pant and drink. However, I might try a larger diameter muzzle next time so that he can open his mouth more.

When dogs drink, their tongue roll under, so I wonder if that seam on the inside might bother him. He has given the muzzle a pretty good work-out since these photos were taken. The muzzle is a bit scuffed up now and there is mud and grass trapped in the seams, but that isn't a problem to me. He can't get out of the muzzle himself, but it is pretty easy to pull that neck strap right over his head and pop that muzzle off. That isn't a feature; just letting you know that it can happen.

He can now accompany me when I work outside. With the muzzle on, he can no longer run off with my tools (or otherwise hurt himself by putting them in his mouth). However, I discovered that I can't paint with him outside. The other night I was painting and he went around me to get to the can of paint and started to drink the paint. Did I already say that he can drink with the muzzle on? Other possible mishaps include him getting into wet paint or knocking over the paint can.

I like the idea of the clear one, but it's softer material than the white or black one. I thought I needed tough plastic for this dog, so I got the white. I thought the white would be cooler (temperature-wise) than the black. Also, I can see better if anything odd is happening in that muzzle. I might get the clear one for use in the car. He had chewed off a piece of something the last time he was in the car. A softer one would be less likely to scuff up the car or scratch the glass windows.

Leerburg has the largest selection of sizes and also offers all three colors.

Yes I would recommend this muzzle to prevent the dog from eating things he shouldn't. Of, course, the best thing is to train the dog away from the undesired behavior. But if you're like me and can't seem to accomplish that, the muzzle is better than not doing anything at all. All muzzled dogs should be supervised since they won't be able to use their number one defense mechanism. I'm not sure about using one of these to prevent them chewing on post-surgery stitches. Seems like they can still use the hard edges of the plastic to scratch at the stitches.

kudos to NASA

Monday, July 20, 2009

Wow. Really amazing when I stop to take it in: NASA got people to the moon and back, not once but several times. And that was way back then. Forty years ago to be exact. Recent photos show shadows of the lunar landers that were left on the moon. More information on NASA's celebration of the 40th anniversary are found on their website. Somewhere there was a list of fun facts but I can't find it now. One of the facts was that the moon was so hard that they were barely able to get flag but a few inches into the surface and then had to be careful not to knock it over. Also the lander legs didn't compress as much as it should and Neil had to take a jump to get onto the moon surface. It's pretty amazing that they were able to get live video from the spacecraft and from the moon back to earth. And all those buttons and switches! In any case the complexities of the whole affair is mind-boggling.

ready for church

Sunday, July 19, 2009

All showered up and ready for church. I'm up for one of my volunteer gigs this morning. That means that I'll be at my parish. Sometimes we visit other parishes when we can (which we did last week). Gumby attends a different parish than I and sometimes I'm expected there. Happy Sunday to all.


Saturday, July 11, 2009

Busy. Hence not here.

Sick cat, but cat ok now. Cat now shares my bathroom; might be a permanent arrangement. Gumby wants me to go get second covered litter box. There is one in there but it's small and uncovered.

Dog gets muzzle; two words: Jafco, Leerburg. I hope to eventually give a review of the muzzle.

Putting a VHS tape video onto DVD: complicated, exasperating. First it was cabling: composite video (RCA connectors) to S-Video on the computer card. Running around store to store for 3 hours yielded nothing. Mail-ordered the adapters. Then it was getting the computer to recognize the S-video input and having the software to capture the video. Then finding out the recorded format is not DVD format ... so need converting software. I finally got it done but I don't exactly know how.

how to split a pill

Saturday, June 27, 2009

I saw a video of how to split a pill (tablet form). Place the pill on a hard, flat surface. Then place an index finger of each hand on either side of the score and press down. The pill snaps cleanly at the score. Just that simple. No tools required. I discovered that it works with certain pills even when the pill is not scored (like doggie's pain pills). I wish I can find the video again, but I haven't been succesful. If you find the video, please drop me the link. Thanks in advance.


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

This thing gets you cooking over an open flame in minutes with no mess. Camping. Tailgate partying. Roughing it during a power outtage. Or just visiting at grandma's. Not readily available in Texas yet (we'll have to mail order). So there you go. Grab one and get to grillin' ... then share with us how it turned out. Thanks.

doggie is home

Monday, June 22, 2009

Doggie is home now. Car is in the shop. Our pocketbook needs rescuing.

Doggie is pretty exhausted and sleeps most of the time (thank goodness). I fed him his dinner, a bland canned food that the vet sent, and he ate just fine. Then he wanted to play so he was active for a while (moving around and not lying down for long), then he was ready for potty. Now he's sleeping again, thank goodness.

Vet gave us the stuff retrieved from his stomach. It stinks. Gumby wants to keep it for show and tell. I've washed it in Tide. I've washed it in dish detergent. I've let it sit out in the sun in our 100 degree heat today in hopes that UV kills stuff. Right now it's in a plastic bag with a bunch of baking soda. Other ideas: washing it in tomato juice since they use that for skunk stink, washing it in hydrogen peroxide to kill stuff, spray the hell out of it with Lysol ... whatever chemical activity is going on with the stuff, I want to stop it.


Sunday, June 21, 2009

96 degrees Fahrenheit (36 deg. Celsius)
38% humidity
101 deg. F heat index

crazy week

Friday, June 19, 2009

What a week. Wednesday p.m. I was at work and got a call from home. The air conditioner is not working. One of the toilets is not working. I go home and try to check on both. A friend guided me on the air conditioner and got it to limp along (the fan on the outside unit needs a little help to get it going). That same night I changed out a tire because apparently my car is out of alignment and it's wearing out the inside edge of my tire. It's almost bald there. Not wanting to risk a blowout as I drive, I change out the tire with my spare.

Thursday a.m. the A/C is not working again (since I was sleeping, I wasn't out there to give the fan a little help). The dog threw up. So I go clean that up. Plus it's the day to get the trash together and put it out. We thought our friend was coming to fix the A/C. I go to work, leaving gumby to deal with all that. By midday the dog had thrown up again. He continued to throw up as the day wore on. Gumby was constantly cleaning up. Our friend did eventually come and fix the A/C late that evening and diagnosed the toilet. I get home and I bathe the dog. He threw up 4 or 5 more times before we went to bed around 3 a.m., then again some time in the middle of the night, then again before 7 a.m., waking me up.

Gumby took him to the vet. I went to work. The dog was near death by the time he got to the vet. He was all dehydrated and his electrolytes were all out of whack. The vet re-scheduled a bunch of appointments and worked on saving him. He had eaten his bed over weeks if not months and that stuff was stuck in his stomach, which is now maybe three times larger than normal (but you can't tell by just looking at him). After giving him I-V treatment and stabilizing him, they were able to do surgery and remove that gunk from his stomach. They'll keep him over the weekend. My fault for not having prevented the dog from eating large amounts of that stuff; I thought it was all passing through.

Workwise, I've had maybe 4 or 5 hours to work on what I needed to work on. I've been stuck in meetings, with Thursday and Friday being day-long meetings. I've taken the work home, and hope to have the stamina to work on it this weekend.

My car still needs an alignment. Gumby can take it to the shop for me on Monday; I just don't know how the dollars are going to work out. I still need to straighten up the house. I have cleaned the crate yesterday, but would like to go back and do a more thorough disinfecting. I'm thinking I'll clean it with the same stuff recommended for cleaning refrigerators.

gate results

Sunday, June 14, 2009

The J-B Weld seems to be holding for now. This was the second application. On the first application, the J-B Weld pulled the surface treatment off the brick. There's a layer of something on the brick to give it its texture; that came off. So I re-applied the J-B weld to the same spot now that it's cleaned off, and it seems to be holding. The close-up shot shows a failed attempt below it; I had tried some other epoxy before and it didn't work.

Actually, when the J-B Weld didn't work the first time, I attempted to drill into the brick so that I can set an anchor for a screw. After about an hour and I'd gotten only maybe 1/4 inch into the brick, I decided that J-B Weld was worth another try.

That might be too big a job for the one bracket and one screw into the post. I might go find another bracket that would allow me to put two screws into the post and add it.

I've discovered that I need a handle on the inside too, since the gate needs a slight lift into the paddle latch to close. I had positioned the latch to support the gate (not just capture it). Perhaps I shouldn't have, but it's done. It has definitely been a learning experience.


Saturday, June 13, 2009

I was listening to the reading of Matthew this morning as I watered the two trees and fed the critters, thanks to MP3 and MP3 player technology. I was surprised upon hearing what I hadn't noticed before (items in color):

Matthew 27: 50-53
But Jesus cried out again in a loud voice, and gave up his spirit. And behold, the veil of the sanctuary was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth quaked, rocks were split, tombs were opened, and the bodies of many saints who had fallen asleep were raised. And coming forth from their tombs after his resurrection, they entered the holy city and appeared to many.

Matthew 28: 1-8
After the sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, approached, rolled back the stone, and sat upon it. His appearance was like lightning and his clothing was white as snow. The guards were shaken with fear of him and became like dead men. Then the angel said to the women in reply, "Do not be afraid! I know that you are seeking Jesus the crucified. He is not here, for he has been raised just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples, 'He has been raised from the dead, and he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him.' Behold, I have told you." Then they went away quickly from the tomb, fearful yet overjoyed, and ran to announce this to his disciples.

(text copied from the USCCB website)

I didn't know the bodies were raised and they walked about the city. I didn't remember that an angel rolled away the stone from the tomb and sat on it and said what's indicated there.

gate - almost there

The gate turned out ok. It took all afternoon yesterday.

The first photo shows my set up for stabilizing the gate so that I can get the hinges installed.

I still have a wedge in the gate in the second photo because the hinge post has a tendency to lean with the weight of the gate. I've obtained an L-bracket and J-B Weld and attempted to secure the top of the post to the brick. That was last night. The J-B Weld should have cured by noon. If it works out, I'll post a picture to show what I'm talking about. Final touch would be to saw off the extra 4x4, but that can be put off until who-knows-when.

just checking in

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Hectic times these days at work. And next week I'll have to start (and finish) a part of my work that I reeeeally don't enjoy and which I struggle with.

I purchased a Sandisk Sansa Clip MP3 player this week since they were on sale at Office Depot. I can now listen on-the-go to the MP3 New Testament and such. I also grabbed some downloads from the EWTN website: some Fr. Benedict Groeschel, CFR; Fr. Mitch Pacwa, S.J.; and Fr. John Corapi, SOLT. I was hoping to get some MP3s from Dr. Scott Hahn's site but the audio repository seems to not be working.

I met with my Dominican liaison last week over dinner at a quiet restaurant. It was planned that way, but aside from us there were maybe two only other tables with people. She gave some info on the going-ons in the Order, discussed some of the other seekers who are interested in joining the Order, and the near-term plans for additional vocational activities. I talked some about my family. She gave me another requirement for me to meet before I can apply for entrance. Oh well. My debt is the mountain I have to move right now, I'm not really concerned with other barriers for the time being. I haven't asked for the full set of requirements for entrance ... it could be that I'm supposed to bring a wheelbarrow of money with me if I am to enter, ya never know. No point in hashing those details now. The rules could all change by the time my debt is paid off. Heck, I could be hit by a beer truck between now and then and everything would be moot.

Tomorrow I will meet with my spiritual adivsor. As usual, I am not at all prepared for that. I suppose I'm not very organized. Tomorrow I also hope to get a haircut, though I'm itching to finish the fence I started. It irritates me that I'm so close to finishing it and yet I can't get to it. I'm also a little anxious that it might turn out rather crappy, i.e. significantly misaligned in one plane or another. At the same time, I've recognized that it is what is, and it will be what it will be.

Logos bible software

Logos bible software

If you've been looking for software to assist you in your Bible study, they might have what you seek. The link is to their Catholic section for your convenience. So there it is; give it a go. It is an attractive site. Good Luck.

fence still needs gate

Sunday, June 07, 2009

I worked on building the front fence on one side of the house this weekend. Yesterday I was able to dig out the old middle post and set a new one in its place. I stained new wood and pickets and put those up.

Today I set the post by the house for the gate. I stained new wood and pickets built the new gate. I was hoping to be able to hang the frame and then install the pickets, but the frame wasn't stiff enough without the pickets. So I built the whole gate. Now it weighs a ton. I was trying to figure out how to hang it, but I ran out of daylight. I think what I'll do is make props to stabilize the thing so that I can install the hinges. I need to make sure the hinge pins are perfectly vertical. One good thing: the gate WILL fit in the space between the two posts. I can't tell if it'll end up aligned with the rest of the fence.


Saturday, June 06, 2009

Whew! I was at a landscaping place at 7:30 a.m. this morning to get gravel. I had to make a judgment call on which gravel I wanted; I ended up with granite gravel. The guy said that is what is commonly used to make the walk paths in parks. I purchased 1/4 of a "yard" for $20 plus tax. Much cheaper than the bagged stuff in the stores! I was armed with an assortment of buckets, some empty kitty litter bags, and a shovel. I mean the bags that the kitty litter comes in. Those bags are tough. Our doggie hasn't destroyed the one bag I let him play with.

An employee (actually, he might have been the owner) comes with a front loader truck (I think that's what it's called), scoops some off the big pile of gravel, and dumps it on the ground for me. I shovel from the small pile into little containers and put the containers in the car. Then I got to the big containers, where they have to be filled while they're in the car because there is no way they can be lifted. The gravel is HEAVY! Then one of the guys came out and shoveled the remainder for me. This was the harder part becuase the shovelful now has to be lifted into the car. The large containers were the two 16-gallon pots that our two trees came in, and a 50-gallon size "contractor" garbage bag.

I was concerned about the weight. From very brief research on the internet, I had estimated that it would be approximately 800 lbs. (assuming a "yard" meant a "cubic yard"). My car is specified to handle a load of 1,1xx lbs. Since I weigh less than 200 lbs. my car should be able to handle the combined load of gravel and myself. But I had not counted on the gravel being a little wet. Fortunately, my car pulled through and I'm very proud of my steed. I did 30 mph through neighborhood streets to get home.

Once home, it was imperative that I unload the car as soon as possible. I do believe the car grunted in relief with each little load I took off. Some two hours later I've cleared the car and moved all that gravel to the backyard. Did I say that the gravel was heavy? The gravel is HEAVY. I'm whipped. The critters have not had their breakfast yet, but they'll have to wait until I get a little rested. Considering that they didn't get their dinner until some time after 1 a.m. last night, they should be just fine.

eyesight restored?

Friday, June 05, 2009

cornea improved after wearing contacts coated with stem cells ... LINK

busy weekend

Sunday, May 31, 2009

We haven't really been home. Friday I took doggie to the vet. Then Gumby and I attended an end-of-school program and spent the day with the kids (family). Saturday we attended an ordination mass; we've been to several of these over the years. Then a quick lunch, then bible study class (it wasn't very good). Then home to let doggie out. Then to a birthday party. Today Gumby will be at church almost all day starting early this morning. I'll head out around noon to bring some lunch. I think there's some sort of special mass at 3 p.m. followed by a procession. I will be attending that one. update: The special mass was for confirmation; there was no procession--that's coming up but it wasn't this one.

I'm kinda tired of being photographer. They have professional photographers and video people at these events, but we typically don't have access to those. So I get to be photographer. Apparently fuzzy or otherwise not-so-fantastic photos are better than no photos.

It's impossible to get things done at home when you're not home. I did water our two trees this morning and treated the backyard for mosquitoes. With any luck, I'll knock out the pile of dishes in the sink. The photos I took required some massaging so I've spent some time doing that. It was mainly just to rotate so that they're not all crazy-tilted and then cropping to get rid of the blank spots that resulted after rotating.

So You Think You Can Dance

Friday, May 29, 2009

I like the show "So You Think You Can Dance." It's judged by pros and the winners are selected by the pros, unfettered by some popularity contest. I like Nigel. He's fair, kind, honorable, and humorous. He has that teacher/coach quality about him. The other judges are pretty cool too. I don't mean to slight them. There's something about Mia that's just fun to watch. But Nigel gets my vote; I enjoy watching him respond to the different situations. And yeah, I also enjoy watching the dancers who are really good.

Bridgestone commercial

Thursday, May 28, 2009

I like Bridgestone's commercial with astronauts driving in space.


I just bought a Streamlight KeyMate flashlight as a gift for a friend; birthday party this weekend. I hope it works well. I got it at a "cop store" -- it actually says that on their window. Since it didn't cost all that much, I might go back and get two more. One for myself and the other for Gumby.
I do have a re-chargeable pocket LED light, but it requires that you hold down the button for it to light. That means that you only have one hand left to do whatever it is you need to do. Also, I get tired of holding it down after a while.

Happy Memorial Day

Monday, May 25, 2009

Happy Memorial Day to all.

To all who serve to protect the U.S.A., THANK YOU. I cannot begin to understand the sacrifices you've made and are making, but I know it isn't a walk in the park. May God bless all good folks.


Sunday, May 24, 2009

That's over $200 worth of lumber. I hope nobody steals them; we don't really have a fence. The lumber is for new fences on the front, on either side of the house. We had a walk-through gate on one side. This time I'll make a gate on both sides.

I buy the lumber and let it sit out, hoping they'd dry. The 4x4's have been there a few weeks. The 2x4's have been there a week, and I just got the pickets yesterday morning. I still need another 4x4; a slight mis-calculation on my part.

Hopefully next week I'll get the stuff to bury the poles with: gravel and concrete mix. I think I have the screws to fasten the pieces together; I'll have to check. We should have new front fences by end of June. Yeah, it's taking me a long time. I can only spend a fixed amount of $ each week. I suppose it's ok since I need to let the wood dry anyways.

dog bowl cited in fire

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

BELLEVUE, Wash. — Fire officials in Washington state said a sunny day and a dog's glass water bowl combined to cause a blaze that charred the back of a home.

fun wheels

Sunday, May 17, 2009

The following are not new, but they're novel to me

Somewhere I stumbled on mention of the
Trikke, so I checked out their website. Product looks like fun, but after viewing several of their videos, I decided that the product is severely lacking in "cool factor." However, if balancing on wheels is not really your thing, the Trikke would suit you just fine. With three spread out points of contact on the ground, handle bars and hand brakes, it should be pretty stable for those just learning. PRICING: refurb T78 ~$200 ($500 for the T8 shown)

So then I wanted to see something cool. So I went back to the website for the Flowboards. I've mentioned them somewhere before on this blog. The Flowboards are definitely cool. I want one. My knee has been giving me problems lately, so I don't know if I could ride one if I had one at this time. But hope springs eternal, so I want one. PRICING: $80 ($70 at Target, $40 at Newegg) for the 32" model
UPDATE: Aw. After seeing the reviews at Newegg, I have a change of heart. I think I'll stick to a regular skateboard. Thanks for your reviews at Newegg! (~$70)

Then I stumbled upon Newronsport skates. Definitely cool as well. If I were to buy skates, they'd be inline skates and they'd be the Newronsport design. They do a better job of mimicking skating on ice, they say. PRICING: $250 (model shown is $350)

Star Trek

Friday, May 15, 2009

We just saw Star Trek on IMAX today. Very cool! Totally enjoyable. I was concerned about whether I could like the new cast, since I so enjoyed the original cast. But to my surprise, I really did enjoy the movie and I can see that the new characters can grow on me. I like my Spock more unemotional though, so hopefully as this Spock grows, he'll start to lose more of those emotions.

What made the original Star Trek so engaging was the creativity in the story line: the obstacles they faced and what they did to resolve them. The hokey special effects added charm, but they could have done the same thing with card board box props and painted backgrounds, I still would have enjoyed Star Trek for its storyline and characters.

The new movie is entertaining and the special effects is everything you'd expect of today's movies. Go see it.


We saw the movie "Milk" the other day. Wow, I wasn't really aware of the intolerance of gays/homosexuals at that time. I was just a kid. I do remember that in school, "gay" was one the terms used for denigrating. I'm glad that we are generally not that intolerant these days. But I can see why society would resist: the public gays were very radical. I can also see why they were radical: it was a reaction to being suppressed.

It got me to thinking on the issue of whether gay men should be allowed in the priesthood. Homosexuality is a concern only because acting on it would be sinful. I'm trying to find an equivalent ... if a heterosexual man has strong urges to lay with any woman who's willing, would that be equivalent? If he controls those urges, then there is no problem. He has a propensity to sexual sin, but he doesn't act on it. So if a homosexual man is celibate, there isn't a problem, as far as I can tell.

art cars

Sunday, May 10, 2009

more photos here

Mission Accomplished!

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Our two elm trees have been planted in the ground. Woo hoo! I spent Friday afternoon and evening planting them. We just have to go get some mulch now to cover the ground around them. I am sore today from all that activity.

Thanks to jury duty, I have finally finished reading Mother Angelica's biography. Miracles do happen (read the book). Mother Angelica is the founder of EWTN. It took me a few year to finish reading that book, mostly done while waiting bedside in the hospital, or waiting in the car come pick up Gumby; reading is usually done in moments of "waiting" if I can stay awake. Sometimes a nap is more critical. This last moment of waiting was at jury duty.

This morning we have a vet appointment for one of the cats. Then we need to get my car from the shop (it's been there for two weeks.) And we have to go get some mulch. Then a class on the New Testament late afternoon.

Y'all have a great weekend. And Happy Mother's Day!

elm trees

Saturday, May 02, 2009

We are proud owners of two Chinese Elm trees. They are each in "15 gallon" containers which I measured to be around 18 inches in diameter, 16 inches deep with the dirt being approximately 1 inch below the rim. I estimate that the tree trunk is 1 inch in diameter and the height is 10 feet.

Getting them into our minivan and getting them home was something of an adventure. Our friends with pickup trucks had other obligations, so minivan it is.

Gumby is most unhappy that I had not called before yesterday to get the go-ahead for digging. We'll have to wait for those folks to come out before we can plant the trees. They'll be planted in our front yard, which is currently devoid of any trees. We hope to have them planted (by me) before Mother's Day. We had originially hoped to have these trees in the yard by Easter, but the slew of rainy weather we've been having made that impossible. It's a little late in the season to be planting, I think, but we'll take the chance. We're so excited. These trees will give us such lovely shade when they're grown. We've already named them; they were named even before we ever decided what trees to plant.

work ahead

Monday, April 27, 2009

We haven't made any repairs to the damage from Hurricane Ike. No money from the homeowner's insurance (they say the damage is less than our deductible), no money from FEMA, and due to a glitch that I won't go into, unable to finish our FEMA loan application. I plan to slowly buy the lumber to fix our front fence and get that squared away first. Summer is approaching, that means lots of work around the house for me.

We also have Skip's house that we're keeping an eye on. More work. We're not doing much there, but it does take time to commute there and back. A few weeks ago I did replace the floodlights that were in front; the old ones weren't working right.

Yesterday, Sunday, I decided that I didn't want the whole weekend to pass by without me being able to get some work done at home (we were gone most of the time). So after getting back from Skip's house, around 6pm or so, I took a ladder and our wood saw out back and started on the tree. There were some branches that I've been dying to trim off. I sawed off two medium branches; there are at least two more I want off, but they're pretty big. I worked until 10pm hacking those two cut branches into smaller pieces that the trash folks can handle and haul away. I have discovered that the mosquitos are here. At one point, there must've been some 20 of them on my legs. Now I remember why I don't wear shorts outside--it's not because of the dog, it's because of the little blood suckers.

Today, my upper back and certain upper muscles are tired and perhaps a little sore.

around the web

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Once in a while, I'll drop by Book of Joe and I'll usually find interesting things there. Here's a smattering of some of the recent posts:
Sport Stacking
Pocket Sax ... large variety of pocket sax here
Steampunk Giraffe

This fun reporting on Nightline caught my ear the other day.
Kogi on Nightline
Kogi on NPR

and here's a puzzle to tickle your noggin'
Japanese IQ test



Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Finally, after weeks of intermittent internet access, the problem seems to be resolved. Last week, between Gumby and I and AT&T, the modem was agreed to be replaced after talking to four AT&T representatives. First was tech support. Then account services. Then tech support again, I think, different person. Then manager because they said the modem is out of warranty and cannot be replaced at no charge. Manager asked for the serial number of the modem and then determined that the modem serial number is among those determined defective. Manager took care of the approval and transferred us to the equipment replacement department. That was Friday. Now Tuesday, the modem is here. All is hunky-dory. Mucho gracias, AT&T. I think it would have been resolved earlier, except the other time that we attempted, the equipment replacement department wasn't open (it was a weekend).

to quit or not

Sunday, April 19, 2009

I'm off to 11am mass in just a moment. I do two volunteer gigs at my parish. I'm up for one of the gigs today. Truthfully, I don't think I've been all that great at them in the past year. Not too bad, I don't think, but not great either. It's just my opinion, I haven't sought the perceptions of others. I've been wondering whether I should quit either or both. I haven't jumped to any conclusions; it's just been on my mind. I have to volunteer in something, so if not these two things, what else? hmm...


Saturday, April 18, 2009

Yesterday I attempted the Woman's Day Pasta Primavera with Shrimp and Basil. I suppose it went okay. But since I'm no cook, it took me several hours and the kitchen was a big mess. I forgot the salt and pepper until I got to the end and said, "Hey, where's the seasoning?" Heh.

Happy Easter

Sunday, April 12, 2009


may all be blessed

Friday, April 10, 2009

Wishing everyone a most blessed Holy Triduum.


We keep our dog crated most of the time. He comes out to use the bathroom and if I'm not too tired, then he might get an hour of play at night. We don't like to keep him crated that much. So I've been trying to give him a little time in the house. Having this dog free in the house is like having football guys play football in the house. He's better these days, but he did manage to break a large Corelle bowl this morning with a fantastic glass breaking sound and fragments flying as far as some ten feet away.

This dog does not care what he puts in his mouth, what he steps on, what he pushes out of the way, or what he knocks over; he gets even more destructive with temper tantrums. This is one destructive dog; it seems to be part of the breed. I've known people to give this breed of dog away due to the sheer level of destruction. I simply cannot see how Labrador Retrievers can be America's #1 dog. I can't help but wonder whether some of this could have been curbed had we had him when he was just a puppy.

I can really kick myself for "saving" this dog from his previous owners. I'm not doing too good a job myself.

Our cats are fully clawed. I'm waiting for the day when they teach him a lesson in respect. Since he isn't free in the house much, he and the cats haven't really tangled. But as he gets more time in the house, there will come a day...

Help! What is this tree?

Sunday, March 29, 2009

It is deciduous. I don't think it has flowers; strictly for shade. I don't know if it has fruits or nuts. As you can see, it grows very tall/big. Its canopy seems pretty airy. Photos were taken today; the leaves are new growth. A few weeks back there were no leaves. From a distance, the bark seems smooth; close-up you can see that it's just a finer texture but not smooth. Help!!! What is this tree?

update: I think it's a Chinese Elm (otherwise called a Lacebark Elm?) or some variation thereof.